Thursday, November 05, 2015

Kearsten's Book Club Wrap-up: The Name of the Star

Did you miss book club last week? Never fear, read on to find out what we thought of Maureen's Johnson's The Name of the Star!

Rory, of Boueuxlieu, Louisiana, is spending a year at a London boarding school when she witnesses a murder by a Jack the Ripper copycat and becomes involved with the very unusual investigation.

Overall, book clubbers *really* liked this one. We totally dug the boarding school, the ghostly element, and certain members seriously enjoyed the Jack the Ripper murders! (Though one teen lamented the lack of main character deaths. He felt those would have added more suspense and motivation on Rory's part. The rest of us mostly yelled at him for his wanting some of our favorite characters to die.)

We spent a lot of time speculating about ghosts in general - do ghosts exists? Why might ghosts happen? - and then moved on to the victims in the story and why those people - or anyone, really - becomes a victim of violence. We also touched a bit on the "Ripperoloigists" in the story (people who started flocking to the scenes of the books' murders to either sightsee, "help" with the investigation, or simply try to profit off of the spectacle), and how there are people/websites that devote their time to trying to solve unsolved murders from history and today. (For a one of Kearsten's favorites, see the link below.)

We had a great time discussing The Name of the Star, but if you've already read it, why not try one of these book-club-recommended "books to read if you loved The Name of the Star" titles?

Dead City by James Ponti. Seventh-grader Molly has always been an outsider, even at New York City's elite Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology, but that changes when she is recruited to join the Omegas, a secret group that polices and protects zombies.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Though she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent's only gift seems to be that she makes other people's talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own--and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender. While in Paris, France on a class trip, Colette Iselin enlists the help of her charming French tour guide to help uncover a possible connection between Marie Antoinette, a series of gruesome murders, and perhaps her own family history, and he also gives her insights into herself.

Absent by Katie Williams. Seventeen-year-old Paige Wheeler died in a fall off the high school roof and now her spirit seems bound to the school grounds, along with Brooke and Evan, two other teen ghosts who died there--but maybe if she can solve the mystery of her apparent suicide they will all be able to move on.

Soul Eater by Atsushi Ohkubo. Maka is a weapon meister, determined to turn her partner, a living scythe named Soul Eater, into a powerful death scythe - the ultimate weapon of Death himself! Charged with the task of collecting and devouring the tainted souls of ninety-nine humans and one witch, Maka and her fellow meisters strive to master their weapons as they face off against the bizarre and dangerous minions of the underworld. But the meisters' own personal quirks may prove a bigger obstacle than any sultry enchantress!

Bonus recommendation!

Ghost Whisperer - this TV show about a woman who can talk to ghosts is off the air, but you can find it on various streaming services.

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