Now onto today's YA Friday:
The Name of the Star (Shades of London Book 1), by Maureen Johnson (Putnam, Sept 29, 2011, for ages 12 and up).
Synopsis (from the publisher): 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.
Why I liked it: Are you kidding? What a terrific premise! And Maureen Johnson delivers with a sweet, sassy, and suspenseful read. Rory is an extremely realistic teen, who finds herself caught up in something she doesn't understand. She finds the obligatory best friend, Jazza, and the hot new love interest, Jerome. But then a new girl, Boo, arrives, who has the exact class schedule as Rory and never lets her out of her sight. Things get even stranger when Rory is questioned by Stephen, who seems to be an investigator, but is only about 17. Who are these people? And why are they interested in Rory?
Maureen Johnson is not only the Queen of Twitter, she writes smart, squeaky clean contemporary novels. But unlike my previous favorite, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, this one flirts with the paranormal. Add it to your TBR list, because it's a lot of fun.