Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (Young Adult, 10/10)

October 2011, Harper Collins Children's Books
370 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Themes: boarding school life, reality is never like the movies, snobby head girl, lots of intrigue, danger coming out of the walls, ghosts, too much schoolwork, being someone special, mild teen romance, heaps of terror and suspense, blood and gore, many heart racing moments

Summary from Harper Collins

Sixteen-year-old American girl Rory has just arrived at boarding school in London when a Jack the Ripper copycat-killer begins terrorising the city. All the hallmarks of his infamous murders are frighteningly present, but there are few clues to the killer’s identity.

“Rippermania” grabs hold of modern-day London, and the police are stumped with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. In an unknown city with few friends to turn to, Rory makes a chilling discovery…

Could the copycat murderer really be Jack the Ripper back from the grave?

Nayuleska's thoughts

I haven't read this book before now as my tolerance for dark books is a bit low. I nearly stopped reading partway through when things got intense, but I figured I can watch plenty of fluffy anime & eat chocolate after.

I was suitably on edge in most of the chapters. I was happy to figure out a few sub plots before they were made apparent to readers, but the end was a total surprise. I love Rory's friendships as they provide something mostly stable for her in a brand new part of her life. It was refreshing for a Young Adult book to have such a mild teen romance - I kept expecting it to get heavier and it never did.

I was suitably spooked by the ghostly goings on, and that's without knowing much on Jack the Ripper's history. I have no desire to investigate it! This 10/10 read is a must if you like something that makes you shiver and look about you (or, as I've just done, nearly yelp as a computer screen goes black inside my range of vision in power saving mode).

You can find out more on Maureen's website.

Suggested read

For more spooky goings ons in London check By Midnight by Mia James


Alexia561 said...

Enjoyed your review, but it sounds a little too dark for me. I'm a big chicken when it comes to scary books, so hope the fluffy anime and chocolate helped! :)

Nayuleska said...

Alexia, you aren't a chicken at all. The amount of things that freak me out has increased, rather than decreased as I've grown up. Knowing your limits is vital to keeping yourself happy. & yes anime always helps! And chocolate. Nom nom!