My dear friend Kate sent me the audio version of The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson for Christmas and I just finished it last week!
The story centers around a young girl named Rory who moves to London from New Orleans to attend a boarding school. Rory is instantly a character that pretty much any one could relate to. She definitely has her own "fish out of water" moments, but she braves them all brilliantly and manages to make friends and find her own place in the school.
I had never read Maureen Johnson before, but I have been meaning to. I do read a lot of YA and I'm a huge fan of authors like John Green and Holly Black, and they all seem to be friends. I've seen her books on so many of the blogs that I follow and was very happy to finally get my shot at reading her work. And now, I can easily say that I am fully converted! Johnson's writing was funny and honest.
I have always loved movies and shows that are based on Jack the Ripper so when I heard that his story played a major part in this story I was excited to read it! Johnson did not disappoint! As I said earlier, I had the audio version of this book and I was listening to it in my car. I'm not going to lie, there were some moments that when I was driving around quite late at night, I found rather chilling. Sure the book had its moments of being really funny, and a couple of kissing scenes were rather steamy, but mostly it was a full on ghost story! Which I was not expecting, but I did greatly appreciate!
I also loved all the characters. Rory was charming from the get go, with plenty of stories of her crazy family. And since this is a boarding school we got to meet a lot of her classmates and friends a long the way. My only real complaint was that we didn't get to see more of the character Jazza towards the end of the book. Jazza is Rory's roommate and they form a strong friendship from the beginning of the book. As chaos ensues we see less and less of Jazza. Don't get me wrong, the character isn't completely dropped and when you read the book you will see that everything that happens is for a reason, I'm just saying it was...unfortunate. She is a great friend to Rory so I hope she continues to play a part in the series.
That is the other thing! I did not know when I was reading this that it was going to be a series! YAY!!! I mean, this book works perfectly on its own. There is no doubt about that. Like I said, I had no idea it was going to be part of a trilogy. If someone had told me earlier I must have completely forgot. I didn't find out until I sat down to write this post. The ending of The Name of the Star absolutely lends itself to be a continuing story, but at the end of the novel there is still a sense of completion. If this book was not going to be part of a series, I would be okay. I would be disappointed, but not devastated.
I'm just excited that the story will move on because, call me crazy, but I really really really want something to happen between Rory and Stephen! I don't even know if that is something that has crossed Johnson's mind yet or not! I'm just saying I'd like for it to happen, it would make me very happy!
In this story Rory is seeing her classmate, Jerome, and Stephen is one of the "special" local cops investigating the murders. Stephen has had a rough past, so when we meet him he is kind of on the cold side and all professional. Towards the end he does start to come out of his shell around Rory, and I think she could be the best one to step in and warm his heart right up!
The Name of the Star was an enjoyable read and I can't wait to come back for more.
I will give it an abduction rating of...