Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Name of the Star (YA)

The Name of the Star. Maureen Johnson. 2011. Penguin. 384 pages.

The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins. She didn't notice them, of course. No one paid attention to the cameras. It was an accepted fact that London has one of the most extensive CCTV systems in the world. 

Considering the genre, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one. I wouldn't necessarily say I loved it. But. If you judge a book based on your need to finish it, then it was well worth it!

The heroine of The Name of the Star is Rory, a teen girl from Louisiana, who decides to give an English boarding school a try when her parents get an offer to go to Bristol for a year to teach American law. Rory chooses a London boarding school. She never could have predicted--who would have?!--the danger she'll face in that particular neighborhood. For around the time she arrives, there are a series of murders in the style of Jack the Ripper. The murderer is obviously duplicating almost every little thing about the murders, and so the murders follow a certain pattern, a certain schedule. But that doesn't make the neighborhood any "safer." As Rory learns when she catches a glimpse of the killer.

So The Name of the Star isn't quite my genre. It's a paranormal horror novel! And I still am not a fan of the genre. I'm not. It's just not the way I like to spend my time. But this novel kept me reading.

Read The Name of the Star
  • If you love ghost stories, OR I-can-speak-to-ghost stories
  • If you love horror novels or thrillers. This one isn't so much a mystery--although I suppose it has mystery in it--but it's more of a chasing novel where the heroine is at risk of becoming a victim than a detective novel with a mystery to solve. I prefer mysteries.
  • If you are interested in anything/everything Jack the Ripper
  • If you like stories with a boarding school setting

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana 11:06 AM  

I started this last year but then I hit my reading slump. I need to try again!

Marg 6:43 PM  

I read this last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) 7:45 PM  

Not really my genre either but I am about a third of the way into this, so far, and I do love it.

samantha.1020 7:26 PM  

I read this one and really enjoyed it last year. I'm super excited to read the 2nd book whenever it comes out! Such a good read!

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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