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The Name of the Star

(Shades of London #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  48,340 ratings  ·  5,243 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
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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 begin…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)
Saule Juskelyte The copycat was killing as a way to taunt the shades. By committing his crimes on live camera, he was hinting to Rory and her friends that he knew the…moreThe copycat was killing as a way to taunt the shades. By committing his crimes on live camera, he was hinting to Rory and her friends that he knew they could see them. As a former shade, Newman wanted revenge.(less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Sasha Alsberg
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious, fun and mysterious read that I recommend everyone read!
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
Mar 06, 2011 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 Victorio
Mar 04, 2011 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
Audio book narrated by Nicola Barber(9h 50 min)

Goodreads has a great synopsis so I will not rehash the details here. Quite simply, "The Name of the Star" is a contemporary YA mystery with a mixture of romance and the supernatural set in London with a Jack the Ripper copycat. But like other reviewers, I felt there were so many chapters that served as "fillers" Pages of Rory's crazy family from Louisiana and endless details on the life of a British boarding school. A decent book, but it left me f
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 :)
Aug 17, 2011 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 11, 2012 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
Sep 07, 2011 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
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
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
Jun 28, 2011 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
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, paranormal, ya
February 2020 reread
Yep! Just as brilliant as I remembered!
January 2018
A great YA paranormal urban fantasy story and the good news is this is a series. This is my first read of this author and I was impressed with the gentle humour and genuine insight into the mind of late teens in general and Rory, the main character's, personality. The supporting characters are likeable too and the fact that the focus of this book was not teenaged angst and romance was a big plus. Call-me-Claudia, the hockey-
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

2020 reread - I’m not going to change my original rating but it didn’t quite hit 5 star status for me in reread. I think mostly because in a shocking twist I actually remembered most of this story so I knew things this time around that I didn’t on the first read which made it less compelling but I still really enjoyed it and definitely put this as one of my top trilogies.

After thinking about this for a couple of days I'm changing my rating to 5 stars. Series like this is why I read YA and it de
Brigid ✩
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.

Mar 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016, mystery
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!
Another example of really enjoyable YA literature. It reminded me of Paul Cornell’s London Falling (although it is not nearly so dark) what with the Jack the Ripper references and ghostly presences. But the main character, Rory Deveraux, made me think of Karen Marie Moning’s MacKayla Lane (the Fever series)—both are Southern girls with professional parents who go to school in the U.K. Both girls are capable of seeing things that ordinary people can’t—MacKayla sees the Fae, Rory sees dead people. ...more
Sep 30, 2011 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
May 20, 2011 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
Aug 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
I skimmed through the last 100 pages really fast so I don’t even know how this ends but I don’t care.
I wasn’t expecting much but at least the first half was entertaining. Then ghosts are introduced and everything goes downhill. The school setting was not important anymore and I think that’s what disappointed me.
I don’t understand the relationships in this book. I don’t know what it is but they feel boring and flat, as if every character is always talking through a glass panel. All of them just k
Cora Tea Party Princess
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favourite books yet I can't seem to review it. Why is it always harder to put your thoughts into words when it's something you love?
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Feb 16, 2012 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
jv poore
The first book in The Shades of London series, The Name of the Star sucked me right in and held tightly. I have never been so thrilled to have the next book-in-the-series- already on hand. One book with these dynamic, compelling and wickedly funny characters was simply not enough.

Because Ms. Johnson could write an entertaining cereal box, I'll share a few of my favorite quotes from this book rather than give a detailed review in an effort to lure you in.

“Something about her suggested that her
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
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
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
"Fear can't hurt you. When it washes over you, give it no power. It's a snake with no venom."

jack the ripper photo: Jack the Ripper ripper.jpg

Setting:Whitechapel, London, England; 2011

Coverly Love?:Yes! It has a certain mysterious quality to it that made me want to read it. The fog and the faint outline of a London street is a nice touch to the ghostly feel of the novel. However, I'm still trying to figure out who the two people on the cover are supposed to be. (view spoiler)
Dec 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy, ya, 2011
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
May 25, 2014 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
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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

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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