Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Name of the Star- Review

Title:  The Name of the Star
Author: Maureen Johnson
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London, it's the start of a new life at a 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.

My thoughts:

I really didn't expect to like this very much.  I grabbed it on a whim one morning at the library, and expected an average 
type young adult book.  However, I couldn't put it down, and read it all in one sitting.   

Jack the Ripper freaks me out - so much so that I have read all kinds of books of theories about him.  I tend to read not only stuff I like, but also stuff that scares me.  So I read about Jack.  And I watched the Johnny Depp movie about Jack the Ripper, From Hell.  It is safe to say I grab stuff that I see about him.  I was surprised to see a book about him aimed at a younger generation - some of the details are gruesome, but I guess in the society we have now kids can be a bit savvier.   Nonetheless, it was a subject you don't see in its particular genre - it wasn't about vampires, or werewolves or witches or fairies, but an actual crime that took place in England in the 1880s.  I found this to be interesting.  

The beginning was a little too blah, and I did gloss over some stuff, including something that turned out to be a pivotal moment, so I had to go back and reread it. She seemed just like an American teenager, trying to get used to living in England, until a major part of the book is revealed, a part that I didn't expect.  It changes the book and what I had thought I was reading, but in a good way.  The book ends on a cliff hanger, and I was sad to see that the second book in the series has not come out yet.  I will wait (im)patiently for it!

This book was really good I thought.  It was pretty graphic about the Jack the Ripper murders in some areas, so I would keep that in mind when recommending  it to a kid.   I know a 7th grader that I almost suggested it to, but decided against it at the last minute.  I would stick to high school age and up for this one. 

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