2012: 57. The Name of the Star

 "The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins."

The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson

   I loved, loved, this book.  I'm a fan of Johnson's work, but this was like, a whole nother notch better.  Or maybe it's just because I really like books like this, so that when it was combined with my penchant for Johnson's writing it, it all came together.

    Anyway, its set in London, where Rory Devereaux is going to boarding school (her parents have left Louisiana to be visiting professors elsewhere in England, she is sticking to the capital, thank you very much).  Yet just as she arrives, a series of brutal murders break out, mimicking the Jack the Ripper killings.  Rippermania breaks out across London - and Johnson absolutely captures the  mixed fear/media madness such a thing would lead to in this day and age.  There are no witnesses - but Rory sees something creepy - and for some strange reason, no one else does.  Will she be the person who solves the crime?

   Well, duh, right? But the best part isn't in that blurb, because there is a paranormal angle that is 1) super awesome, and 2) makes it so that we get resolution in this book, but that there can totally be a sequel that continues on in this world.  Which, even though I bitch about how all YA books are part of sequels (and have totally complained about that very thing in Johnson's own Suite Scarlett books - see the link above), I just wanted more of this world when it was done!  I loved the Ripper stuff - how Johnson made it compelling but not exploitative, and I loved Rory, and I most of all loved the premise which (have I danced around it enough? Don't read further if you don't want to know! Involves talking to ghosts! I LOVE talking to ghosts!).  So, ok, to recap, great book, great atmosphere, cannot wait for the sequel!

Categories:  YA, Library Book, Best books of the year

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017