Friday, December 9, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Publisher:  G.P, Putnam's Sons, 2011
Rory was raised in a small town in Louisiana, but that doesn't mean her aspirations are small.  Before her senior year, her parents are offered a position in England, and Rory jumps at the chance to go to school there and soak in all of the culture.  And off  she goes to Hawthorne to live out her English adventure.  It's there that she meets her roommate Jazza as well as the handsome Jerome from the boys' school.  Rory tells them stories about her crazy family and their weird habits.  In turn, Jerome fills Rory in on the latest...the new Ripper killings...

Despite all of the security cameras in the city of London, a murderer is successfully killing people and Londoners as well as visitors are very much into Ripper-mania.  But not Rory and Jazza.  Both find it creepy, but it gets worse when a murder takes place near their school.  When lockdown begins for students, Rory's curiousity gets the better of her.

What she finds out is that she has a unique ability none of her friends have.  It's a gift she never knew she had until she came to London.  People she sees aren't necessarily the people others can see.  The murderer knows Rory has this gift, and now he's after her to stop her from finding out who he is and what he wants.

Talk about a mashup!  Johnson has done a fantastic job of creating a murder mystery book full of the supernatural as well as romance.  Readers of historical fiction will enjoy the book because of its setting and the intrigue of Old Lond and Jack the Ripper.  Others will enjoy it because of the ghostly presence and the gifts that Rory and other characters hold.  Mystery fans will read through this quickly to see who or what is killing people and why.  Recommended for JH/HS. 

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