Sunday, July 28, 2013

Ripped, by Shelly Dickson Carr

Ripped by Shelly Dickson Carr makes the THIRD Jack the Ripper-themed novel I've read in the past few months. All three of the Ripper novels I've read have taken different approaches: The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson, explored a modern-day copycat of the Ripper killings; Ripper, by Amy Carol Reeves, was a historical novel that chronicled the murders as they occurred; finally, Ripped is a time-travel novel in which the main character, Katie, attempts to go back in time to solve the murders and change the course of history, hopefully impacting her life in the present. I really liked taking a look at this topic from such different vantage points! 
Katie is a recent transplant to London - she finds herself living with her grandmother following her parents' untimely death. Her older sister, Courtney, is part of a girl group rock band; this lifestyle upsets their grandmother and has alienated Courtney from the family. Katie wants nothing more than to have things back to normal within her family and be able to see her sister more often. When she discovers a family link to the Jack the Ripper murders - an ancestor of hers named Lady Beatrix Twyford was murdered by the Ripper - she goes back in time via a time portal in the London Stone in an attempt to change history and save her family. The plot is filled with twists and turns, and I honestly did find myself constantly guessing who the Ripper would turn out to be - the culprit wasn't as obvious as is sometimes the case.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel but found it a bit too long. I couldn't really tell how many pages it was since I read it on my kindle app through NetGalley, but Barnes and Noble has it listed at 520 pages. My favorite parts were the inclusion of Cockney rhyming slang and the theme of the morality and potential complications of altering the past. The Name of the Star is still my favorite Ripper novel, but I think those interested in the subject would enjoy this one as well. 

Also Try: The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson; Ripped, by Amy Carol Reeves; Wrapped, by Jennifer Bradbury; The Future of Us, by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler (it explores similar themes of changing our past/future)

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