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Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson

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.

High School isn't supposed to be so...frightening. Rory is spending her senior year in a new school in a new country. Adjusting isn't so bad, really, even if there is a serial killer on the loose in London.

It's the other stuff. The nearly dying the first evening at dinner. Then seeing people that no one else does. Nothing quite prepares you for being the only witness to a murder.

This is NOT your typical Maureen Johnson (think, Suite Scarlett), but remember, authors, much like books, cannot be judged by covers--or previous works. It's not humorous, but it, despite revolving around serial murders, isn't dark, either. The serial killer and murders are almost secondary, beyond all the usual boarding school drama filled with romance, roommates, and just stuff. Oh, and Jack the Ripper-like murders. But the story is definitely paranormal and mysterious. And she threw a plot twist in there, too.

There's enough of the known history of Jack the Ripper to make the story interesting to those who like that sort of thing. The fact that it's Maureen Johnson who wrote it makes it approachable to those who just want a good story to read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: This book is part of the library collection for the school library I work in. I was not solicited to write a review, nor am I receiving any compensation. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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