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May 17, 2012

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - Farah

Title: The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile 
Publication Date: September 29th, 2011
Genre(s): Young Adult (Fantasy/Paranormal)
Challenges: A-Z title
Source: Burrowed
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 372
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.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson was a very.... weird read. I honestly thought it was going to be a mystery contemporary book, but I never expected it to have a paranormal twist. The main thing that annoyed me was how unrealistic the events were. I just couldn't understand how this was going to end or even get solved. Not only did I feel like the book was unbelievable, every chapter felt very similar as well. The pace was very slow, and not many exciting events occurred either. 
Rory, the main protagonist, goes to a boarding school. I love books with a boarding school setting, so I had high hopes for this one. When Rory moves to London to attend her school, there is a murderer there whom they call "The Ripper".  Apparently it's all over London, and the killings are horrid. The thing that totally annoyed me is that why couldn't Maureen Johnson just keep it a normal murder mystery that can at least seem realistic? Then the story just gets more confusing when Rory actually sees ghosts, and it turns into a paranormal story. I don't want to have any spoilers in this review, but I will say, I did not like the fact that it had a paranormal twist in it.
Overall the writing was good. I would get lost in some parts, but happens very often. The ending was okay, but I don't think i'll ever pick up the sequel to this book. I might not have enjoyed it, but do give it a try! 
2 musical notes


  1. I've been very curious about this book. I also love books that take place in a boarding school setting. I didn't think it would involve ghosts. I also thought it would just be a murderer but then again I'm not too shocked it turns a bit paranormal. Sad that it is slow :-(

  2. Well I wasn't excited about this one, boarding school are interesting but they are too many book that just don't know how to make it right. The only book about boarding school that I really love is Anna and the French Kiss

  3. I have this book but haven't read it yet. I've always read either a good review or a bad one. So I guess its one that you either will like or don't like. However, you kind of gave away the killer and everything so, yeah, not sure if I'll read this one anytime soon. Hopefully when I do I'll forget that little bit of info and be surprised from the whodunit aspect. lol

  4. Great review! It sounds interesting although there seem to be some 'flaws'. I'll take a look for myself as soon as I can get a hold of it. Perhaps you would like to take a look at Teenage Fiction? We have an Insurgent review too, maybe we can compare our opinions?

  5. Ouch. I tend to like Ripper books, because that's an event that fascinates me, but this one sounds like it completely missed the eery charm of the historical situation. Slow, uneventful, unreallistic.... Nope, not for me.

    Thanks for the review!

  6. Argh, I did not love this one either. And I usually LOVE Maureen Johnson. It was disappointing! Maybe because I had such high hopes? I think your "I might not have enjoyed it but give it a try!" sums up my feelings perfectly!

  7. What a fun book to read! The main character, Rory's parents move to England for business and she decides to attend a private boarding school- to get the whole "English" experience. Shortly after moving in, bonding with her roommate, crushing on a guy, and secretly despising the resident "perfect" girl- tragedy hits London. Someone is murdering people in the same fashion and on the same days that Jack the Ripper struck years ago.