Friday, September 16, 2011

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Harper Collins (UK) (, Putnam (US))
Expected Publication: September 29th, 2011
Source: Received from UK publisher
Pages: 372
Goodreads Summary:
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.

My Rating: 4.5 / 5

What I thought about it:
The Name of the Star is a breath-taking story with an intriguing main character and a style of writing that will transfer you into another world - or rather into another city. Sadly I've never been to London, but Maureen Johnson's descriptions of the places she's taking us to are very vivid and easy to imagine. After reading this novel I felt like I've actually been in London.

Our main character Aurora, who demands to be called Rory, has a very refreshing voice. The story is told from her point of view by a first-person narrator and she was so much fun to read about. To me, she is not one of the stereotypical YA protagonists. She comes from a small town whose inhabitants seem to be a little bit weird, but I got the feeling that she's proud of that. Her sense of humour is great and her reactions to the things she experiences are completely understandable.

The secondary characters were just as interesting as Rory. On the one hand, there are Jerome and Jazza, the friends she meets at boarding school and who are representing the people who don't know anything about the paranormal activity around them. And on the other hand, there are Stephen, Callum and Boo whose interactions I loved to read about and whom I can't wait to see more of in the future.

While I have not read many ghost stories yet, I could already see that this is different than most of them. Seeing ghosts is a lot more creepy in The Name of the Star than in any of the other novels and this is what I loved so much about it. Of course this was enhanced by the mystery of Jack the Ripper and the fear and the gruesome merriment of London's inhabitants.

The ending of this was very action-packed and had a very interesting twist when I didn't expect it. I'm very much looking forward to see what will happen to Rory, and all the other characters, now. I'm especially hoping for a little bit more romance in the future. All in all, The Name of the Star is a very unique and beautiful story that you should definitely read. It was creepy and really well written, so give this series a chance.

Have you already read The Name of the Star? What did you think about it?
Are you going to read this?



  1. This seems good, London and ghosts. And I love the cover! :)

  2. This one sounds so good. I'll definitely have to pick up a copy when it comes out. Great review!

  3. I really, really want to read this! I'm hoping our library will get a copy as soon as it's released. :) Great review, Carina! I'm so excited to start this. :)

  4. I haven't read many positive reviews about this one, so I am glad that you liked it! I can't wait till this is out next week! I love Maureen Johnson and this one is so different then her previous books.


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