Su's Reviews > The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
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Oct 12, 11

bookshelves: excellent-writing
Read on October 11, 2011

A new murderer is on the loose in East London, recreating the violent killings of the 19th century serial killer, Jack the Ripper. Even with the police forewarned about when and approximately where the copycat killer will strike next, he manages to continue his murder spree right under their noses--seemingly vanishing into thin air.

All this takes place just as Rory--a 16-year-old from Louisiana--moves into the prestigious Wexford Academy for her first year studying abroad in England--and the school happens to be smack dab in the middle of the Ripper's hunting grounds. One part coming-of-age story, one part cultural exploration/adventure (complete with fish-out-of-water comedy), and one part thrilling suspense/mystery, THE NAME OF THE STAR is one of the most engaging, engrossing YA novels I've read in a LONG time. There are elements of romance, but Rory's experiences adjusting to her new home in a new country takes center stage, and I love that both male AND female characters are featured, plentiful and fleshed out. You really get a sense of Rory's world here, and her experiences at this exciting academy in London are so much fun to vicariously live through.

Also (as expected of a Maureen Johnson book :D), Rory's first-person voice and narrative is HILARIOUS. She's incredibly likable and believable, and even if she didn't have a feast of AWESOME secondary characters to interact with, she'd be fun to follow around for the full 400 pages of this book and beyond. And thankfully, it seems there IS a beyond (no pun intended... err, but I can't say anymore or I'll spoil a few things), as this is apparently the first book in a series. I absolutely can't wait for the next one, especially as there is plenty more to learn about several of the characters that gain prominence in the latter half of the book.

I really can't recommend this book enough. Whether you like the romantic London academy setting, the mystery/suspense element, Jack the Ripper, the sweet teen romance, the cool/strong girls, the cool/strong boys or the paranormal "underworld" (it's not werewolves or vampires, I promise) Rory discovers, you'll enjoy this book immensely. Geez, this book really has it all!
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Reading Progress

10/11/2011 page 265
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