Was going to a British boarding school ever one of your dreams? If like me, your answer is yes, then you’re really going to enjoy the setting of this book. Not only is this boarding school co-ed, but it’s also in London, and the history of the building itself is super interesting. You get a lot of insight into how the school system works in England. It’s really rigorous! Still, I would’ve loved to have gone to school there! Minus the murdering suspect, of course.
The crime spree is pretty gruesome, and the spectacle created by the media and the public was really believable. However, I did not find myself on the edge of my seat until things started happening to our protagonist. Once that happened, I was just as scared as her! One thing I loved was how funny Rory was at times, and also the smart, funny banter between her and her roommate and The Boy. There are some really cute flirty moments. I loved how Maureen described kissing in this excerpt:
“Kissing is something that makes up for a lot of the other crap you have to put up with in school, and as a teenager in general. It can be confusing and weird and awkward, but sometimes it just makes you melt and forget everything that is going on. You could be in a burning building or a bus about to fall off a cliff. It doesn’t matter, because you are just a puddle.” – pg. 282
So you read that part about the secret ghost police in the synopsis, right? I must confess after they’re introduced, I kept singing “Who you gonna call? GhostBusters!” in my head. Not that anything in the book directly relates to GhostBusters…well, except maybe the ghostbusting part. Don’t get me wrong! I dug it!! I liked the history and the way they become ghost police, it was just inevitable for me to not relate the two. This group takes care of one another under some dire circumstances sometimes. Here’s another quote from the book where I loved how Maureen described bravery:
“It’s not that I’m extremely brave—I think I just forgot myself for a minute. Maybe that’s what bravery is. You forget you’re in trouble when you see someone else in danger. Or maybe there is a limit to how afraid you can get, and I’d hit it.” – pg. 307
Although I liked this book from the start, I wasn’t completely sucked in until after halfway through, I would say. The ending was suspenseful and it left off on a very intriguing discovery!! I ended up really liking these characters and therefore I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in this series.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Series: Shades of London #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Pub Date: September 29th 2011
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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.