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The Name of the Star (The Shades of London) Hardcover – September 29, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Series: The Shades of London (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399256601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256608
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (252 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Johnson fearlessly takes readers from . . . a cool innocent-abroad-with-iPod story to supernatural thriller. The tension ramps up exquisitely among cups of tea, library visits and the London Underground. The explosive ending is genuinely terrifying but never loses the wit, verve and humor that Rory carries with her throughout." - Kirkus

"There's a Doctor Who-ish quality to the book - in both its technology and tone - that feels completely intentional and appealingly fresh to the YA genre, but Johnson's biggest achievement is in having written a book that will appeal to fans of her earlier work, but also please SF/F readers." - Locus Magazine


"Johnson uses a deft hand, applying the right amount of romance and teen snarkiness to relieve the story's building tension. Departing from her previous works, she turns paranormal on its head, mocking vampires and werewolves while creating ghosts that are both realistic and creepy. A real page-turner." - School Library Journal


"Readers looking for nonstop fun, action, and a little gore have come to the right place." - Publishers Weekly


"A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic."- Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments series

About the Author

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

More About the Author

Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Like a lot of people who end up writing books, she was always reading. This paid off in the end, but also resulted in her not playing any sports, so she is spectacularly uncoordinated, and is easily injured by harmless household objects, like endtables.

She studied writing and theatrical dramaturgy at Columbia University. Before she could spend all her days writing, Maureen served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, tended bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside live tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical.

Maureen lives in New York City, and when she is not writing, spends her time in a relentless pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee. If you know where it is, get in touch with her at once.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#42 in Books > Teens
#42 in Books > Teens

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Customer Reviews

Maureen Johnson took the Jack the Ripper mystery and truly made it her own.
The Book Scout
What a great story, it was intriguing, mysterious, a little haunting, and just really well done!
loves to read
I know that he was the love interest, but I really just didn't like him all that much.
Tori @ Bookish Affairs

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Dennis on September 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
What a fun book to read! The main character, Rory's parents move to England for business and she decides to attend a private boarding school- to get the whole "English" experience. Shortly after moving in, bonding with her roommate, crushing on a guy, and secretly despising the resident "perfect" girl- tragedy hits London. Someone is murdering people in the same fashion and on the same days that Jack the Ripper struck years ago. Unfortunately, Rory is an eye witness to one of the murders and becomes part of the investigation. I can't say anything more about the subject because I don't want to give anything away. I can tell you, however that Rory is a character. She has a crazy family that she talks about unabashedly, sharp wit that made me laugh out loud, and loyalty to her friends. This is a great book for young adults and for the young at heart- just be prepared to read it from cover to cover. I can't wait for the next book in this series.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on September 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
When her parents move to England her senior year, Rory Devereaux agrees to go with them, as long as she can attend boarding school in London. The school and the people in it are a far cry from her tiny southern hometown, not far from New Orleans, but Rory likes her new roommate and is enjoying her school (well, except for maybe the field hockey part). Then, a murder is committed near the school, an exact replica of the first of the Jack the Ripper murders. And none of the security cameras in the area ever caught a glimpse of the killer. It doesn't take long for everyone in London to realize that there is a Ripper copycat on the loose, throwing the entire city into mayhem. Rory thinks that she's safe from it all, despite her proximity to the murder scenes, but when she is questioned by a secret branch of the London police, Rory finds that she is a lot closer to the real killer than she thought.

Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star is a fascinating and unique book! It is a bit different from her earlier, humor-driven work, but the writing is just as good as ever, and while the book isn't necessary serious, the mystery of the brutal deaths and the threat to Rory does have a bit of a sobering effect. That being said, there is still a lot of great humor in The Name of the Star, and some fantastic, quirky characters that entertain to no end. Rory is an excellent narrator--she's hardworking, funny, loyal, and when the going gets tough, she's a pretty noble person, even if the circumstances terrify her. The boarding school setting is a great one, with lots of fun and drama, and it's the perfect location for the Rippermania to take place.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christina (Ensconced in Lit) on March 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've had this book on my to read list for quite some time. I'm glad that I got around to reading it. I'm giving it 4.5 stars.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson stars Rory, a teen from Louisiana, who goes to London to attend school. She is quickly met with headlines proclaiming there is a new Jack the Ripper serial killer on the loose. While Rory is trying to maneuver living with a roommate and crushing on a cute guy who also is obsessed with Jack, the killer seems to be aware of her in a scary way. Things get a bit more paranormal, but I'll let the reader discover that for themselves.

I really enjoyed the writing of this book. The setting and mood were very London-ish and the book was well researched. I loved Rory and her crazy family back in Louisiana, and I enjoyed getting to know some of the supporting cast, which I won't go into as to not spoil any readers.

I agree with some of the other reviewers that in the middle it seems to stagnate a bit, and I thought this a solid four star novel for a while. Not to mention, the romance seemed pretty lackluster. But with a paranormal plot twist, and a terrific ending-- the only way it could have ended--I was impressed enough to give it another half star.

I believe Johnson is just getting started and is a promising new writer, and I'll definitely be picking up the next installment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jess on November 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
(This review was originally posted at GoneWithTheWords.com)

Was going to a British boarding school ever one of your dreams? If, like me, your answer is yes, then you're really going to enjoy the setting of this book. Not only is this boarding school co-ed, it's also in London, and the history of the building itself is super interesting. You get a lot of insight into how the school system works in England. It's really rigorous! Still, I would've loved to have gone to school there! Minus the murdering suspect, of course.

The crime spree is pretty gruesome, and the spectacle created by the media and the public was really believable. However, I did not find myself on the edge of my seat until things started happening to our protagonist. Once that happened, I was just as scared as her! One thing I loved was how funny Rory was at times, and also the smart, funny banter between her and her roommate and The Boy. There are some really cute flirty moments. I loved how Maureen described kissing in this excerpt:

"Kissing is something that makes up for a lot of the other crap you have to put up with in school, and as a teenager in general. It can be confusing and weird and awkward, but sometimes it just makes you melt and forget everything that is going on. You could be in a burning building or a bus about to fall off a cliff. It doesn't matter, because you are just a puddle." - pg. 282

So you read that part about the secret ghost police in the synopsis, right? I must confess, after they're introduced, I kept singing "Who you gonna call? GhostBusters!" in my head. Not that anything in the book directly relates to GhostBusters...well, except maybe the ghost busting part. Don't get me wrong! I dug it!!
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