The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Rating: 4 out of 5
Summary (Off the back of Book)
Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux flies to London for the start of a new life at boarding school. But her arrival is overshadowed by a sudden outbreak of brutal murders, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific work of Jack the Ripper.
'Rippermania' grabs hold of London, and the police are stumped with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory has seen their prime suspect on the school grounds. But her friend Jazza didn't see anyone.
So why could only Rory see him? And why is he planning to do next?
I have serious respect for this woman after reading 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Which, if you haven't read yet, get off your computer and down to your local library immediately. Even so, I was a little worried when I read that this was going to be a book about a school girl, however, Johnson has managed to escape the dreaded winey school girl stereo-type that a lot of YA books have and created a world that, in parts, can be truly terrifying. There's this one part with a kidney that made my skin crawl, but you'll discover that little gruesome gem on your own.
She captures London in a way that makes the reader want to set foot on its busy streets and try their hand at ghost hunting. There is no denying the supernatural in this novel, with enough ghosts in it to satisfy even the greediest of readers.
The quintessential YA love story is slightly less prominent in this one, with the main focus of the book not being who Rory falls in love with but how and if she can help save the people of London from a mad ghost. It was actually quite refreshing not to read a character that falls madly in love with the first guy she sees after knowing him a grand total of two seconds.
Overall The Name of the Star is well worth a read if you want a little spook in your life. I won't lie to you though, there were moments I wish I didn't have such a vivid imagination and had the common sense not to read this before I went to bed.
And to finish off this review I wanted to share with you one of my favourite quotes from this book...
"Welsh is an actual, currently used language and out next-door neighbours Angela and Gaenoe spoke it. It sounds like Wizard."
The Official book trailer from PenguinYoungReaders: