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

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  37,514 Ratings  ·  4,493 Reviews
This is a thrilling ghost-hunting teen mystery as modern-day London is plagued by a sudden outbreak of brutal murders that mimic the horrific crimes of Jack the Ripper.
Paperback, 374 pages
Published September 29th 2011 by HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks (first published September 1st 2011)
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Stephanie I thought it was boring for the first chapter. I kept reading for a few more and then couldn't put it down. The exposition just takes a while to…moreI thought it was boring for the first chapter. I kept reading for a few more and then couldn't put it down. The exposition just takes a while to begin. I really enjoyed the second book, too. (less)
Lizzy Obviously. Not giving away too many details on here, but i FRIKIN LOVED THIS BOOK
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Books I Must Read in 2012
70th out of 520 books — 483 voters
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2011 September YA Releases
20th out of 79 books — 45 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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As seen on The Readventurer

The Name of the Star is a novel with a great premise but bogged down by a very mediocre writing.

American teen Aurora (Rory) Deveaux is spending her senior year in London. Her parents work in nearby Bristol and Rory is all set to live and study at a boarding school. On the day of her arrival to London she learns that there is a brutal murderer on the loose. This murderer appears to be mimicking Jack the Ripper - his first victim was sliced and diced in exactly the same
Jan 07, 2012 Erin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

The only thought in my head for much of the reading was that of Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore. It doesn’t do much credit to a story when the reader is perpetually distracted by a pop culture reference. You don’t see Heathcliff or Rochester being thrown around the literary world for a reason. The goal is to hook your reader, not set them in mind of other amusements. Perhaps I am too judgmental but I fe
Pam Vlieg
Sep 18, 2011 Pam Vlieg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are several things I love about Maureen Johnson’s writing. Her ability to describe a setting in such a way that causes vivid imagery to accompany her words, and her incredibly intellectual wit that makes me laugh out loud while reading. When I read that Johnson was publishing a paranormal YA book I knew I had to read it.

Rory is a Southern girl going to school in London, I adore the way Rory sees the city and the brilliant deductions she makes about all things British. She is having an okay
Jan 05, 2012 Jana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
This is actually the first book I’ve read that’s by Maureen Johnson, so I didn’t know what to expect. Normally, I would shy from these types of things; I mean come on it IS Jack the Ripper. Are you kidding me? I’m not a big fan of horror movies, or horror books ,for that matter.

A few weeks ago before reading the book, I (foolishly) thought that this was a historical paranormal. So imagine my surprise when I started reading and found out that this was set in present day, not in the 1880’s with t
Kristina Horner
Mar 30, 2015 Kristina Horner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, ghosts
This book had been on my shelf for years, seriously, before I actually picked it up to read it. I'm not even sure why, because the plot was always intriguing to me.
I ended up having a great time with this story, and give it a solid 4. I thought the Jack The Ripper was stuff was interesting albeit a little on the fantastical side (the way London and the general media was reacting to these murders) but it didn't ruin the story for me. I enjoyed the main character, I enjoyed reading about the Londo
Lindsay Cummings
Amazing!! listened to the audiobook while driving back and forth on tour stops. I HATE driving long hours but I was honestly excited about getting back in the car so I could hit play and dive back into the world. plus, the woman who does the audio does TONS of accents and it was incredible! this story is creepy, unique, and has a touch of Gothic feel that I just adore. ordered book 2 the second I finished :)
Oct 19, 2011 Giselle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really intrigued and quite pleased with The Name of the Star. I read it after seeing many dazzling reviews, so my expectations were quite high and though it wasn't perfect, I was very satisfied with it.

Jack the Ripper! That is all it took to entice me. Unless you have been born and raised under a rock, you have already heard about Jack the Ripper. His case is fascinating and very mysterious. I was really curious to find out how Maureen was going to use an extremely known story and make it
Lina Lovegood
Aug 26, 2016 Lina Lovegood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fand es richtig cool! Toller Schreibstil, gute Geschichte. Und wenn Jack the Ripper vorkommt hat man bei mir sowieso gewonnen.
DNF. Not bothering with an actual review.

What a disappointing and dull book.

You would expect a book about Jack the ripper to be an enjoyable and entertaining read.

Though it was an absolute fail for a Jack the ripper story.

I can't stop remembering this particular scene...

It’s when Rory and her love interest are kissing, and they pull apart and a string of their saliva hangs in-between them or something.


Who the fuck puts that kind of description in a kissing scene? What a turn off.
What was t
Sep 28, 2011 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: egalleys
More like 3.5, but I haven't decided if I'm on the higher or lower side of it...

If you know me at all, you know I love serial killers. I don't love them in a way that'd make me want to be one or anything, don't worry, but I think their mentality and motives are absolutely fascinating. And there is no serial killer as famous as Jack the Ripper. People have been fascinated with the Ripper since he first started killing. There were no definitive eyewitnesses, he stopped at five women, and investig
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
Okay, I love Maureen Johnson. She is a lovely and intelligent and hilarious person. So far, I've enjoyed all the books she's written. (I'm pretty sure I've read all of them...)

That said, I found The Name of the Star somewhat disappointing. I don't know, maybe I had unrealistically high expectations, and I also thought the book would be about something completely different. But, don't get me wrong. I did enjoy this book. But, I suppose it just wasn't quite as good as I had hoped it would be.

Jun 04, 2016 Lexie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2016
It's unfortunate to be on a YA Mystery binge and reach for a book marketed as YA Mystery, labeled as YA Mystery, dressed as YA Mystery...

... and which decidedly isn't YA Mystery.

But, hey, boarding school shenanigans!
Oct 31, 2015 Nikoleta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mystery, ghostly
Αυτό το βιβλίο έχει μέσα μυστήριο: τον Τζακ τον Αντεροβγάλτη με τους ανατριχιαστικούς του φόνους. Είναι φαντασίας: παραφυσικές δραστηριότητες και πολλά φαντάσματα. Έχει ανάλαφρο χιούμορ: η ηρωίδα είναι γλυκιά, γκαφατζού και πολυλογού. Και όλα αυτά ταιριασμένα αρμονικά και στις σωστές δόσεις. Δηλαδή εντάξει… τι άλλο θα μπορούσα να ζητήσω;
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
The Name of the Star was a hit with me. Maureen Johnson got my attention as an author with her short story, "The Law of Suspects." It was utterly chilling and fantastic suspense. I appreciated how she writes with a respect for the intelligence of her readership, even though they are the YA audience. Like CS Lewis, I believe the best children's book is one that an adult can enjoy. I knew I was going to follow her after reading this brilliant short story. So when I saw this book was coming out, I ...more
Oct 29, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Name of the Star is the second book I've read by Maureen Johnson. I admit that I love reading her blog and her Twitter feed, but 13 Little Blue Envelopes fell a little flat for me so I always assumed I liked Maureen more than I actually liked her work. However, the premise of TNotS intrigued me (Girl moves to London and becomes tangled up in a Jack the Ripper style murder mystery) so I bought this pretty much as soon as it came out. I wasn't expecting much more than an enjoyable, entertainin ...more
Jun 23, 2016 Josiemaus85 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oha, das Ende. Brauch ich wohl doch bald den nächsten Teil ;)
Jack the Ripper is one of those topics I really wish they'd cover in the History syllabus for school. Instead it's 20th century this, and 20th century that. Even at A level - which, for all you non-British, non-TNofS readers, are the two years of excrutiating study we have before university, in which we study four and then three subjects respectively, of our own choosing - the syllabus for the vast majority of the time is an unimaginative, repetitive look at 20th century European and USA history ...more
You can also find my review on my blog thatgirlbookworm

Just a fun fact about me: I don't read book blurbs. Whether I've been anticipating the book for a long time, or it's a book I've never heard of, I don't read blurbs. I find they give away too many little spoilers that I would much rather find out. Therefore I am a judge a book by it's cover type of person.
That being said, I chose to read this entirely because I loved Maureen Johnson's story in Let It Snow. That was my entire reason and there
Oct 11, 2011 Brooke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like murder mysteries, people who enjoyed Anna Dressed In Blood, fans of Maureen Johnson
WOW! That last page!

This better be part of a series, or I will have a mini fit.

The Name of the Star was one heck of a book - creepy, funny, adventure-and-action filled, I really enjoyed it! I read it slowly over a few days, however I'm glad I did as I was able to take it all in and marvel in its uniqueness.

There's just something about Jack the Ripper that sends shivers down your spine. I knew, reading this, that I was going to look into the original Ripper murders, and my goodness, some of thos
Dec 14, 2015 Michael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Michael by: Reading Habit
I was excited to start this book, I won a copy and I was always interested to see how Maureen Johnston writes. This book was obvious the best choice for me to dive into this authors writing styles. The synopsis looked great; I’m interested in a good mystery, and a Jack the Ripper one...and it could have been a great book if they removed everything paranormal about it. I was really enjoying the mystery and the story of this Jack the Ripper copy cat.

The story opens with Rory Deveaux; just ordinary
Nov 12, 2015 Justine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This was one of those books that made me remember why I like to read YA fiction so much. The main character was funny and she didn't take herself too seriously, and acted in a way that seemed completely realistic for a young adult in that situation. The story moved along nicely and built up a good deal of suspense along the way, and the cast of supporting characters were nicely developed and had legitimate voices of their own. Overall, it was just very satisfying, and made me want to read the ne ...more
Jun 23, 2016 Xueting rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is so much fun and incredibly thrilling! I'm glad Maureen Johnson mixed in lots of wry humour, it's true to her own personality and makes her protagonist Rory more unique. For someone from neither England nor the United States, I was intrigued by the depth of historical research Johnson did and I never seriously fell out of the loop with the references because she explains them well without overdoing it patronisingly, yay! There were quite a few big twists too, more than I expected fro ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

Rory’s parents have taken an opportunity to leave the swamps of Louisiana for life in England, so Rory will be attending boarding school. Lucky for her, this is an upper level school that students only attend for two years. Although her Southern accent will make her stand out and there will be a bit of culture shock, at least the students will only have known each other for a max of one year prior to her arrival. Rory finds he
It isn't a bad book. Not at all. Just nothing particularly amazing.
Plot: Could'v been worse but too slow and not suspenseful or scary enough to merit a 4 or 5.
Characters: Again, not terrible. I didn't feel anything towards them. I didn't care what happened to them one way or another. (view spoiler)
Writing: I want to give the writing a higher rating simply because so many people are obsessed with her books. But...It
Jul 20, 2014 rachel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2011, sci-fi-fantasy
Oh dear. Disappointment! One of my least favorite feelings. When Hannah first told me about this book, I had stars in my eyes: Maureen Johnson, who charmed me with The Bermudez Triangle and makes me giggle on Twitter sometimes, writing a teen book about Jack the Ripper? It seemed sort of like the pairing of brownies and soda -- gee, I don't know how this will work! But each of those things on their own? Yummy decay.

The cover of this book, though -- I felt such apprehension. Why is it glittery? W
Jul 15, 2011 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came from the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans with literally dozens of advance reader copies, and had the nice problem of trying to figure out which one to read first. I had a chance to meet Maureen Johnson while I was there, and she was one of the friendliest authors I had the privilege of talking to. So, I started following her Twitter feed, and if you don’t follow her, you really should. She’s manic and adorable, and I couldn't help but decide to read Name of the Star first. I’m g ...more
Feb 25, 2016 Jana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es war so gut! Und der Schreibstil hat mir richtig gut gefallen. Es war so lustig zwischendurch, dass ich während des Lesens öfters schmunzeln musste.
Nov 03, 2015 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid urban fantasy YA novel about an American girl living at an English boarding school and coming into contact with the paranormal and the people who deal with it.

Rory from Louisiana has come to England because her family wants a change. On the same day that she arrives a murder occurs that duplicates many of the details of the first Jack the Ripper killing. Rory settles in well at her new school, but there is a second murder which is even closer to the details of the second Jack the Ripper
Jan 12, 2016 Nadine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
“It was clearly one of those mornings when I was particularly American.”

Unfortunately, The Name of the Star was incredibly disappointing. I went into this book with the expectation that this would be a great book. The premise alone is what captured my full attention: a modern retelling of Jack the Ripper. The reason I'm so disappointed with The Name of the Star is because of the direction the book took.

Maureen Johnson, from my experience with this book, is a fantastic writer. The main character
May 09, 2015 mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Από τη στιγμή που τελείωσα το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο ένα πράγμα αναρωτιέμαι συνεχώς: γιατί όλοι το έκριναν τόσο άσχημα;Πολλές φορές και εγώ κρίνω αρκετά βιβλία πιο αυστηρά απ’ ότι αξίζουν, αλλά πραγματικά αισθάνομαι πως «το όνομα του άστρου» είναι ένα από τα βιβλία που αδικήθηκαν ιδιαίτερα, καθώς πρόκειται για ένα εξαιρετικό μυθιστόρημα φαντασίας.
Η δεκαεφτάχρονη Ρόρι, ακολουθώντας τους γονείς της, θα μετακομίσει από την Αμερική στο Λονδίνο και συγκεκριμένα σε ένα οικοτροφείο.Η ζωή της όμως θα ανατρ
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Is this series worth to read? 2 12 Feb 01, 2016 08:20AM  
Name of the Star, setting 1 4 Dec 26, 2015 08:16PM  
Name of the Star, setting 1 8 Dec 26, 2015 08:16PM  
The Shades of London Series 7 26 Sep 23, 2015 02:42PM  
  • Texas Gothic (Goodnight Family #1)
  • Team Human
  • The Book of Blood and Shadow
  • The Poisoned House
  • Red Glove (Curse Workers, #2)
  • Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer, #2)
  • Death Watch (The Undertaken, #1)
  • Shine
  • The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency, #3)
  • Long Lankin (Long Lankin, #1)
  • The Shattering
  • Imaginary Girls
  • Paper Valentine
  • Tighter
  • Ripper
  • Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick (Perry & Gobi, #1)
  • Darker Still (Magic Most Foul, #1)
  • Burn Bright (Night Creatures, #1)
Maureen knew from an early age she wanted to be a writer. She went to high school at an all-girls' Catholic school and graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in writing. She now lives and writes in New York City.

Many of the adventures Maureen's characters face in her books are based on real-life stories. Maureen has traveled all over Europe, and is a Secret Sister to vlog brothers Han
More about Maureen Johnson...

Other Books in the Series

Shades of London (4 books)
  • The Madness Underneath (Shades of London, #2)
  • The Shadow Cabinet (Shades of London, #3)
  • Untitled (Shades of London, #4)

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“Fear can't hurt you," she said. "When it washes over you, give it no power. It's a snake with no venom. Remember that. That knowledge can save you.” 246 likes
“And if we get caught, I will claim I made you go. At gunpoint. I am American. People will assume I'm armed.” 137 likes
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