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The Name of the Star Hardcover – Sep 29 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (Sept. 29 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399256601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256608
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #334,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic." Cassandra Clare, author of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS Praise for 13 Little Blue Envelopes "Equal parts poignant, funny and inspiring, with a delicious fairytale ending." Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Johnson's writing is sophisticated and humorous, her characterisations pitch perfect." Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to the Digital edition.

About the Author

Maureen Johnson (www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com) is the author of seven young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Let It Snow. She lives in New York City.

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I've been reading a new series from Maureen Johnson and I'm loving it. So far there are three books in the Shades of London series, "The Name of the Star", "The Madness Underneath" and "The Shadow Cabinet". In the last four days I've read book one and two and I'm chomping at the bit for the review copy of "The Shadow Cabinet" to arrive on my doorstep. Until it arrives, I thought I'd tell all of you about this series so you too can get started on a set of books that will thrill both mystery and paranormal fans.

Maureen Johnson is a New York Times best selling author of young adult fiction. Her excellent writing style is eminently readable by both teens and adults. I found myself surprised that the books were geared toward young adult, only because the writing was in no way dumbed down. Never did I find myself thinking that the author sacrificed plot to make the story simpler for younger readers. Johnson's books are considered YA, in my opinion, because there are no offensive sex scenes and her writing style is so smooth and easy to digest (but not unsophisticated).

When I did some research on this Edgar-Nominated series before agreeing to review the latest book, I got the impression that I would love these books like I loved the Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling. I was both right an wrong. I do love this Shades of London series but in a different way that I loved Harry Potter. Johnson's writing has a sophistication that even exceeds Rowling's writing style. I loved the Potter series because they were so fun, I love this series not only because the mysteries are fun but also because Johnson's style is so smooth that I don't feel like I'm reading a "younger" book.
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By Sofie TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 4 2012
Format: Hardcover
First of all, here is a warning: You will be *dying* to go to London after reading this book. Maureen Johnson truly gives us a very vivid image of that amazing city, and I have always wanted to go there so that's why I read so many books that are set in London.

The story is extremely gripping, well-paced, and relatively original among the other thousand-or-so Jack the Ripper novels. Because this serial killer is so famous, it's hard to create a story about him that is unique, original, and won't bore the reader. Well The Name of the Star isn't anything special, exactly, but it is still a great read which I devoured in two days. My main problem is that I didn't like Rory. Wait, it's not that I didn't like her, it's just that she is the kind of character that appears on thousands of teen novels. By this I mean that she isn't anything special at all, and can come across as a bit boring and bland (but not nearly boring and bland as her sort-of love interest, Jerome.) Seriously, Jerome is so incredibly dull and I knew the romance wouldn't be very good because Maureen Johnson (no offense to her) can write a great story but she sucks at the romance aspects. Rory and Jerome are a dull couple, although they seem to have a more FWB (just kissing) relationship than actual feelings. The other characters - Callum, Stephen, Boo, and Jazza - are perfectly okay but they are NOTHING SPECIAL, just like Rory. But you can't not like Rory because she is very nice and brave, and is not depicted as having any faults.

While the characters disappointed me, the story did not.

SPOILER WARNINGS

1. The way that Rory almost died was really weird, anti-climatic, and made the whole situation seem more comedic than suspenseful and cool
2.
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Format: Hardcover
Jack the Ripper, English boarding school, ghosts, teen detective squads. This is enough information to pique my interest, but I was skeptical that it would come together until the name Maureen Johnson was attached. Now I am on board.

Rory Deveaux moves from rural Louisiana to London to start a new life at a British boarding school. There she makes friends with sweet but straight-edge Jazza and a curly-haired boy named Jerome (Ah, those curly-haired boys!) School is difficult but stimulating and Rory is loving her new London life until a series of copy-cat murders, modeled after the gruesome work of Jack the Ripper, turn London upside down. Being invincible teens, Jazza and Rory find themselves sneaking about on the night of one of the murders and Rory sees a man who turns out to be the only suspect in the case. The problem is that Jazza can't see him.

This is the second book I've read this season featuring teen ghost detectives. Is this a new and unexpected trend in YA lit? It is definitely new territory for Johnson, who is well-known (and well-loved) for her funny contemporary girl books (Girl at Sea, Suite Scarlett, 13 Little Blue Envelopes). Rory's narrative, the fantastic supporting cast and the dash of romance is classic Johnson. The supernatural twist is new but very welcome!
While parts of the story are frightening and even violent, it's clear that Johnson has not set out to spook her reader. At the heart of the novel is the story of the teens who are members of The Shades, which is the name of the secret police force who solve crime by communicating with ghosts. She spends a lot of time fleshing out (obviously not literally) the ghosts and their pasts, turning them into real, complicated characters.
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