Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Not A Lucky Star

Published: September 29th, 2011
The Name of the Star
By: Maureen Johnson
Putnam Juvenile
ISBN-13: 9780399256608

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.


   Aurora 'Rory' Deveaux is headed into uncertainty, preparing to spend her Senior year of High School at a London boarding school while her parents are on sabbatical in Bristol.  Rory is from Louisiana and feels like a fish out of water at times, but for the most part settles in quite nicely.  She gets along well with her roommate Jazza and has a potential romance brewing with Jerome, a boy who is sending clear signals of interest.  But there is something happening outside the school that is beginning to seep in - the murders of Jack the Ripper from the 1800s are being recreated in modern day London.  Jerome becomes slightly obsessed and one night after sneaking out, on her way back in Rory sees a man no one else notices, even when he stands right in front of them.  The next morning another body is found on the school campus and Rory goes to the police as a witness.  From there things go really strange.  Rory becomes involved with a unit of undercover, paranormally bent, slightly too young cops who reveal that young people who have had near death experiences can sometimes develop the ability to see spirits.  Turns out Rory is one of these people.   Guess she should have taken almost choking in the dining hall more seriously, huh?  The Ripper becomes more of an encumbrance as he makes it crystal clear that he wants Rory's attention and will stop at nothing to get it.  Will she and her friends make it out alive?  So this book kind of threw me off at first, as I didn't know what to really expect of Maureen Johnson.  But then I began to get really into the story.  Rory is a truly engaging and likeable character and Jazza is truly sweet, like the immortal Jane Bennet of Pride and Prejudice, excepting her immensely obvious dislike of her former roommate and headgirl, Charlotte (who is a total prig).  The mystery is intriguing and there is just enough realism in with the paranormal to keep it completely balanced.  The cliffhanger is killing me and I desperately want the next book!  I recommend this for readers who enjoy a blend of genres, such as paranormal, historical, adventure, romance and contemporary fiction.  Plus the boarding school element is pretty damn awesome! :)

VERDICT: 4.5/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores and online.*


  1. Good Review. Just got this book and knew little about it; now I won't be so worried, LoL.

  2. I'm glad I eased your mind! When I got it I didn't know much about it either. I really only bought it because the bookstore didn't have 'Beautiful Chaos' yet. While I will eventually buy BC, I'm glad I gave this one a chance. It was worth it! :)


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