Review: The Name of the Star

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This wasn't on my to-read list, but I got it from BooksFreeSwap a while ago and had put it in a pile of books TBR, and promptly forgot about it. No idea why I "ordered" it, no idea why I wanted to read it, but it was certainly a gem of a book.

I've never been too into the Jack the Ripper mystery, but I found it all very fascinating while I was reading this book, written mostly from the perspective of a 17-year-old high school senior from Louisiana who winds up spending her senior year at a private school in London, being marked by a ghost.

I don't really like ghost stories either, but this one was particularly engrossing. The POV was a bit belabored, she sometimes read like a caricature of a modern teenager instead of a real one, although her sarcasm and train-of-thought ramblings got better as the book progressed. And for a book that's not realistic in the slightest, it definitely felt, well, realistic. I mean the way the ghosts were presented and explained, and the "squad" Rory finds herself sort of a part of, were pretty well thought-out. More so than many other books I've read lately, anyway.

Aside from Rory's somewhat mediocre POV, the only other thing I had a major issue with was the pages-long "confession" at the end, that read like a cliched scene from a superhero comic: You've (sort of) caught me, but I can kill you if I want to, so I'm going to tell you my entire story, and you're just going to stand there. It made me roll my eyes. But since I'd only knock the entire book down about a half star for that, I'll just leave my rating at 4 stars.

It appears this is only book 1 in a series, and I think I will go put book 2 on my TBR list now. Didn't particularly want to get sucked into another series, but hey, let's go with it.

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