I had read a Maureen Johnson book before and really enjoyed it. It was quirky and fun and likeable. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like The Name of the Star since it was a little bit of the stretch from 13 Little Blue Envelops, but I am more then happy to report that I loved this book. It had such an interesting concept with likeable characters that there really was no way that I couldn’t like it. The way the mystery was wrapped around some romance and a little paranormal-like activity was just fantastic. It was mystifying and entertaining and left me guessing. I didn’t see the ending coming and it has been a long time since that has happened.
The Name of the Star is about high school senior, Louisiana native, Rory Deveaux. Rory’s parents have just accepted positions at a University in England and offer Rory the opportunity to have her senior year anywhere she wants. Deciding she wants to go to England too Rory picks a boarding school in London. As Rory embarks on her new adventure things in London heat up. There is a killer on the loose and they are duplicating the famous serial killer Jack the Ripper. With the police unable to solve the mystery and London on alert Rory finds herself right in the middle of it when she sees the prime suspect and her roommate doesn’t. Now mixed up in a situation she wishes she wasn’t a part of Rory realizes things aren’t as they look. Something has happened to her since being in London and now she may be the only one that can solve the case.
Rory is just one of those characters that you just have to fall in love with. She is smart and awkward at times and isn’t afraid to be the one that stands out. She has this thing about her that is just very endearing and I just loved her. Here she was going through this strange thing that she didn’t understand, having to rely on people she didn’t know while keeping the people she did know out in the dark. She was brave, braver then I could have been and I admired that. I also like how Rory figured out/found out what was actually happening to her. It wasn’t just dumped on her lap in one quick chapter. It was paced out so she could process it and us as readers could process it. Was it far fetched and a little kooky? Sure, but it worked for the telling of this book and the book to come.
To be honest Rory was the only one that I liked in the book. I loved her two roommates and the boy that was slowly taking her heart. These characters were essential to telling the story and the way they were weaved into the pages was done nicely and made me look forward to scenes they were in. Jazzy and Jerome may have been in the dark for most, if not everything, that was going on, but they were Rory’s support system and that made them integral to the plot.
Between the characters and the wonderful way London was worked in(yes, it made me want to go and visit) the book was smart and witty and mysterious and charming. The ending was a doozy but instead of making me want to throw the book it made me more excited for the next part of this story. Really great great book. If you haven’t given this one by Johnson a chance, pick it up and try it. I don’t think you will regret it.