Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hilarious and Spooky:: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Rory is jazzed to be starting at boarding school in London. I mean, who wouldn't be? Despite the difficult academics and endless field hockey practices, vivacious Rory loves her new school and living in a new city. However, starting with the day of her arrival, a series of murders break out around London. Each murder is in the style of Jack the Ripper. When Rory sees a man the night of one of murder, she becomes the only witness. Yet, her roommate was standing beside her and didn't see the man. More and more Rory realizes she is seeing people that no one else can. Is Rory going crazy or is something more sinister at work?

The best way I can describe this book is Anna and French Kiss meets Sherlock. It starts out as basic "girl goes to boarding school in Europe" story. Reading it you are caught up in her classes and roommate and boys, that ever so slowly you don't know that the story is slowly turning into a supernatural murder mystery. This is good for me, since I'm not a huge supernatural/mystery person, so I really enjoyed the way Johnson brought these too genres together.

I've always been a fan of Maureen Johnson's writing style. If you haven't read 13 Little Blue Envelopes
you are missing out on one of my favorite travel stories. The Name of the Star was just as candid and fun, but also hilarious. Rory comes from a small town in Louisiana with uncle who has eight freezer and a cousin who does "Angel Healing Therapy." Sometimes I felt that Rory got too ridiculous, which hurt the believability of the book, but all in all her character was really fun and an interesting narrator.
My only other complaint is that I really like Jazza and Jerome's characters and I was kinda sad they pushed aside for the majority of the second half. There is supposed to be a sequel, so maybe they will make a come back then.

All in all, the story was gripping, but enjoyable. I feel like it is hard to write to make someone laugh in a story about gruesome Jack the Ripper murders, but Rory's narration made it all come together perfectly.

Perfect if you loved:: Anna and the French Kiss (especially the boarding school aspect), Sherlock (the murder mystery part), House of Anubis (it was a TV show on Nickelodeon a few years ago about kids in a British boarding school solving mysteries, so basically the same thing)
Rating (out of 30):: 19

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