Monday, May 7, 2012
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Penguin and Brilliance Audio
Released: September 29, 2011
Page #: 10 Hour Audio
Source: My public library
Summary:"The day Louisiana teenager Rory Devaux 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 work of Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.
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 with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, what is he planning to do about her?
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 eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins.
She didn't notice them, of course. No one paid attention to the cameras. It was an accepted fact that London has one of the most extensive CCTV systems in the world."
As always, I am a huge fan of anything Maureen Johnson writes. I haven't found anything bad yet! And this book was no exception. Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect - but I got way more than I could have hoped for.
Rory is from a small town near New Orleans - and her parents are moving to England. So she decides to attend a boarding school smack in the middle of London. Except, these murders start happening and everyone goes into panic mode. They're just like Jack the Ripper and no one has any leads... until Rory comes face to face with a possible suspect. Only... no one else can see him. She gets thrown into a whirlwind of ghostly possibilities and finds out way more about herself than you can iamgine.
You know, I spent a semester at an English University - and there was a lot description that reminded me of that... the dorms, the school, the city in general. The authors descriptions were spot-on and really made me feel like I was back there. And can you imagine being able to see ghosts in one of the oldest cities in the world? I feel like I'd assume everyone was one until notified otherwise :). But this book transported me back there and made me wish for a visit!
I didn't really know much about Jack the Ripper before I listened to this book. It's not a topic I've spent much time thinking about. I know that some people are super fascinated with the whole idea of him, but I guess I just missed it. But after this book, I kind of can't help but do a little research. And while the story follows the Ripper timeline, I thought it was cool how the story bloomed into something modern and newly spooky.
One note about the audio - I'm not sure how I felt about the reader. I just looked around online and that she is British... which helps me make sense of some of the accents. Our main character is from Louisiana. There is something very specific about LA accents - a French twist on Southern, I guess. But the way she was read didn't have that. Of course, all of the British accents were good - and it was generally read in a good American accent. It was the voice of Rory that didn't always work for me. The rest of the accents were well done - and there were a lot of them.
So, in all honesty, it took me a while to get to this book... and I think it's because of the cover. It's a good cover, really. But it speaks more to historical fiction rather than what it really is. I think that might deter some readers, but I would suggest that you ignore it! And read the book anyway. It's a really fun story and has the humor and romance I've come to expect with MJ's books. I'm hoping this might be a series in the making, but we'll see!
Other Blog Reviews:
The Book Smugglers
Becky's Book Reviws
Turn the Page
Quirky Girls Read
365 Days of Reading
Confessions of a Vi3tBabe