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The Name of the Star (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Rory Deveaux has an exciting year ahead of her: her parents accepted a temporary position teaching law at the University of Bristol in England! Rory will be attending Wexford, a boarding school, in the heart of London. It will be a bit of a culture shock for this Louisiana native, however there isn’t much which will dampen her enthusiasm for this new, if temporary life.

“In our lifetime those who kill the news world hands them stardom and these are the ways on which I was raised.” (pg. 139)

Then August 31st comes around and a body is found, one which parallel’s the first Ripper strike in 1888. Instantly, London (and the media) is transfixed by the news of a new Ripper copycat…..there isn’t any physical evidence, video or leads. Until one lone witness steps forward, Rory.

“Fear can’t hurt you….It’s a snake with no venom.” (pg. 260)

The Name of the Star was nominated for an Edgar award this year, and I can see why. This is a fantastic read. I loved every second of it!

This Ripper novel never allows itself to get mired down in all the theories, facts and innuendo surrounding the historical case. The author has done a great job in adding paranormal elements into this story and expanding it beyond just a standard copy cat novel (I am trying to not give away all the wonderful twists and turns Maureen takes us on, while trying to tell you Why I Loved This Mystery!).

The characters are smart and witty, without teen angst weighing it down. The mystery and its conclusion are fantastic - you think you know exactly where it is going, then it makes a left hand turn and you are left wondering and burning the midnight oil in order to finish the book!

I would recommend this to girls 14+ (or open minded boys since there are a number of great male characters) as it is told exclusively from Rory’s point of view. 14 AR points.

I cannot wait for the next installment in the ‘Shades of London’ series, The Madness Underneath, which is being published on Feb. 26, 2013!

— Amber

I’ve had the shop following Maureen Johnson’s twitter feed for a while, since she’s informative, funny and on top of a lot of things. I’ve had her series on my To Be Read pile for a while, but I hadn’t actuall y read them because I was afraid I wouldn’t enjoy them as much as her twitter feed and it would ruin some of the fun. Does that make any sense?

Anyway, I finally got around to reading The Name of the Star and The Madness Underneath, the first two in her trilogy. “Reading” may not be the right word. “Devouring” may come closer.

Aurora “Rory” Deveaux arrives in London from a small town in Louisiana. She’s going to be taking her senior year of high school at Wexford, a prestigious boarding school, while her lawyer parents take a sabbatical in Bristol. She’s absolutely a fish out of water, and the British academic standards leave her reeling, but she gamely jumps in and does her best.

Then a series of killings in the area seem to be re-enacting the Ripper murders, and Rory sees the man who may be responsible. But as it turns out, she’s the only one who can see him.  And he knows it.

These are YA novels, true, but they’re smart and complex and thought provoking. Maureen Johnson has created some wonderful people, with all kinds of quirks and flaws and fabulous challenges. One of the best things about her writing is that it’s never condescending to teenagers, and it’s vibrant enough for older, jaded readers like me. You can take messages about life and how people change and grow or you can just enjoy the story.

We didn’t have the third one, The Shadow Cabinet, but we have it on order and I’ll snag one as soon as it comes in today, and honestly, I can’t wait. The second one leaves off at a huge cliffhanger, so I’m jittery while I’m waiting for it. Such a good series! If you haven’t read them and you don’t mind a good ghost story, you should! And follow Maureen Johnson on Twitter if you don’t already. She’s a hoot!

— Fran

November 2011 Indie Next List

“Louisiana teen Rory Deveaux arrives in London to attend Wexford Academy just as a series of Jack the Ripper copycat murders grips the city. Rory may hold the key to finding the murderer. A ghost story with a twist, this is sophisticated and sassy, with more than enough suspense to keep you madly turning pages. I can't wait for the next book!”
— Joanne R. Fritz, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA


New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller

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.

About the Author

Maureen Johnson is the author of many young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Let It Snow. She lives in New York City.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780142422052
ISBN-10: 0142422053
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2012
Pages: 372
Language: English
Series: Shades of London