What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Maureen Johnson is one of my favorite authors to read (and to twitterstalk). She's kind of hilarious. When I found out that The Name of the Star had a Jack the Ripper slant, I was definitely interested in reading it. I have a sort of perverse fascination with serial killer stories. I blame television. Anyway, here is the summary from Goodreads: 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.

Ghost police? Wha...? I think I'd like to have that job.

What I Liked: 1) The setting. London seems like the perfect location for a ghost story, because it has such a great history. I can't wait to explore more of it in the next books of the Shades of London series. (I've never been to London, so I get to use my imagination to fill in the blanks!) 2) Rory. I honestly can't tell if it's Rory herself, or Miz Johnson's sense of humor that I enjoyed so much. I was laughing so much that my sister, who was in the room, reading Julie Kagawa's Iron Knight, kept asking me what was so funny. Finally, she was like, "I have to read that one!" Rory is a character that I think a lot of people will be able to relate to. She's funny, she's quirky, and she's got her own way of solving problems that make her feel very real. 3) Jack the Ripper. Bringing this well-known story into a modern setting was an awesome concept. I'm not sure how many people know much about the story of this serial killer, but the facts are all there in the book, without getting too technical or gross. It made the book kind of, haunting and historical. Definitely fun. 4) The friendship between Jazza, Boo, and Rory. Jazza and Rory get along really well. And Boo and Rory become pretty good friends. But the three of them together sounds like a recipe for disaster, because Boo and Jazza really couldn't be more different. I hope that we see more of that in coming Shades of London books! 5) The suspense. Miz Johnson was able to surprise me at several points along the plotline, which was awesome. 6) Of course, the ending. The ending resolved one of the big plotlines, so I am curious to see where the story is going to go next.

What I Didn't Like: There was some disconnect between the two worlds that Rory finds herself in. The world at school, with Jazza and their friends. And then this other world with Callem and Stephen and Boo. But I have faith that that is going to be resolved in the coming books. Heh.

Overall thoughts: This is a must-read for anyone who loves paranormal stories with a big helping of humor. The suspense will hold your attention, and the storyline will keep you reading late into the night. Pick up this one and be prepared to be haunted and still laughing!

My rating: 5 shots

Cheers and Happy Reading!


  1. All of the paranormal stuff really must have a helping of humor beside it, otherwise the book would be dry. I wish more paranormal works followed this rule.

  2. I loved this book! I can't wait until the next one comes out. =)

  3. Rory sounds like a great MC! I'm really looking forward to reading this one. Loved your review!

  4. I stalk authors via Twitter too! Great review, I think I'll really enjoy this book... thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    Megan @ Storybook Love Affair


  5. I really enjoyed this one too the setting was wonderful! I had one problem with the motive for the killer but I let it pass.

    Xpresso Reads

  6. JuJu - Hey, I'm ready to give up my job to become a Ghost Police anytime!

    Uomo - I know! I love finding humor in darker stories! It's like a flashlight when the lights go out!

    Nerd Girls - Maureen Johnson is just so much fun. I can't wait until the next Shades of London comes out! Too far.....!!

    Karen - Rory was great, I loved her personality! Can't wait to hear what you think of it!

    Megan - You're welcome! And Twitterstalking is one of my favorite pasttimes!

    Giselle - Haha, I didn't even think about the motive for the killer, but you're very right about it. Maybe we'll get to explore more in book 2!

    Thanks for stopping by everyone! LOVES to all of you!


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