Majorly Creepy In a Fun Way: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Hi there!

Sometimes there are books that intrigue you so much you push past your fear of it being super creepy and read it anyway.  Well, that’s how I felt about Maureen Johnson’s The Name of the Star, but I read it anyway and in the end I LOVED IT!

The Name of the Star by Maureen JohnsonThe 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.

Like I said earlier, I really, really loved this book despite being hesitant to read it. Honestly I was totally surprised at how much I was enjoying it while I was reading it.  Yes, it was majorly creepy at times; in fact there was one scene in particular that had me closing my blinds earlier than usual!

Part of the reason I liked The Name of the Star as much as I did, was because  my husband and I had just gotten back from a trip to London (first time ever!).  I was especially excited to listen to the descriptions of a city I had literally just visited a few weeks before. Johnson’s description of the London Underground was spot on and had me replaying descriptions for my husband as well! And as always, a boarding school book never lets me down. I don’t know what it is but stories where the main character is away at boarding school are always so much more fun than regular school!

I really connected with Rory, the main character.  She was witty and eccentric and sincerely kind – the type of person I’d like to be friends with. Plus she is from the south and living in Florida I totally understood her story about the alligator moving towards her!

Historical fiction is a genre I really like and Johnson’s mix of the paranormal plus historical fiction was wonderful. The myth surrounding Jack the Ripper, such a mysterious and fascinating character, is not something I knew a lot about before reading The Name of the Star. The book prompted me to look up more information online, which was equally fun and terrifying!

I listened to The Name of the Star on audiobook and strongly recommend it to those of you on the hunt for a good one. The narrator Nicola Barber was one of the best I’ve heard in a while, so I plan to look for others read by her. All in all, go ahead and read this one, it is a mysterious and creepy young adult thriller, but in a fun way!

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (September 29, 2011)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins

Narrator(s): Nicola Barber

Series: First in The Shades of London series

YA/MG: YA

Buy the Book: The Name of the Star (The Shades of London)

11 thoughts on “Majorly Creepy In a Fun Way: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

  1. This book is on my 2013 Must read list! And I got rejected for it on Net Galley. Dang. I’m just going to have to pull out the old debit card. Judging by your review, it sounds worth it!

  2. I was hesitant to read the book because the synopsis includes words like gruesome crimes and “Rippermania”. But seeing your raving review makes me wonder if I could step outside of my comfort zone and give this a try. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I’ve been meaning to read this for awhile now. I really like Maureen Johnson, and sometimes I like creepy reads. Which is weird, because I absolutely hate scary movies.

    Thanks for the review :)

  4. I’m not big on historical fiction, but I do like thrillers and this one sounds quite interesting! I’ll have to check it out. And thanks for the tip on the audio… I like YA on audio because they’re short!

  5. I also loved this book, and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out in February! Great review, I completely agree that it’s worth pushing through the “creepiness” to read it!

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