The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star Maureen Johnson The last day of the BookExpo America I slept in by which I mean I didn't get up until close to 8am. After days of getting up before 6am it felt downright indulgent.  As I was getting read I noticed Maureen Johnson mention on Twitter that she was doing a signing at the Penguin booth at 10am for her upcoming book, The Name of the Star. I figured I wouldn't mind waiting in line for a signing if it was her and I really wanted to read her upcoming book and I knew that less people were going to BEA on the last day so I figured it wouldn't be too crazy.

Because this is the thing that they don't tell you about BEA -- you could spend all your time waiting in line at author signings. That's how a lot of people get books. It's also where I would go nuts. I don't mind waiting in line for something I really want but those lines? Are long and slow and people line jump and it's basically a way to Sassymonkey Crazy Town. So I mostly avoided them. But Maureen Johnson lured me in. She's like that. (Let's be honest, I was hoping the jars would make an appearance. I thought they might be out for a field trip.) It was worth it, even though it involved waiting in line underneath an a/c vent that was more than a tad cold.

I did not have a great trip back home after the excitement of BookExpo America and Book Blogger Convention. There were delays, which is fine. They were weather delays. It happens. I was pretty chill at first but the gate wasn't making any announcements about cancelled flights and I was getting all my info online, and then there was that connecting flight that I knew I was going to miss but they wouldn't bump me until after I had already landed in Toronto and had missed the flight. It was an awesome. I was overtired, cranky and I just wanted to be HOME. Hotel to home took me more than 10 hours. (I could have driven it in 7.)

I was flip-flopping between a few books. I read Cousin Kate for awhile but I finished it in the airport. When I (finally) got on the plane I pulled out The Name of the Star and settled in with my complimentary glass of wine (the airline sucked at the gate but their in-flight service rocks) and got transported to London...  through the book that is. My flight was actually to Ottawa via Toronto.

The Name of the Star combines a lot of my favourite elements in one book - sassy Southern female protagonist, boarding schools, ghosts and a mystery. Rory, being the sassy Southerner, gets to decide where her parents spend their sabbatical and chooses London. I can't really blame her (though my first choice would have been Paris...I'm like that). She arrives in London the same day the Jack the Ripper copycat murders start. The police have no leads but as the circle tightens around her boarding school Rory just might have seen the man responsible for the murders. The problem? No one else seems to be able to see him.

Totally fun read and just what I needed to pick myself up after a less than stellar day. I even stayed up to finish reading it, something that was rather impressive after a long day. The only problem is that the book isn't even out in general release yet so not only do you have to wait to read The Name of the Star (release date September 29, 2001) but I have to wait even longer for the sequel. Trust me, the way that The Name of the Star ends you WILL want to read the sequel.