Summary from GoodReads:
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.
Maureen Johnson is a pretty well-know YA author. I read Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes years ago, and really liked it, but have never read anything else by Johnson. When I heard about The Name of the Star, I knew that it would be my kind of book. It looked a little creepy (and I love me some creepy books), it was set in London (and I’m a total anglophile), and there was a bit of a murder mystery. What’s not to like? Certainly nothing from my standpoint. But for some reason it took me a long time to get to this book. Finally I decided to try out the audiobook, and oh my gosh, it was freaking AWESOME!
There are quite a lot of characters in this book, and I liked them all. Well, I liked all the good guys, I guess you could say. The “bad guy” was totally creepy, though, exactly as he should be. Anyway, let’s talk about Rory, our MC, first. So Rory is a teen from New Orleans, and she decides to go to school at Wexford in London while her parents work in Bristol for the year. And serious props to Rory who actually seemed pretty excited to be starting a completely new school, in a different country, for her senior year. Anyway, it was pretty fun first meeting Rory. I loved how she took those southern stereotypes and used them to her advantage when she was first meeting her English classmates at Wexford. Rory is a very nice girl, but not a pushover at all.
I loved Rory’s roommate, Jazza (I could so be spelling these names wrong because I did listen to the book). I think of all the characters, Jazza was most like me. Jerome was a cute boy, although he wasn’t swoonworthy at all. But that’s okay, because the book wasn’t really about the romance. Also, Jerome’s obsession about Jack the Ripper was a little weird.
This isn’t exactly a mystery, but it sort of has a mystery feel to it. I really enjoyed the London setting, and it made me want to drop everything and rush off to England. Well, as long as there wasn’t a string if mysterious murders occurring. Speaking of murders, I can’t say I was particularly creeped out or anything, but that could be because I listened to the audiobook. Also, I never listened to it at night. It was great how Johnson dropped information about the original Jack the Ripper killings throughout the whole story, so there was never a huge infodump.
If you like ghosts, mysteries, and fun main characters definitely give this one a try. I definitely plan on looking into the second book in the series.