Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Published: 2011 by Penguin Group
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.
(From Prologue) “The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins.”
Okay. Maureen Johnson is a genius. I am now completely sucked into this series and her Scarlett series. Although, how dare she interrupt Scarlett’s series to start a new one? Except this one is awesome too.
So. Someone is killing people the same way Jack Ripper did and it’s freaking people out (with good reason). Unfortunately, right as this starts, Rory D. moves to her new school in London. This small-town girl is already having to deal with difficult schoolwork, new English customs, and the stress of moving, and suddenly she is also the only person who saw a mysterious man the night of one of the killings. What is going on? Why can only she see them? Hmmmmm?
So I wouldn’t say this book had me freaked out, but it was scary. The Ripper-esque killings were disturbing and the entire atmosphere of the book felt very overcast and foreboding. Basically it was completely different than anything I’ve read by Maureen Johnson so far. And it was great.
I loved Rory’s stories about her Louisiana relatives and that she didn’t really fit in but she made herself make friends. Her roommate, Jazza, and her friend Jerome were great too. I also loved Boo, Stephen, and Callum. Every character Maureen Johnson writes is so fleshed out and captivating, it would be really difficult to hate her books.
I love this book and can’t wait to see where she goes with this series (but don’t forget Scarlett!).
Content Warnings: Some language and kissing, and the violence is a bit disturbing.