Shades of London

Dear MJ,

You’re so witty. And I love following you on Twitter. And I just want to be best friends with your writing. It’s THAT good.  When I was in high school, I adored 13 Little Blue Envelopes.  For some reason, Devilish and I just did not get along so I stopped keeping tabs on your books. I am kicking my high school self right now.  When I was studying abroad in Scotland last Autumn, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to read. I’ve been following you on Twitter for a couple years now and I must have seen a tweet about your Shades of London series so I decided to download them to my Kindle.  It was a wonderful decision. Though, it then snowballed. I had to download the 2nd one, then I read Suite Scarlett. And now, I am waiting and waiting for The Shadow Cabinet.  So, in honor of one of my most anticipated books of 2015, I will be reviewing the first two Shades of London books.

  • Rating: 4 Stars
  • Published: September 2011
  • Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Favorite Quotes:

“It was clearly one of those mornings when I was particularly American.”

“The English play hockey in any weather. Thunder, lightening, plague of locusts…nothing can stop the hockey. Do not fight the hockey, for the hockey will win.”

“Walk really, really carefully. It’s not complicated, but if you mess up, you’ll die, so pay attention.”

So, The Name of the Star is the first novel released in the Shades of London series.  The novel centers around Rory Deveaux, a Louisiana native who is shipped off to a London boarding school. She starts school during a killing spree of a Jack the Ripper copycat.  And the kicker? Only she can see him.  Rory soon meets others like her. Before she knows it, she’s in for a wild ride of a semester all while dealing with a different education system and having class on the weekend.

15721638So, like I said, I first read this while I was studying abroad in the UK. I related to Rory so much because she was dealing with her Americanism just like I had dealt with it when I first arrived to Scotland. And I knew I wasn’t the only person that felt like I felt but it was nice reading about a character that felt the same reason. For some reason, it seemed more reassuring.  The fact that someone wanted to WRITE about that experience  and have a character go through it all in a hilarious way made it completely justified. If you’ve ever spent time in the UK, you’ll relate to a lot of what Rory is going through in terms of adjusting to life abroad.  I laugh out loud reading Maureen Johnson’s books. Even ones like these that are supposed to be thriller-y.  But it wouldn’t be an MJ book without the wit and sass. I would recommend MJ books to all my friends.

  • Rating: 4 Stars
  • Published:
  • Genre:  Young Adult Paranormal

Favorite Quotes:

“There is no normal. I’ve never met a normal person. The concept is flawed. It implies that there is only one way people are supposed to be, and that can’t possible be true. Human experience is far too varied.”

“I like to talk. Talking is kind of my thing. If talking had been a sport option at Wexford, I would have been captain. But sports always have to involve running, jumping, or swinging your arms around. You don’t get PE points for the smooth and rapid movement of the jaw.”

“I don’t know if there is actually more rain here in England, or if it was just that the rain seemed to be so deliberately annoying. Every drop hit the window with a peevish “Am I bothering you? Does this make you cold and wet? Oh, sorry.”

In The Madness Underneath, Rory has been living with her parents since the attacks.  She’s been going crazy but she’s finally able to return to London and be with her friends and some of the only people that understand what’s going on with her. She might be more questions than answers and she deals with the aftermath of what’s happened to her.

I read this book so fast. I loved the romance. I loved everything about this book… except the ending! I am waiting and pining and anticipating the 3rd book so much. I don’t know what else to say about these books. There’s not much I can critique. If you like the paranormal, things relating to ghosts, England, romance, or boarding schools, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

Honestly, if you think you want to read these books, wait until it’s a little bit closer to the release of The Shadow Cabinet. Trust me, you’ll thank me.


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