The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Published: 9-29-2011 by Putnam Juvenile
Get the book: Amazon
The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him–the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
Rating – 3/5
Although I greatly prefer this to the original cover, it’s nothing too awesome. My favorite cover for this book is the French edition. The photograph at the bottom is perfect for the story and setting – eerie and foggy with blurred people suggesting ghosts or possibly a killer following a victim. The dark teal color works perfectly with the photo. I don’t like the title font, but I see what they’re going for with the wispy, ghostlike letters.
Maureen Johnson can write anything. She’s amazing – I couldn’t believe that this book is by the same author who writes YA contemporary novels so well. This is definitely one of my favorite paranormal YA books ever.
- plot – This is a brilliant take on Jack the Ripper, especially since that’s still an unsolved case. In the modern world where there are security cameras everywhere, a ghost copycatting Jack the Ripper is just madness. I loved everything about the plot.
- Rory – Rory was so well developed as a character. She’s easy to relate to and doesn’t fall prey to the usual paranormal YA heroine pitfalls. She’s not weak, she doesn’t react stupidly, and she’s not “the chosen one.” She’s an American in a British boarding school, so she was also someone who was a bit lost culturally at first.
- ability logistics – I really liked the explanation for why some people could see ghosts (shades) and others couldn’t. It was interesting and helped move the book in a direction other than the usual paranormal storyline.
- Alistair + Jo – Both Alistair and Jo are great characters and were always scene-stealers. Jo is a strong woman and Alistair’s obsession with reading is awesome and useful. I looked forward to each time Rory interacted with either of them.
- Stephen + Callum – Boo’s partners in crime are very interesting – particularly Stephen. It would be great to learn more about them and their involvement with ghosts, although we did get to hear about how Stephen got into the ghost business.
- Jerome – Jerome was an ok guy and all, but I just didn’t see any chemistry between him and Rory. I think the book would be just as great if the main character didn’t have a boyfriend. I kinda want Rory to get with Stephen. Jerome’s Ripper obsession was cool, except when it was endangering his friends.
- killing Rory – The only thing I didn’t understand was why the Ripper copycat wanted to kill Rory. She had seen things that she didn’t even know were important to the Ripper case. Plus, how did the Ripper even know that Rory had seen anything important?
- “Do you play sports?” she asked. “Not exactly,” I said. Which was really just my way of saying “hell, no.” We Deveaux preferred to talk you to death, rather than face you in physical combat. – Rory + Jazza pg. 35
- He lurched forward and grabbed her by the wrists. In one fluid motion, he swung her into the road, directly into the front of a passing car. It was so fast – two seconds, three seconds, I watched her hit the car. I watched her break the front headlight and slide up over the hood and smack into the windshield. Then I watched her roll down as the driver skidded to a stop. “Next time,” he said, “tell the truth when I ask you a question.” – pg. 224
Acquired: bought (ebook)