Name of the Star
By Maureen Johnson
Published by Penguin Group, 2011
384 pages (hardcover)
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 in the autumn of 1888.
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 now believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was 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.(from barnesandnoble.com)
During Winter Break I read Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson. I LOVED Maureen Johnson’s writing so I was excited to pick up her latest book Name of the Star. I usually don’t like creepy books with blood and gore, but I wanted to read something else by this author so I got up my courage and opened this book. The premise of the novel (copycat Jack the Ripper murders) is really intriguing PLUS the main character is at a boarding school in another country where her southern accent and stories make for some interesting interactions…. how fun!
Then Maureen Johnson moves from creepy reality to creepy fantasy where a few people with special powers have some extraordinary encounters with ghosts. The best part is that it doesn’t seem cheesy and fake at all. In fact, ghosts and a city gripped by murders seems perfectly normal. I think I was holding my breath the last few chapters because it was so intense!
The only bad part of Name of the Star is that it is part of a series (which I didn’t realize until I was almost done with it) and obviously the next book won’t be out for a while. Arg!