Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Epic Reading List Updated: The Name of the Star

List Update as of January 15th

1. 'The Hunger Games' -Suzanne Collins
2. 'Alanna the First Adventure' -Tamora Pierce
3. 'Anna Dressed in Blood' -Kendare Blake
4. 'In the Hand of the Goddess' -Tamora Pierce
5. 'Graceling' -Kristin Cashore
6. 'The Woman Who Rides Like a Man' -Tamora Pierce
7. 'The Name of the Star' -Maureen Johnson

8. 'Lioness Rampant' -Tamora Pierce
9. 'Tale of Two Cities' -Charles Dickens
10. 'Wild Magic' -Tamora Pierce
11. 'Catching Fire' -Suzanne Collins
12. 'Wolf Speaker' -Tamora Pierce
13. 'Matched' -Ally Condie
14. 'Emperor Mage' -Tamora Pierce
15. 'Divergent' -Veronica Roth
16. 'The Realm of the Gods' -Tamora Pierce


I adore this book. It has everything. I laughed, I teared up, I gasped. It was glorious. When I really started reading it was all I wanted to do.

The Name of the Star is my first book encounter with Maureen Johnson. I follow her on Twitter and have noticed that she had a particular sort of humor and having heard that The Name of the Star involved Jack the Ripper I was pretty skeptical about the humor and inevitable gruesomeness balancing in a satisfying way. It was a very silly worry to have. The two play off of each other in a very realistic way. The jokes are never forced and feel like honest reactions.

I always talk about the main character and let me say Rory is amazing. With all of her ridiculous stories and animated qualities she is very much an every-girl. There's so much humor and uncertainty in her that she is instantly relateable even if you don't have a colorful family back in Louisiana. She has the same fish-out-of-water quality that in part made Anna from Anna and the French Kiss so delightful (and anyone whose read past entries knows I gush enough about that book).

The creepy. Oh, the creepy. This wasn't a book that made me afraid to turn the lights out at night, though I heard it would be. I didn't constantly look over my shoulder on my way to my car after work either (I mean any more than I usually do). That being said, I was not unaffected by the creepy. It was a very subconscious sort of freak out. That kind that makes you feel cold inside your chest. I think it was described simply and beautifully by Jerome when he says: "Pretending to be Jack the Ripper is pretty much the scariest thing you could possibly do because he's a total unknown." (pg 200). And that is it and Maureen Johnson plays on that because even when we find out what is going on the why isn't revealed to us until later. Even after I finished the book that cold feeling didn't dissipate.

The revelation of the why is the only thing that I even semi-hesitated about. It was fantastic but the big moment felt a little rushed since the novel took so long with the lead in. Over all that's not the worst fault and hardly impacted my view of the book.

But...THE END! Come on! When does The Madness Underneath come out? Now please?

I am sure I am going to spend the next week pestering my mum about the fact that she didn't send me to boarding school in London and having Jack the Ripper stuck in my thoughts. Thanks for that Maureen Johnson.

Overall rating: Beyond Epic

I should have another Life Lessons Learned From Books post coming up soon.

Next up is the final book in Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet: Lioness Rampant.


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