Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson Review

Name of the Star revolves around an American girl called Aurora Deveaux, Rory, who has just moved to England to a Boarding school. She arrives in England just as series of Jack the Ripper killings have begun and soon things start to hit very close to home.

The book begins with Rory arriving in England and this is perhaps one of my favourite aspects about Rory. The fact that she is an American in England. She doesn't get the cultural references and she doesn't understand some of the slang which is one of the things I think that bring her to life and made her more relatable. As an Irish person a lot of the slang and references would have made its way over here, but every now again I'm in the same boat as Rory and that really endeared her to me.

One of my favourite things about the book is the way the plot develops, Maureen Johnson foreshadows what is to come further on in the story in the little details. It is only when you look back that you see how the different aspects of the plot and characters have been building.

The book is littered with one liners that brought a smile to my face and little references here and there that made the nerd in me rejoice, the most notable of which being a reference to the police outfit Karen Gillan, of Doctor Who, wore in her first episode on the show.

Towards the end of the book I was reading whilst I had the news on in the background, and as I read more and more about the Ripper killings I found myself glancing up to the news trying to figure out why there wasn't any coverage of the murders. I happily admit that I became so engrossed in the story that I became part of its world while reading. And that is something that I as a reader don't come across often. It is very hard to become so lost in a story that you forget that it is fiction and mistake it for fact, but it is something that I am always looking for. Because that's what books are in a sense, an escape, and I feel that Maureen Johnson's book not only proves a great escape but also a great read with a plot that will keep you on your toes until the end and then leave you needing more.