Saturday, April 30, 2011

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Title/Author: 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope #1) by Maureen Johnson
Publisher/Date published: October 1st 2006, Harper Teen
How I got this book: own it

Goodreads summary: "Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket. In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.
The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.
Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes."

The first thing that popped into my head when I read the summary was: this is the teen version of P.S. I Love You. Which is not a bad thing, because I enjoyed that book. After Ginny's aunt dies, Ginny receives 13 little blue envelopes. These envelopes contain instructions that'll send her across Europe on the adventure of a lifetime.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book is that I got to revisit some of the places I love in Europe. I'm from Holland and I just had to laugh at the description of Amsterdam. For those of you who ever plan on going there: we're not that bad and not every hostel is as gross as the one in the book (at least, I don't think they are). I loved that Ginny went looking for 'Piet' and didn't know what it was. It's actually a really common name here.

Anyway, I'm getting a bit sidetracked.

What bothered me a bit was that Ginny's parents are ok with all this. I mean, my mom would never have let me travel across Europe on my own when I was 17. Least of all without me taking a cellphone with me she could contact me at any time of the day to make sure I was still alive. I think that's normal parent behaviour. So for Ginny's parents to be ok with this, even when her mom is constantly described as being very protective, is a bit weird.

One thing I would have done differently if it had been me going on the adventure is that I would have taken more time to get to know the places I went. Ginny just seems to want to finish the tasks in the letters and move on as quickly as she can. She goes to some of the most amazing places and then stays there for half a minute! What a waste!

I liked Ginny and I liked Keith and Richard. But I didn't fall in love with the characters as I would have liked to. There wasn't enough for me to connect to for some reason that I can't quite figure out.

I loved Aunt Peg's voice and the way she decided to send Ginny on this wild chase. And I loved that even though a lot of things were really outside of Ginny's comfort zone, she managed to overcome that in honor of her aunt's spirit. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens in next book: The Last Little Blue Envelope!

My rating: 3,5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I read this one a while ago, and I quite liked it but I felt the pace was slightly off - sometimes I felt like nothing was happening :P - but over all it was a fun read.