The Madness Underneath
Title: The Madness Underneath
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s
Release Date: 2/26/2013
Length: 304 pages
Series?: Shades of London #2
Genre: YA paranormal
Source: ARC from NetGalley
If I was a little iffy on Maureen Johnson before, she has now totally stolen my heart.
The Madness Underneath is the second book in the Shades of London series. If you haven’t read the first book, The Name of the Star, click the link to start with that review. This review contains spoilers for the first book, and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun!
Book two picks up where the first book leaves off. Rory is recovering from her encounter with The Ripper, and trying to figure out exactly what happened with the woman in the bathroom. Something’s not right. Rory gets permission from her therapist to return to school and normalcy, even though Rory still has some issues she needs to confront about what happened to her that night. In addition, there have been more mysterious murders in the Wexford area — though not connected to The Ripper murders, it’s certainly raised a red flag in Rory’s mind.
What’s confusing about this book is the shift the story undergoes at the midpoint. There seems to be a solid mystery and plot, but the story becomes about something else entirely — and, I’ll warn you, some of this is messy and things are left unresolved. It’s not even clear if they will be resolved at all. By the end of the book there are WAY BIGGER fish to fry. I like what Johnson does with contemporary novels, but I love how she transfers that to the paranormal with finesse. I do wish we’d gotten more of Jazza and Wexford, since I do love a good boarding school situation, but I like where Johnson *might* be taking this.
FINAL GRADE: A I give this an A because I like mysteries and I like kissing, and this book does both. Yes. I enjoyed the kissing in this book, I did not find it obnoxious or stereotypical. However, the REAL reason this book gets an A is the ending. It was like BAM, out of nowhere, my jaw dropped. If you love a book that merits that type of reaction, then you need to get on this series. You might even be able to get away with skipping the first one, since Johnson does a good job of explaining everything and reminding us of what happened in the first novel (I know I had forgotten). For librarians, this book is appropriate for both middle and high school. It’s definitely paranormal fiction, but we all know that’s hot these days.
How do you feel about kissing in books? Love it no matter what? Hate is? Find it often unrealistic?