Published September 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
The Name of the Star is about Rory Deveaux – a colourful teenager from Louisiana. Her parents have just moved to Bristol to teach for a year. Rather than stay with them, Rory decides to go to Wexford – a London boarding school. As well as having to deal with culture shock, there’s also a Jack the Ripper copycat murdering people around the city. His victims are attacked at the same time, at similar places and on the same dates as the original murders. But the police are clueless as to who the killer is.
On the night before a murdered woman is found on Wexford school property, Rory sees a man – she even speaks to him – but her friend Jazza didn’t see or hear him. That’s how Rory discovers that she has a very rare, very special ability – she can see ghosts.
Maureen Johnson is a really great author, in my opinion. She’s funny, but her writing is also very emotive. It makes me feel, you know?
In the case of The Name of the Star, there is a mix of humour and seriousness (it’s about a serial killer, after all). The suspense is definitely there, the killer is so creepy. I loved the general atmosphere of the novel – the city is terrified, but also morbidly curious. And for all you romance-addicts, there’s a little something for you too.