When I first heard about The Name of the Star, I was a little dubious. I was worried that it’d be a novel where an American comes to London, which is entirely populated by posh tea-drinking people travelling on red buses. Also, the idea of a paranormal boy being ‘filled with romance’, made me panic a little bit about the idea that Rory will end up falling in love with a ghost.Fortunately, none of those things are true. The London that Maureen Johnson describes is real, imperfect and totally recognisable. As is the school that Rory attends; it was certainly reminiscent of my all-girls high school, especially with characters like Charlotte, and the wonderful Jazza, Rory’s roommate. As a narrative voice, Rory was likable and humorous, she didn’t whine or moan, even when faced with pretty horrible circumstances. She also didn’t act in the cliche way that many female YA protagonists do when they meet a guy who shows an interest in them (i.e. start praising his virtues to the heavens), rather she starts manically Googling what sort of clothes would be appropriate to wear on a trip to the pub with him.The thriller aspects were perhaps the best bit of the novel, which was a really pleasant surprise for me. As someone who doesn’t tend to read a lot of scary books, the final passages of this novel really had my heart pounding. I really enjoyed this novel, and I’m actually really looking forward for the second part in the Shades of London series; The Madness Underneath.