Monday, February 27, 2012

The Name of the Star - Review

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, # 1)

By: Maureen Johnson

Published: September 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile

372 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fantasy, Paranormal

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events 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. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory 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.

The Name of the Star gets 4 Stars.

My first Maureen Johnson book experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect. My husband follows her on twitter (and I do as well now) and one day he says, “You should check out some of her books.” So that’s exactly what I did. The Name of the Star was her most recent release so I figured I would start with that. Can’t say I was disappointed.

The Name of the Star merges my favorite aspects of young adult fiction: romance, the supernatural, intrigue and mystery, and being hooked. The Name of the Star wasn’t one of those books that I couldn’t put down, yet at the same time, I was propelled to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. I would have liked a little more action—or a little more detail on the action that did occur—in the romance department. Maybe this will be explored further later in the series. But if it’s not going to be explored further, then I feel like I’m left with many questions concerning the romances in this novel, specifically Jerome and Rory. However, just because that’s my favorite part of a book doesn’t mean that’s what the book is about. So maybe it was never the intent to delve into all the details that I personally crave, but that's okay.

On the supernatural, I guess that’s more of the focus for the book and considering I didn’t read the entire description on Amazon before I made my purchase and started reading, a nice surprise for me. The intrigue and the mystery…who is this copycat Jack the Ripper terrorizing this city, and what are we going to do about it?

Aside from the many questions I have concerning Rory and Jerome and why they like each other and how they actually feel about each other beyond surface emotions, how about I found it odd that once Rory finds out about the supernatural “stuff”—no spoilers—going on in London and what she has to do with them, we don’t hear a peep out of Jazza who has appeared to be pretty much inseparable from Rory up until this point. And why does Jazza never confront Rory about this absence? Or has she even noticed? The both of them seemed very inquisitive when Boo initially moved into their room as the third roommate, yet, this same inquisitiveness goes out the window so it seems when it comes to Rory’s mysterious absences from meals and such. I don’t know. Not a huge deal, but something that struck me as odd and inconsistent.

Other than that, and what’s that to complain about really?, a solid read. I’ll be checking out some more of Maureen Johnson’s existing books and looking forward to any future publications in the Shades of London series. Check it out for yourself. The Name of the Star – 4 Stars definitely worth it.

Have you read The Name of the Star? What did you think? Let me know!

Update: February 1, 2015

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