The Name Of The Star by Maureen JohnsonThe Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name Of The Star

byMaureen Johnson

Paperback | October 2, 2012

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New York Times bestseller Maureen Johnson takes on Jack the Ripper in this captivating paranormal thriller!

The day that Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school is also the day a series of brutal murders breaks out over the city, killings mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper spree of more than a century ago. 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--the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target. In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.
Maureen Johnson is the author of many young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Let It Snow. She lives in New York City.
Title:The Name Of The StarFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.96 inPublished:October 2, 2012Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0142422053

ISBN - 13:9780142422052


Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring and repeative I was super excited for this book when I first picked it up. The plot seemed to be fun and exciting. Unfortunately, I found it to be really boring. I felt like I read through the same thing over and over in each chapter. The story focused less on the mysterious part, but more on the protagonist.
Date published: 2018-07-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson The only thought in my head for much of the reading was that of Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore. It doesn’t do much credit to a story when the reader is perpetually distracted by a pop culture reference. You don’t see Heathcliff or Rochester being thrown around the literary world for a reason. The goal is to hook your reader, not set them in mind of other amusements. Perhaps I am too judgmental but I feel this was an exceeding poor choice on Johnson’s part especially since we are talking about her protagonist. Chapter one is bad place to identify your first red flag.On the bright side, although The Name of the Star is the first book in a trilogy, I have to compliment the author on the ending. Although the last page is slightly cliff-hangery, the book can easily be read as a stand-alone. The case is closed, the characters are in a good place. It is what you'd call a respectful cliff-hanger. I will not be coming back for more of Maureen Johnson's books, so it was nice to have a closure
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson The only thought in my head for much of the reading was that of Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore. It doesn’t do much credit to a story when the reader is perpetually distracted by a pop culture reference. You don’t see Heathcliff or Rochester being thrown around the literary world for a reason. The goal is to hook your reader, not set them in mind of other amusements. Perhaps I am too judgmental but I feel this was an exceeding poor choice on Johnson’s part especially since we are talking about her protagonist. Chapter one is bad place to identify your first red flag.On the bright side, although The Name of the Star is the first book in a trilogy, I have to compliment the author on the ending. Although the last page is slightly cliff-hangery, the book can easily be read as a stand-alone. The case is closed, the characters are in a good place. It is what you'd call a respectful cliff-hanger. I will not be coming back for more of Maureen Johnson's books, so it was nice to have a closure
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book It’s not the best that Maureen Johnson has ever written. Definitely way different from her other novels. There's less humour in it than the others, but I really liked the mystery part of this novel. The characters are interesting and I still love the style of writing that Maureen uses. I will be continuing this series.
Date published: 2018-06-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Surprised :)! This novel was definitely different than what I was anticipating, and in a good way. There were lots of things I enjoyed about this novel, but there were a few things that just weren't my style. I really enjoy the characters of this novel...Rory, Jazza, Boo, Jerome, Stephen, Callum, and Allistar. They definitely made this story very interesting and made me want to find out more about each person. I want to see more of all the characters in the rest of the series! I really enjoyed that this was a novel about Jack The Ripper, but at the same time not really. I loved that actual facts from the original murders were placed within the pages of this novel. The parts I really didn't like were the feelings of rushed romance...and maybe just some of the descriptive words to describe the make-out scenes were a bit too descriptive (yucky). I am really intrigued as to where this story is going to go moving forward. I really hope there is more Stephen and Callum. And also now we have the ground work laid the next novel will be a bit more fast paced! Definitely worth a read !
Date published: 2017-09-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pleasantly surprised I was surprised I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I liked the main character and mystery and suspense, although the cover is a little weird in my opinion, not that that matters too much... Overall, pretty good!
Date published: 2017-06-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Really Slow Not my favorite book in the world, but it was still interesting. Planning to continue with this series and see how it turns out.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Kind of slow, but good Okay, let's get the bad out of the way first: This book suffered a bit from Unspoken's issue, in that it was flippant and out looking for a laugh when it was entirely inappropriate for people to be quipping. It interrupted the flow, and made the main character (who was the main quip culprit) to seem a bit like a caricature. She never, ever let up with the quips. Sometimes, snarkiness needs to take a backseat to common sense. Although, moving into the good prematurely, a lot of the quips were pretty good. Maybe I've been a bit desensitized, but this book also felt a little slow. There was a long time before something really exciting happened, and a lot of explaining, which I guess is appropriate for a first-in-the-series book. Still, it dragged a bit. Things I liked: Minimal romance. Good friendships. Morally questionable bad quys. Good atmosphere. And it was set in London. It really was very atmospheric, which made it fun to read at one in the morning. The ghost idea was also handled really well, and required minimal suspension of disbelief. All in all, a solid three stars. I liked it. I'll think be reading the next one.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved! A quick and interesting read! Great storyline with many likeable characters and a creepy atmosphere in addition to the ruthless antagonist of the story!
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good start to the series! The book was awesome! I loved the supernatural twists and the book's take on Jack the Ripper.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! This book held my attention right from the beginning until the very end. I definitely recommend picking it up!
Date published: 2015-02-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it Rory, an American teenager is new at a boarding school in London, England. Her timing could have been better because there is a murderer on the loose that is mimicking Jack the Ripper. When Rory sees the murderer by accident while going back to her room, people don’t believe her because they didn’t see anyone. She wonders why she saw him and not her Roomate. This eerie start to a wonderful retelling of Jack the Ripper infused with a modern day paranormal story is the beginning of The Name of the Star and I hope it’s not the last! This book had all the basic elements of a page turner. Mystery to solve? Check! Murderer to find? Check? Strong leading protagonist with a wonderful supportive cast of friends? Check! I gladly devoured this book in all of its 372 pages of creepy glory. Now, I’m not you’re average mystery reader, but I have to admit when there’s a serial killer on the loose, with no real clues, no evidence that can perpetuate a suspect, my mind goes off in a million directions trying to figure out the killer. This was no exception and I love the plot, the setting and the characters. Take a stab (haha get it? Bad joke!) And read this book and you’ll know my recommendation is solid. The Name of a Star gave me chills and I couldn’t help but look over my shoulder at times just to see if there was someone there that no one else could see. (I kid you not, I got a little paranoid!)
Date published: 2014-12-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Maureen Johnson has done it again! Maureen Johnson has always pleased me, but this is the first darker novel of hers that I've read, and my expectations were right- it would be as good as her other novels. I never read a book where the main character was going after the killer. This was a first to me, and I was very pleased with the outcome. I felt that the story was fast-paced. Before we knew it, Rory has already made many new friends and was after the killer, Jack the Ripper. It was amazing how she could see ghosts. This reminded me of Ruby Red for some reason, even though it has nothing to do with any time-travel of some sort.  Rory was an upbeat, independent character who always was up to something. I liked her a lot and I wished the best for her, even though you know, she's fictional. I was proud of this book, and am definitely looking forward for the sequel and beyond!
Date published: 2014-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from absolutely awsome loved it this ok was awesome did not know it was a supernatural kinda book thought it was a mystery but turned out to be a supernatural thriller loved how it kind dragged on I hate it when most books do that but for this book I did not mind it had to to all make sense and loved how for the ripper that he was a ghost and what not don't want to say to to much but give it a 100 thumbs up and it was also a fast read for me :)
Date published: 2013-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this! Something for everyone! Originally posted on The Name of the Star written by Maureen Johnson, and originally published in September 2011 by Putnam Juvenile. This is the first book in the Shade of London Trilogy, and this is the first full length book by Maureen Johnson that I have read (I read Let it Snow which she co-wrote with John Green and Lauren Myracle). I have been admiring this book in the bookstore for a while now, but I waited until it was in paperback to buy it, and then it promptly sat on my bookshelf for a long time. The reason that I picked it up this month is because I saw the audio book at the library and I really like to listen to the audio book while reading the actual book. So going into this book the only thing that I knew about it was that it was about Jack the Ripper, and that was enough to sell me on it. I think like a lot of people I thought that the book was going to be historical fiction, and that I would be transported back to the 1800s to the scenes of the Jack the Ripper murders; especially after seeing the original North American Hardcover for the book. However, I was mistaken, and this is actually a modern novel that takes place in 21st century London with someone mimicking the murders of Jack the Ripper. The story follows Aurora “Rory” Deveaux a Southern girl from Louisiana who decides to spend a year at a boarding school in London. It’s definitely going to be an adjustment for Rory because she has a very taxing schedule which includes early morning Saturday classes and Field hockey practices. The day she arrives at her new school Wexford coincides with the first in a series of brutal murders. This murder recreates the first of Jack the Rippers canonical murders which took place in 1888. Chaos soon erupts and it’s not long until the entire country has developed Rippermania. Once again there are no suspects in the killings nor are there any witnesses. That is until Rory spots a man who quickly becomes the prime suspect, but how come her roommate who was with her wasn’t able to see him?? Soon Rory finds herself a target and she must quickly learn things about herself that she isn’t sure she’s ready for. Ok so I really enjoyed this book!! I went into it thinking I was getting one kind of book, but it was very different from what I imagined. You kind of get two different books that compliment each other. The first half of the book is more contemporary with Rory adjusting to life in England making friends and going to pubs. We really get to know the characters, and there is a hint of romance thrown in. I like that the story doesn’t rely on a love triangle because the story is strong enough on its own. I really found the parts about the murders interesting and well researched. I didn’t really know too much about Jack the Ripper so I found myself going to the internet to look things up because although it is pretty gruesome it is at the same time fascinating. I can actually imagine how people would react if there was a modern day killer in the Ripper fashion and I think Maureen did a great job of showing what would actually happen. I kept thinking to myself how is this going to be dragged out into three books. I hate the trend that everything these days is made into a trilogy/series, but after the end you know!! The second part of the book takes a twist, the intensity and danger are turned up, and the story becomes more of a paranormal thriller very different from the beginning. I was surprised that it went into that direction, but before the big reveal I had figured it out. There are new characters and we see Rory’s school life fading into the background. The ending was a little shocking though so I can’t wait to see where the series goes. I really enjoyed the characters. I must say that the girl who does the voices for the audiobooks was great. She is good at doing both male and female voices and all kinds of accents! I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook along with reading the book because it sort of adds another dimension to reading. There really is something in this story for everyone. Some action, intrigue, paranormal, romance it’s all there because the book covers a wide range of genres. At times I was even a little freaked out, and I was so on-edge and so into the book that if some one would have come up behind me I would have lost it! I can’t wait to check out the sequel which is called The Madness Underneath and it was just recently released in February. The final book in the series is not scheduled for release until 2014…Maybe I should wait until closer to the third book release to read the second one because I think the ending is intense. Have you read this book yet?? What did you think? Have you read the second one? Do you think I should read it right away or wait??
Date published: 2013-04-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprisingly Good The name of the star is one of those books that I'd been wanting to read for a while but was in no major rush to do so. I've enjoyed Maureen Johnson's contemporary stuff, and love her hilarious twitter updates, so I figured this would be, at a minimum, readable. As it turned out it was a lot more than just readable, and is currently possessing 99.99% of my book related thoughts. I can not wait to get my hands on the sequel, and don't know if I can hold on another 56 days to do so. Maureen Johnson seriously impressed me with this one. It is a genuinely creepy, exciting read that is full of her trademark wit. I absolutely love how it involves a classic old mystery, using the myths and facts from the murders of Jack the Ripper that took place in London in 1888. You could tell that Johnson put a ton of effort into researching the back stories, and working them in to her own modern tale. The details that she incorporates in this, and her story telling all around, are so impressive. At the lead of this story is Rory, a genuinely quirky and unique character. Usually when I think of quirky YA characters, it is a specific type of quirk, more the alternative type of girl that seems to try to be quirky. (How many times can I say quirky in one paragraph?) Rory is very different from this, which is really fun and refreshing. I have never read a character who is quite like her. She's relateable in an I have nothing in common with her, but still totally get her kind of way. Maureen Johnson's wit really shines though in this character, and the book in general, but it is so subtle and understated. She can make the most mundane situations funny in a quiet and unusual kind of way. The setting really helps to make this story shine. I love the idea of a YA book set at an international boarding school, (Anna and the French Kiss, anyone?) and London makes the perfect backdrop to this story, especially with the references to local historical events. Whether you are a fan of paranormal or contemporary YA, this book is for you. While it is a paranormal novel, it is a story that could fit in to the real world with ease, and has many elements of a contemporary. There is romance involved, but it really isn't the focus, and I think that really works for the story and the characters involved. This review was originally posted at Along for the Read:
Date published: 2013-03-15

Read from the Book

If you live around New Orleans and they think a hurricane might be coming, all hell breaks loose. Not among the residents, really, but on the news. The news wants us to worry desperately about hurricanes. In my town, Bénouville, Louisiana (pronounced locally as Ben-ah-VEEL; population 1,700), hurricane preparations generally include buying more beer, and ice to keep that beer cold when the power goes out. We do have a neighbor with a two-man rowboat lashed on top of the porch roof, all ready to go if the water rises—but that’s Billy Mack, and he started his own religion in the garage, so he’s got a lot more going on than just an extreme concern for personal safety.Anyway, Bénouville is an unstable place, built on a swamp. Everyone who lives there accepts that it was a terrible place to build a town, but since it’s there, we just go on living in it. Every fifty years or so, everything but the old hotel gets wrecked by a flood or a hurricane—and the same bunch of lunatics comes back and builds new stuff. Many generations of the Deveaux family have lived in beautiful downtown Bénouville, largely because there is no other part to live in. I love where I’m from, don’t get me wrong, but it’s the kind of town that makes you a little crazy if you never leave, even for a little while. My parents were the only ones in the family to leave to go to college and then law school. They became law professors at Tulane, in New Orleans. They had long since decided that it would be good for all three of us to spend a little time living outside of Louisiana. Four years ago, right before I started high school, they applied to do a year’s sabbatical teaching American law at the University of Bristol in England. We made an agreement that I could take part in the decision about where I would spend that sabbatical year—it would be my senior year. I said I wanted to go to school in London.Bristol and London are really far apart, by English standards. Bristol is in the middle of the country and far to the west, and London is way down south. But really far apart in England is only a few hours on the train. And London is London. So I had decided on a school called Wexford, located in the East End of London. The three of us were all going to fly over together and spend a few days in London, then I would go to school and my parents would go to Bristol, and I would travel back and forth every few weeks. But then there was a hurricane warning, and everyone freaked out, and the airlines wiped the schedule. The hurricane teased everyone and rolled around the Gulf before turning into a rainstorm, but by that point our flight had been canceled and everything was a mess for a few days. Eventually, the airline managed to find one empty seat on a flight to New York, and another empty seat on a flight to London from there. Since I was scheduled to be at Wexford before my parents needed to be in Bristol, I got the seat and went by myself.Which was fine, actually. It was a long trip—three hours to New York, two hours wandering the airport before taking a six-hour flight to London overnight—but I still liked it. I was awake all night on the flight watching English television and listening to all the English accents on the plane.I made my way through the duty-free area right after customs, where they try to get you to buy a few last-minute gallons of perfume and crates of cigarettes. There was a man waiting for me just beyond the doors. He had completely white hair and wore a polo shirt with the name Wexford stitched on the breast. A shock of white chest hair popped out at the collar, and as I approached him, I caught the distinctive, spicy smell of men’s cologne. Lots of cologne.“Aurora?” he asked.“Rory,” I corrected him. I never use the name Aurora. It was my great-grandmother’s name, and it was dropped on me as kind of a family obligation. Not even my parents use it.“I’m Mr. Franks. I’ll be taking you to Wexford. Let me help you with those.”I had two incredibly large suitcases, both of which were heavier than I was and were marked with big orange tags that said HEAVY. I needed to bring enough to live for nine months. Nine months in a place that had cold weather. So while I felt justified in bringing these extremely big and heavy bags, I didn’t want someone who looked like a grandfather pulling them, but he insisted. “You picked quite the day to arrive, you did,” he said, grunting as he dragged the suitcases along. “Big news this morning. Some nutter’s gone and pulled a Jack the Ripper.” I figured “pulled a Jack the Ripper” was one of those English expressions I’d need to learn. I’d been studying them online so I wouldn’t get confused when people started talking to me about “quid” and “Jammy Dodgers” and things like that. This one had not crossed my electronic path.“Oh,” I said. “Sure.”He led me through the crowds of people trying to get into the elevators that took us up to the parking lot. As we left the building and walked into the lot, I felt the first blast of cool breeze. The London air smelled surprisingly clean and fresh, maybe a little metallic. The sky was an even, high gray. For August, it was ridiculously cold, but all around me I saw people in shorts and T-shirts. I was shivering in my jeans and sweatshirt, and I cursed my flip-flops—which some stupid site told me were good to wear for security reasons. No one mentioned they make your feet freeze on the plane and in England, where they mean something different when they say “summer.”We got to the school van, and Mr. Franks loaded the bags in. I tried to help, I really did, but he just said no, no, no. I was almost certain he was going to have a heart attack, but he survived.“In you get,” he said. “Door’s open.”I remembered to get in on the left side, which made me feel very clever for someone who hadn’t slept in twenty-four hours. Mr. Franks wheezed for a minute once he got into the driver’s seat. I cracked my window to release some of the cologne into the wild. “It’s all over the news.” Wheeze, wheeze. “Happened up near the Royal Hospital, right off the Whitechapel Road. Jack the Ripper, of all things. Mind you, tourists love old Jack. Going to cause lots of excitement, this. Wexford’s in Jack the Ripper territory.”He switched on the radio. The news station was on, and I listened as he drove us down the spiral exit ramp.“. . . thirty-one-year-old Rachel Belanger, a commercial filmmaker with a studio on Whitechapel Road. Authorities say that she was killed in a manner emulating the first Jack the Ripper murder of 1888 . . .”Well, at least that cleared up what “pulling a Jack the Ripper” meant.“. . . body found on Durward Street, just after four this morning. In 1888, Durward Street was called Bucks Row. Last night’s victim was found in the same location and position as Mary Ann Nichols, the first Ripper victim, with very similar injuries. Chief Inspector Simon Cole of Scotland Yard gave a brief statement saying that while there were similarities between this murder and the murder of Mary Ann Nichols on August 31, 1888, it is premature to say that this is anything other than a coincidence. For more on this, we go to senior correspondent Lois Carlisle . . .” Mr. Franks barely missed the walls as he wove the car down the spiral.“. . . Jack the Ripper struck on four conventionally agreed upon dates in 1888: August 31, September 8, the ‘Double Event’ of September 30—so called because there were two murders in the space of under an hour—and November 9. No one knows what became of the Ripper or why he stopped on that date . . .”“Nasty business,” Mr. Franks said as we reached the exit. “Wexford is right in Jack’s old hunting grounds. We’re just five minutes from the Whitechapel Road. The Jack the Ripper tours come past all the time. I imagine there’ll be twice as many now.”We took a highway for a while, and then we were suddenly in a populated area—long rows of houses, Indian restaurants, fish-and-chip shops. Then the roads got narrower and more crowded and we had clearly entered the city without my noticing. We wound along the south side of the Thames, then crossed it, all of London stretched around us.I had seen a picture of Wexford a hundred times or more. I knew the history. Back in the mid-1800s, the East End of London was very poor. Dickens, pickpockets, selling children for bread, that kind of thing. Wexford was built by a charity. They bought all the land around a small square and built an entire complex. They constructed a home for women, a home for men, and a small Gothic revival church—everything necessary to provide food, shelter, and spiritual guidance. All the buildings were attractive, and they put some stone benches and a few trees in the tiny square so there was a pleasant atmosphere. Then they filled the buildings with poor men, women, and children and made them all work fifteen hours a day in the factories and workhouses that they also built around the square.Somewhere around 1920, someone realized this was all kind of horrible, and the buildings were sold off. Someone had the bright idea that these Gothic and Georgian buildings arranged around a square kind of looked like a school, and bought them. The workhouses became classroom buildings. The church eventually became the refectory. The buildings were all made of brownstone or brick at a time when space in the East End came cheap, so they were large, with big windows and peaks and chimneys silhouetted against the sky. “This is your building here,” Mr. Franks said as the car bumped along a narrow cobblestone path. It was Hawthorne, the girls’ dorm. The word WOMEN was carved in bas-relief over the doorway. Standing right under this, as proof, was a woman. She was short, maybe just five feet tall, but broad. Her face was a deep, flushed red, and she had big hands, hands you’d imagine could make really big meatballs or squeeze the air out of tires. She had a bob haircut that was almost completely square, and was wearing a plaid dress made of hearty wool. Something about her suggested that her leisure activities included wrestling large woodland animals and banging bricks together. As I got out of the van she called, “Aurora!” in a penetrating voice that could cause a small bird to fall dead out of the sky.“Call me Claudia,” she boomed. “I’m housemistress of Hawthorne. Welcome to Wexford.”“Thanks,” I said, my ears still ringing. “But it’s Rory.”“Rory. Of course. Everything all right, then? Good flight?”“Great, thank you.” I hurried to the back of the van and tried to get to the bags before Mr. Franks broke his spine in three places hauling them out. Flip-flops and cobblestones do not go well together, however, especially after a rain, when every slight indentation is filled with cold water. My feet were soaked, and I was sliding and stumbling over the stones. Mr. Franks beat me to the back of the car, and grunted as he yanked the bags out.“Mr. Franks will bring those inside,” Claudia said. “Take them to room twenty-seven, please, Franks.”“Righto,” he wheezed.The rain started to patter down lightly as Claudia opened the door, and I entered my new home for the first time.