The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson is a tense YA thriller

name of starRating: 5 stars

(Please note: This is a reprint — important because this series is still ongoing!)

“The Name of the Star” by Maureen Johnson is about a high school girl from Louisiana going to school in London because her parents, college professors, go there to teach for a year.

The publisher’s information says that Rory, the American in London, arrives just as a Jack the Ripper-like murder takes place. “Soon Rippermania takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him.

Although I like Johnson’s writing, this subject just did not strike me as interesting. The laugh was on me when I started the book and literally could not put it down. There are many factors that make this a truly good read.

The main character, Rory, is a very likable person. She’s real, down-to-earth, and just nice. Any American reading the book will feel like the tourist, Rory, sipping tea, looking at the architecture, visiting pubs, and just soaking in the English atmosphere. It’s a vicarious way to visit London.

When the spooky part starts, it begins low key and builds. But it really builds nicely to a point where one keeps turning the pages in a frenzy to find out what happens next. The blood, the danger, the spookily evil killer all combine in this don’t-read-it-alone-at-night story.

This is a book that will be enjoyed by both young adult readers and adult readers. It’s so many things: a detective story, a ghost story, a thriller, a travelogue, a good read.

For a novel that’s the first of a series, it has a wonderfully satisfying ending. There is a great twist right at the end which makes the ending not a final ending at all, but perhaps almost a beginning. But the reader is sated, happy to wait for the next step in the adventure — the second book — to be released.

The adventure continues!

This book was reviewed from a final hardcover version provided by the publisher for review purposes.

One thought on “The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson is a tense YA thriller

  1. Pingback: Getting to know Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman |

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