Bry's Reviews > The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
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Aug 09, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: mystery, 2011, audiobook, young-adult, urban-fantasy, series

I was going to start out this review with something like 'Johnson's debut novel shows her to have the poitential to be a fantastic writer with her creative storyline and accurate research'....only I just realized that this book is not Johnson's debut novel and is actually like her 9th or 10th. Mmmm. That definitly changes things. I thought she had potential but the book was still full of 'first-time' writer mistakes. Now that I know she is not a first-time writer and this is just her style I am pretty disappointed.

This book was just one giant cliche, once you got past the original idea, that channeled every Harry Potter boarding school-esche plot device.

- A "Mean" Girl" nemisis at school (who wasn't even a mean girl by being a bitch, but just my being a motivated and ambitious student. I mean really, why was she Rory's school nemisis. She was snobby to be sure, but just because a girl has goals and ambitions and is dead set on achiving them doens't make her completely awful.)
- The parents are not present
- The roomie is a built in new best friend
- Prefect (hello HP) boyfriend that likes her right away

Despite all this I really was interested in the story because of the great reseach the author obviously did into the Jack the Ripper case and her ability to relay those detials without resorting to boring info dumps. These real facts made the mystery of the story all the more fascinating. Sadly fascinating was all it ever was because there was no real suspense or high tension. Even at the end, the climax was just OK.

That was the killer for me. I want to be completely absorbed into a book, its world, its characters. With this book I was but mildly interested. The is the beginning of a series, but I don't see myself reading any more of them.

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Reading Progress

August 9, 2011 – Shelved
September 28, 2011 – Started Reading
September 28, 2011 – Shelved as: audiobook
September 28, 2011 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 28, 2011 – Shelved as: mystery
September 28, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011
September 29, 2011 –
38.0% "Actually liking this so far. It's not awesome but so far it isn't the usual ya crap."
September 29, 2011 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy
October 1, 2011 –
80.0% "The climax is about to begin and I am hoping it picks up the pace and tension a bit. This whole book is a bit languid. Never boring just laid back. Maybe its a nod to the MC's coming from Louisiana."
October 4, 2011 –
100.0% "Finished yesterday. It was good. Not great but good. Review to come."
October 4, 2011 – Finished Reading
November 4, 2011 – Shelved as: series

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