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The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star is a YA paranormal contemporary novel, and the first in the Shades of London series, by Maureen Johnson.

When Louisiana born and bred Rory Deveaux had the opportunity to pick where she wanted to go to school while her professor parents had a sabbatical in Bristol during her senior year of high school, it didn’t take long for her answer: London.

A boarding school in London, rich with history, was exactly what she wanted.

But a little too much history is coming to life as she starts to settle in at Wexford, in the East End of London.

Murders, mirroring the shocking Jack the Ripper slayings of more than a century ago, are occurring very near her new home. The spree has the city on edge, yet also oddly spellbound with the revisit of one of the age-old unsolved serial killers of history.

With almost no leads, mysteriously wonky CCTV footage, and no witnesses – the police are desperate to find this new Jack the Ripper before he follows through on all of the murders.

Then Rory spots the only prime suspect.

But she’s not just the only one who’s seen him…

She also appears to be the only one who can.

Personally, I love Maureen Johnson’s Suite Scarlett and Scarlett Fever (oh my gosh, will a third book EVER come out???), so when I realized that she had penned a supernatural thriller – I was THERE.

Rory is an original, witty, Southern heroine that has an individual personality that didn’t feel cliché. I liked the way she dismissed embarrassing moments with humor. Following her as the odd American out among the English students was fun and made her relatable.

In The Name of the Star, I also loved the London boarding school environment – a non-magical Hogwarts!!!

But what was also undeniably entertaining was the chilling, increasingly creepy suspense that Maureen Johnson penned here. It’s gripping, scary, and, well, pretty darn awesome.

I really, really enjoyed reading this spooky novel.

The Name of the Star has excellent humor, fantastic characters, and a cozy atmosphere that can smoothly turn into a frightening one.

I’m so ready for the next book, it’s ridiculous!

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