The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)
Standalone or Series? Series. Shades of London #1
Format: Audio Book, 9hrs 50mins
Published: June 25 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Author’s Site: 
Author on Tweeter: @maureenjohnson
Narrator: Nicola Barber
Buy:The Book Depository

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree 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–the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humo(u)r, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

How did I hear about it? Five star review from Lee at Rally the Readers.

Love the cover, and the blurb. Rory may be from Louisiana but on the cover she truly rocks that ‘English Rose’ look the Victorians considered the epitome of beauty. Her thick tousled hair, the hazy cityscape and red writing promising “Jack the Ripper returns” caught my attention.

A gory opening sets the scene, while the next few chapters are more light-hearted and quirky as Rory adjusts to British boarding school life. The murders are in the background to Rory’s school life until she’s inevitably thrown into the midst of everything.

The pace trots along comfortably for the most part, and goes for an all out sprint now and then. It’s a page turner because it switches back and forth between suspense, humour and gory thriller. At no point did I find myself getting bored, there was just so much to entertain me – first my funny bone’s getting tickled, and then I’m all wide-eyed with shock and processing a gory scene or threat of violence, before I’m back to having a giggle. Rory comes close to death a couple of times, and the first time I laughed! I must tsk at Maureen Johnson for eliciting such an inappropriate response from me because you can bet she knew what she was doing with her irreverent wordsmithery.

Rory is hilarious, she comes from a family of ‘misfits’ and this made her instantly real to me – I believe we’re all peculiar in our own way. Her love interest is obsessed with the Jack the Ripper murders, and their romance is funny, awkward and sweet by turns. I’m not sure that he’s ‘the one’ and I love this because she’s not overly serious about her romance, it’s something that she enjoys and makes her nervous, but she never obsesses about Jerome. A relationship isn’t the centre of her life, and that’s a good thing, especially when Rory’s getting unwanted attention from ‘Jack’ and a new girl at school seems particularly obsessed with her too.

The other characters are splendid too, and I’ll leave them to you to discover (if you haven’t already). This read is the perfect blend of funny and thrilling

Now, CONGRATULATIONS, to Bea. She’s won the relaunch giveaway and has picked:
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
She also gets the four lovely ebooks and swag.


  1. You made this one sound fabulous! And luckily, I actually have it on my TBR pile. Thanks so much for the recommendation! 🙂

  2. I’m so glad you loved this, Katja! I love this cover! The one on the hardcover that I own is OK, but I much prefer this one. Rory’s stories about her family back home were a riot, and although I did feel kind of bad about laughing my way through a book about a serial killer, I couldn’t help it because the humor was right up my alley. Great review! 🙂

  3. So glad you enjoyed this! I found it amusing and funny, even though it also had some chilling scenes.

    And Rory always makes me think of Gilmore Girls, too!

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