Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Ginny is quiet, shy, and all alone on an international flight with nothing but a stack of letters as a guide.

Following strict instructions by her aunt, Ginny must follow a series of clues and complete tasks before she can open the next letter. Her journey takes her from London to Scotland. Rome to Paris to Amsterdam to Greece, and a few other places in between. She meets people who change her life, and she touches theirs in return.

Along the way, Ginny learns the secrets of her aunt, learns about life, love and herself.


The Pros: This was a fun, witty, interesting read. Ginny's quirky, artsy aunt promised to always be there for her, but some lessons we learn the painful way. And some promises can never be kept. I loved following Ginny's story. I could actually picture myself in the exotic places she visited. For the first time, I wished that I had the guts to travel Europe.

I love the life lessons in this story. I loved watching Ginny come into her own and realize many things. 13 Little Blue Envelopes has the perfect amount of humor, sadness, and redemption.

The Cons: As Ginny says, drinking is the European way to say, "hello." Even so, Ginny is seventeen, and her cohort, Keith, is only nineteen. This doesn't stop them from drinking semi-often with no objections.

The In Between: There is so much packed into this book, and it's done really well. However, there were a few things, even characters, that were set up to be important, but they just disappear. It was a little jarring and I found myself a little confused at times.

Bottom Line:

I recommend this book. It was witty and entertaining. I loved the fluid dialogue. I am definitely looking forward to diving into the sequel and finding out what happens with...well, I guess I can't tell you. But trust me, you'll want to read the sequel too.

Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen; First Edition edition (September 26, 2006)
Source: Local Library Pin It


Maggie said...

You must read very fast! This sounds particularly interesting to me right now since my WIP is all about letters.
Hey I just noticed Cedar Fort just released a book called Gifted, and I thought, wait a minute isn't that the name of Deborah's book. But I guess you're The Gifted. Close. Both look like great books I hope to read.

Dena said...

I have been looking forward to your review for this book. It looks so interesting!

BTW, I just bought 2 copies of your book! :) I got one for me and one for my mom. I'm SO excited to get them!

Deborah A. said...

Maggie - letters books are always really good! I can't wait to see what you're working on.

Dena - I think you'd like this one. It's fun. And THANK YOU!! You're amazing. Really.

Lea said...

It is always very refreshing to read a non-paranormal/historical fiction book review every now and then (I love these too of course!) Sometimes it's difficult to find those other books that take place in the real-world that are just as attention-grabbing, but this one sounds good!

As a side note, I don't know what the authors intentions were with the underage drinking thing, but from living in France for a year I know that Europeans are not very strict about drinking-- I don't know about being synonymous with saying hello, but I remember little kids getting sips of beer and wine from their parents, and I never got ID-ed as a 17-year old exchange student...

This book sounds up-beat, light-hearted and fun! :) Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

I've been debating on this one. After reading this, I'll have to pick it up!

Ottilie Weber said...

Hey Deborah! I just wanted to tell you I am giving you an award! This is a new award, I laughed when I recieved it. I hope all is going well with your book! I can't wait to see more from you!

Lisa said...

This is my first hop. Thanks Lisa lisapeters at yahoo dot com