Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Name of the Star Review

Title: The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)
Author: Maureen Johnson
Expected date of publication:  September 29, 2011

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.


DISCLAIMER: I cannot even begin to tell you what great lengths Joy, Ouachita Valley YA librarian, and I went through to get a copy of this book at the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans in June.  We may have crashed a party at a really fancy restaurant and pretended to be book reviewers walked to a really nice restaurant in the French Quarter to get it...or maybe we didn't.  I mean, I had a Twitter invitation from MAUREEN JOHNSON herself telling me to come so you can judge us how you like.  =D

When I first read about this book on Maureen Johnson's blog, I thought that this was a book that would be all historical fiction and a book that I wouldn't really pick up.  It's not that at all!!!  The Name of the Star takes place in present day Louisiana and London and follows the story of Rory Deveaux, who has just moved to London, England, in the Whitechapel District to attend a boarding school for her last year of high school.   When Rory arrives in London, the media is going insane with the story of how a body was found brutally murdered in a manner that was associated with Jack the Ripper.

Now, for those of you who don't know (like me until I Googled it), Jack the Ripper is the fictional name of a murderer who went on a rampage in 1888 in London and committed 5 brutal murders.  Brutal like this person mutilated the bodies...it was gross.  Well, the identity of Jack the Ripper was NEVER discovered and so people all over the world have dedicated their lives to trying to find the identity of this murderer and clues about who he, or she, may be.

So back to the book...while Rory is in London, it seems as if a murderer is following in the footsteps of Jack the Ripper murdering people on the same day and time as the murders that occurred in 1888, except they're happening in all different locations so London is on high alert.  


Rory just wants to have a great last year of school with her new cello-playing, tea-drinking roommate Jazza and get to know Jerome a little bit better but after she seems someone that no one else seems to have seen, her life gets wildly out of control as Rory becomes the only witness to the killer.  And the killer wants her.

It's a wonderfully fast paced book and if you're from Louisiana, you'll definitely appreciate the 'Louisiana flavor' in this book.  I promise it won't disappoint and since it isn't even out yet, click here and put yourself on hold for it!!!  


*reviewed by Stephanie, YA Coordinator @ the Main Branch





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