Shades of London: The Name of the Star

Ok, I really, really, really like Maureen Johnson. She’s a wonderful, quirky writer and she makes me laugh on twitter. For real, you should follow her on twitter. Trust me.

I haven’t quite read all of her books – our county library doesn’t own some of her earlier books, and my book money only goes so far. But, most of what I have read is pretty girl centered (in a good way) and perfect for the teen girl market.

When her latest book, The Name of the Star, originally came out (the original cover is the older looking one with the creepy black and white ghosty guy) I was excited to read something from Johnson that didn’t necessarily fit into her typical book category. It didn’t disappoint. At all.

The Name of The Star has the perfect amount of mystery and creepiness balanced with lots of fun. I love Maureen Johnson’s voice in her books – that playful quirkiness always comes through. It’s like you can just tell she’d be really fun to go get some coffee with. Anyway, in this book, London is being terrorized by someone who is copying the Jack the Ripper murders. The protagonist, a teenage girl from Louisiana studying at an English boarding school, is named Rory. She’s instantly likable and easy to identify with as she navigates this mystery.

What I like about this, too, is that it IS the first in a series of books called Shades of London. The next book, The Madness Underneath, comes out in February. BUT this is not like those series where you can’t stand to wait for the next one, even though you’ll definitely look forward to it. The Name of the Star has a resolved, finished feel to it. It’s perfectly satisfying, and it’s good to know there will be more of them.

You can click here to be taken to the Barnes and Noble site for this book if you want to order. (I’m not endorsed by BN or anything. It’s just one of my happy places.) On that page, you can preview the first part of the book by clicking on the book cover. They also have a cool preview of Book 2 in the series so you can check it out. Enjoy… I know I did!


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