Title: The Name of the Star (Shades of London)*

Author: Maureen Johnson

Paranormal Mystery YA

Published September 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile

Goodreads summary: 

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events 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. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory 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.


I picked up my first Maureen Johnson book a few months ago. I have never looked back.

But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t curious about where this might go and how much I’d like it. I read Devilish, a different paranormal book by her and while I admit to liking it a great deal, I’m also going to say it wasn’t my favorite. The large majority of MJ’s book are feel-good contemporaries with witty protagonists. The novels are typically laced with her signature brand of humor. I worried that I’d miss that in such a spooky plot.

I wanted to cheer when the hilarity remained and was pulled off beautifully. I should never have doubted the woman who made this video.

But besides all the giggling I did, I can still say with utter sincerity that this is one spooky book.

There’s hardly a soul alive who hasn’t at least heard the name “Jack the Ripper,” but to be 100% honest, I had no idea of the brutality that the Ripper attacked with back in 1888. The idea that there’s a copycat killer is terrifying enough. But a copycat killer spirit? Shivers, guys.

You grow to sympathize with Rory a great deal as a chasm grows between her and her school friends. She can’t explain to them what’s going on without sounding absurdly crazy, but they can’t seem to understand why she’s even more affected by the murders than everyone else.

I feel like I say this every time I get my hands on another Maureen Johnson book: This may be my favorite book by her yet!

Overall rating: 5/5. This was a highly anticipated release that didn’t disappoint. I am very much looking forward to the second book in the Shades of London series.

*Note: I am an Amazon affiliate and if you choose to purchase the book through my link, I will receive a small percentage of the sale. This in no way affected my review.