CBR III Review #144: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Rory Deveaux moves to London from Louisiana when her parents are offered a teaching job. Rory is excited to be seeing more of the world but at the same time appropriately apprehensive. She begins school at a local boarding school a few hours away from where her parents are teaching and immediately feels like a fish out of water. Just as the school year begins a murderer starts to mimic the crimes of Jack the Ripper and London residents are at the same time hysterical and intrigued by the murders. When Rory accidentally becomes a witness to one of the crimes she finds herself in the middle of the investigation.
After reading Jessica Warman’s novels I’m now a sucker for a good board school story and this one had a lot of potential. First loves, bitter jealous girls, colorful roommates and all set in the wonderful rainy atmosphere of London. I even loved the murder mystery portion. It seemed fairly removed from the main story until Rory accidentally sees the killer but it added an interesting back drop to the story….but then ghost get involved and the whole story falls apart in my opinion. It goes from a story of a girl growing up in a foreign land and eery murder mystery into a ghostbusters plot. I think I would even had been okay with the ghost development if the way of dispatching the ghosts didn’t sound so incredibly ludicrous. Just trust me on this point.
- Reading level: Ages 12 and up
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; First Edition edition (September 29, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399256601
- ISBN-13: 978-0399256608
- Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars