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The Name of the Star

First Line: The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins.

About: Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed 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...unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables. (goodreads)

Author: Maureen Johnson

Pages: 372

Publisher: Speak

Review: I have been in such a happy reading mood these past couple months. This book had been sitting on my TBR list on goodreads, collecting virtual dust, forever. Usually when I mark a book as TBR, it's more like 'haha, we'll see if I even remember your title in a week," rather than, "I am putting you on hold at the library now to read!" But recently I have begun to clean out my TBR and have decided to read the strange books I put on there years ago. Which is how I came to read The Name of the Star.

When I marked it as TBR, I swear I thought it was Steampunk! (I also thought that Rory was a boy... yeah... awkward) I have no clue how I got that from the synopsis, but I did. But, seriously, the cover screams Steampunk, does it not? It wasn't until I started reading it that I discovered my wrongness. 

It wasn't a huge disappointment, though. Once I got over it, I found out just how much of a sparkling gem this book was.

First up, Rory. She was hilarious! I absolutely loved her voice. She was just such a southerner American stuck in London, and that's what made it so funny. She did annoy me at times, but all in all, she was great.

I also loved Stephen and Boo. They were all super great. (especially Stephen. He was my favorite :)

The whole story was very original, in my opinion (but what do I know, I'm just a teenaged homeschool student, there could be a million books like this that I don't know about). And I know how hard it is to be original in the YA genre.

I loved the murder mystery mixed with paranormal. It felt very interesting and different (and was full of gore). Even I was stumped as to who the Ripper could be. (And I can predict everything!)

There was a couple parts where the story lagged, or didn't make much sense, but those were all forgiven with that explosive ending! That just made the whole book for me.

Plus I learned a lot of English stuff while reading this, which, you know, is always a great bonus. :)

Romance: There was some romance, but it all felt very unnecessary. With dumb old making out sessions in the library, and blah. I didn't even care for the guy she was making out with. What's the point!?

Violence: So, so much. I've come to realize that ever book I read has a ton of violence, okay. 

Other Fun Stuff:

“And if we get caught, I will claim I made you go. At gunpoint. I am American. People will assume I'm armed.” 

― Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

“I decided to deflect her attitude by giving a long, Southern answer. I come from people who know how to draw things out. Annoy a Southerner, and we will drain away the moments of your life with our slow, detailed replies until you are nothing but a husk of your former self and that much closer to death.” 

 Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

“Keep calm and carry on. 

Also, stay in and hide because the Ripper is coming.” 
― Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

“Welsh is an actual, currently used language and our next-door neighbors Angela and Gaenor spoke it. It sounds like Wizard.” 

― Maureen Johnson, The Name of the Star

Recommended Age: 14+

There were times while I was reading this, where I was so sure it would be a three. But, nope, that ending grew another apple for it, and I'm happy to say, it's a four :)

I'm also going to admit that a couple days after I started reading this book, I had a dream that I went to a boarding school in England. I'm dead serious! It was awesome. I want to go to England now... 

1 comment

  1. This sounds AWESOME. I kind of thought it looked steampunk from that cover too, and Rory is an awesome name, but I can definitely see how you'd think she was a guy. ;) I just read a book where one of the side-dish characters was named "Reagan" and I honestly though it was a boy. Nope. Girl. My bad. ;) Murder mysteries are kind of cool...I'm going to see if my library has this one. OH and congrats on cleaning out your TBR. I need to do that. *glares at bookshelf full of unread books*