Friday, May 4, 2012

Literary Friday: The Name of the Star and All for You

This week I read two books:  The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson and All for You by Lynn Kurland.  I highly recommend both books.  It has been a great week for reading!



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The Name of the Star is a young adult novel set in contemporary London. The book's protagonist, Rory Deveaux, is a high school senior from Louisiana boarding at the Wexford School in London's East End.  Rory's Tulane University law professor parents are on sabbatical in Bristol, and it is their plan that Rory will visit them on the weekends. Upon Rory's arrival, London is in a panic over a murder that mimics Jack the Ripper.  The date, location, methodology and victim's last name are the same; now London awaits the arrival of September 8th, the date of the second murder.

Rory is apprehensive about learning new traditions and fitting-in at Wexford. She becomes fast friends with her roommate, Jazza, and befriends two boys: Jerome and Alistair. Alistair has a unique style that is reminiscent of the nineteen eighties, and he is always in the library's stacks reading in the dark. Rory is romantically interested in Jerome, and they soon start dating. Rory, Jerome and Jazza visit the scene of the first murder.  While there Rory talks to a stranger that no one else remembers.  The first modern murder happens in plain sight of numerous CCTV cameras.  However, when the police review the videos the victim is crystal clear, but the murderer cannot be seen: It is as if he has been edited completely out.  One person has seen who the police believe is the only suspect:  Rory.  She must explain to the police why she sees the suspect and her friends cannot.

Wexford is centrally located where the Ripper murders occurred.  As each of the murders get closer to Wexford, Rory helps a secret ghost police agency find the killer.  The historical fact about the original Jack the Ripper murders was interesting (if morbid), and the world that Maureen Johnson creates in The Name of the Star is clever and unique.  I have always enjoyed paranormal fiction, but this one also includes romance, humor, and history. The book does not end on a cliffhanger, but there is a surprise at the end about Rory's powers that makes me wonder if there is a sequel in the works. This book is appropriate for older teens only as it does contain violence.



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All for You is Lynn Kurland's latest romance novel.  I think that she is the very best romance writer, and I appreciate that her books are PG.  Her stories are always so much fun, and she injects humor and witty dialogue in all of her books.

All for You is Stephen de Piaget and Peaches Alexander's story.  I have never been a big fan of Stephen's until this book.  He might be one of my very favorite de Piaget men of all time!  He is a Cambridge history professor and the future Earl of Artane.  I always thought that he was a bit too nerdy, but little did I know that he has been training with Ian McLeod in Scotland.  Ian's medieval bootcamp has prepared Stephen for the adventure of his life:  He must rescue Peaches who accidentally slips through a time gate.

Peaches' pride will not admit she has feelings for Stephen.  She fears that he is above her station, and he will never take her seriously.  There is definitely a Pride and Prejudice feel to this story, and I love all the references to the book. Unbeknownst to Peaches, Stephen had fallen for her when they first met. One of the sweetest things about the book is why he loves her.  His values are admirable, and I love how Lynn Kurland features what is truly important in life through her stories.

The only negatives about the book is that two critical scenes are told in flashback, and the accounts are rather short.  I would have liked to have read them, and I would not have minded reading a longer book.  The plot never stalled, and Peaches and Stephen (especially Stephen) were fully developed. All for You is one of her best in my opinion.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


7 comments:

  1. Wow, the first book has caught my attention big time. I will have to look for that on my Nook! You have written two great reviews...I always enjoy them!

    XO,
    Jane

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  2. Hi, Ricki

    Great reviews, I will have to check these novels out. Thanks and have a great weekend.

    Vanessa

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  3. Both books sound great! I have a hard time finding books that don't contain a bunch of garbage in them, so I hardly read anymore! Sounds like both of these books would be to my liking!

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  5. I enjoyed you book reviews Ricki Jill. I love a good mystery so the first novel jumped out at me. I also think the romance sounds like a good beach read!
    Have a great week.

    Emily
    The French Hutch

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  6. I've missed you! Thanks so much for the reviews ~ both books are appealing to me. When it's so very hot here during the summers I look for good books to read.

    Hope all is well in your world!
    xo
    Pat

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  7. Ricki Jill, I love your book reviews ! These both sound good!

    I have featured an Interview on my site with Tina from The Enchanted Home...

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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