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26 October 2011

Review: The Name of the Star

If you follow author Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) on twitter, you know that she is a crazy ball of fun.  Her tweets never fail to put a smile on my face.  You also know that she is a fierce advocate for Young Adult literature (#yasaves), in fact creating a YA Saves tee-shirt with proceeds going to RIF (Reading is Fundamental----a wonderful program placing books in the hands of low socioeconomic children, a program which I benefited from as a child, but is losing its federal funding).
And because you're awesome and follow both me and Maureen on twitter, you know that she has a new book out, The Name of the Star (Shades of London series, Book 1).  If you haven't come across this book yet, here is the summary from Goodreads:
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.

In her new book, Maureen takes us on a psychological journey to catch a mysterious killer.  I don't want to spoil it, but you won't believe who the killer is and why he's doing it. 

I loved this book!  I couldn't wait for it to arrive.  I read the first 78 pages online and knew that as soon as it came out, I had to have it.  It was a quick read for me, mainly because I couldn't put it down. 

Rory is hilarious.  There were times when I was actually laughing out-loud at things she did/said, but she wasn't dumb.  She was smart, determined and had a good heart.  She cared about her friends and family, she wanted to protect them.  I think my favorite character, though was Jazza.  She was just so sweet and nice (but not annoyingly so). 

One of the twists reveals itself pretty quickly, but the real identity of the killer is a surprise. 

I would have no trouble having this book in my classroom (in fact, I kind of wish I taught high school just so I could recommend it to students).

I loved it so much that I did a Friday Night Mental Movie post about it (and I don't do that for just any book!) 


  1. I loved the book! Wasn't it so good? :)

  2. How fun! I'm putting up my review of this one tomorrow. MJ never fails to be crazy-and-awesome.


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