Review: The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (September 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399256601
Rating: ♥♥♥

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.
REVIEW

The Name of the Star is a novel that I have been eagerly anticipating. Since I have a penchant for all things Gothic, twisted and romantic I figured that this new book by the most awesome Maureen Johnson would suit my tastes perfectly. Yet, despite it's premise, location and gusty protagonist I could not seem to fully engage with The Name of the Star. It was as if the final piece of the puzzle was missing and no matter how hard I tried, could not seem to find it.


The Name of the Star begins interesting enough with Rory Deveaux deciding to leave her home in Louisiana and move to England for her final year of high school to join her parents whom are on sabbatical in England. Both locations are well detailed giving us a great footing in understanding on whom Rory is, where she came from and to the new adventure that she is now embarking on. As Rory begins to adjust to her new life a signifigant incident changes Rory forever (unbeknownst to her) until she is able to witness something that her roommate cannot. What ensues next involves a secret society, a new romance and a crazed mad man that wants to make sure that Rory does "see" him anymore. *shudders*


With a premise like that how can one not be drawn in. This story just screams "CHILLER" and believe me there were a few moments that I was seriously clenching my book. Any time that I wicked bad guy hit the pages I could feel my blood run cold, his character was wicked evil and well written, but the story that he inhabited could not seem to keep it from hitting moments of boredom. I found that it took a bit of time for the story to pick up speed and while I enjoyed getting all the details on Rory and her new school, friends and enemies...I believed that it seemed a bit excessive and that it slowed the story down. I kept up with it because I have read Maureen's other novels and I know she is amazing so I was willing to stick with it. Towards the end the story did pick up considerable speed but by that point I was a bit put off.

The Name of the Star is good read with solid moments of terror, laughter and lush settings to set you on edge and make you question those items that move and are unexplained, but it is a bit slow and could have used a bit of tightening up to make this novel really shine.

1 comment on "Review: The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson"

Kristina wrote: August 25, 2011 at 8:44 PM

I'm currently reading this book right now. I'm enjoying it, but yes I do see what you are meaning it is a little slow in the middle. The whole Jack the Ripper stuff really creeps me out so we will see how well I can handle it.


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I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is always best to verify any event prior to attendance.


APRIL

STACEY LEE
Teen Writers Group
at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
Sunday, April 24 @2pm

RENEE AHDIEH with SABAA TAHIR
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Thursday, April 28 @ 7pm

MAY

SARAH MLYNOWSKI
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Sunday, May 1 @ 12:00pm(noon)

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Sunday, May 1 @ 3pm

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Pleasanton Library
Monday, May 2 @ 5pm

AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF
Redwood City Library RSVP HERE
Tuesday, May 3 @ 7pm

MORGAN MATSON with SIOBHAN VIVIAN AND SUSANNE YOUNG
Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito
Tuesday, May 3 @ 7pm

LAUREN MYRACLE

Copperfield's in Petaluma
Wednesday, May 4 @ 4pm

SARAH J. MAAS in conversation with EVELYN SKYE

This is a ticketed event
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, May 4 @ 7pm

AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF with MICHAEL GRANT
Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
Wednesday, May 4 @ 6pm

JULIE BAXBAUM, NICOLA YOON, LAURA MCNEAL and JEFF ZENTNER
A Great Good Place for Books
Wednesday, May 4 @ 7pm

AMIE KAUFMAN and JAY KRISTOFF
Barnes & Noble in El Cerrito
Thursday, May 5 @ 7pm

JULIE BAXBAUM, NICOLA YOON, LAURA MCNEAL AND JEFF ZENTNER
Books Inc. in San Francisco
Thursday, May 5 @ 7pm

JULIE BAXBAUM, NICOLA YOON, LAURA MCNEAL AND JEFF ZENTNER
Hicklebee's in San Jose
Friday, May 6 @ 7pm

LEOPOLDO GOUT
Copperfields in Petaluma
Friday, May 6 @ 4pm

JESSICA TAYLOR Release Party
Barnes and Noble in Roseville
Saturday, May 7 @ 2pm

WENDY SPINALE Book Launch

Towne Center Books in Pleasanton
Monday, May 9 @ 6pm

EVELYN SKYE in conversation with SABAA TAHIR
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Tuesday, May 17 @ 7pm


WENDY SPINALE
Hickelbee's in San Jose
Friday, May 20 @7pm

LILY ANDERSON
Great Good Place for Books
Saturday, May 21 @ 7pm

STACEY LEE Launch Party
Books Inc. in Palo Alto
Thursday, May 26 @ 7pm


JUNE

BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL
June 4&5 in downtown Berkeley
Julie Buxbaum
Gail Carriger
Veronica Rossi
Daniel Handler
Stephanie Keuhn
Stacey Lee
Caroline Paul
Wendy MacNaughton
Lauren Myracle
Alyson Noel
Yvonne Prinz
Jason Reynolds
Evelyn Skye
Wendy Spinale
V.E. Schwab
Nicola Yoon

BRODI ASHTON, CYNTHIA HAND, and JODI MEADOWS (My Lady Jane)
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, June 8 @ 7pm

JENNIFER LYNN BARNES, TIFFANY SCHMIDT and TARA ALTEBRANDO
Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, June 9 @ 7pm RSVP Here

STACEY LEE

Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito
Friday, June 10 @ 7pm

WENDY SPINALE
Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
Friday, June 10 @ 6pm

WENDY SPINALE
Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, June 17 @ 6pm


...and lots more events are coming. I am so excited but cannot share them yet :) Stay Tuned!!

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