Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Review: The Name of the Star; by Maureen Johnson

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree 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--the only one who can see him. And now Rory has 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.

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 manner as the Ripper's in 1888. More murders happen in the neighborhood of Rory's school, and one day she crosses paths with the killer. The strange thing is, she seems to be the only person able to see him. Rory soon discovers that she possesses an ability to see ghosts and is eager to assist the ghost police of London in its search for the serial killer.

I finally finished it! I did. I did I tell ya! It was good. Really good. Okay, so maybe a bit slow in some parts, but that was mostly me. Not the story. My concentration span on books these days has been terrible and I don't know why...

I loved the sense of humour in this story. Rory was a wonderful character, and the way she described the differences between Southern American culture and British culture (where I live) was funny... 

I never knew books with Jack the Ripper could be so amusing. But this one is. There were a lot of times that I was laughing out loud hysterically. The writer managed to balance the creepiness and entertainment just right. 

The writing style was easy to get into and I found myself so involved that I felt I was actually there. I've never really been around East London that much...because, well, I have no reason to. But this story certainly made me feel like, as I said, I was there, and I could almost picture the places where she went. 

All the characters were very interesting and each and every one had a very distinct personality, with each of their own secrets. Rory, Jazza, Jerome, Alistair, I love. Even Boo, Stephen, Callum, where at first I had a sense of distrust and an unsettling feeling about them, all had something special and unique to add to the story. 

This is a brilliant book; witty, romantic, thrilling, scary in parts, and funny (Witty is the same thing, right?) So go read it if you haven't already.

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