Review : 13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Pages : 317
Genre : YA, Fiction
Series : 13 Little Blue Envelopes, book 1
My Rating :

What it’s about :

Before she passed away, Ginny’s aunt took care of leaving behind a very special gift for her niece : 13 blue envelopes with very specific instructions for a trip around Europe. Equipped with a single backpack and no guidebook (as instructed), Ginny is ready for a life changing experience.

My Thoughts :

This was my second experience with Maureen Johnson and certainly a more positive one than Suite Scarlett, which was fine but not outstanding. And while 13 Little Blue Envelopes didn’t blew me away, it was certainly more fun, and sweet, and likable!

I was quickly hooked to the story, which had many of my favorite things : letters, the small mystery they contained, travel around Europe, a touch of humor, a touch of feel-good story. I have to say, I admired Ginny’s will to follow her aunt’s instructions, because I don’t know that I would be brave enough to hop on a plane to Greece without a guidebook. Scary! Or not to open the letters before time. I like to think that I would be more patient and less curious, but I’m not so sure! It certainly made for an interesting story, though.

One question that troubled me while reading was : what about Ginny’s parents? We only hear of her one best friend back home, with whom she seems to be really close. And maybe that’s the only friend she has, and that’s understandable. But she barely has a thought for her parents in all the book, and I don’t even think she tries to communicate with them once. (I might be wrong there, but the point still stands; she barely mentions them). It was hardly believable, especially when at the start of Ginny’s story, she described her mom as more strict, more reasonable than her aunt.

I also wish Ginny had more of a personality, so that I could relate more to her; but I still knew enough to like her. I think my favorite part was back in London, early in the story, when she has to find an artist to help, as per her aunt’s instructions. She was so sweet, and awkward, I really liked her there. It wasn’t enough to make me really invested in the romance she has, or in the new friends she makes; what can I say, I was far more interested in her traveling!

13 Little Blue Envelopes really was a sweet, quick read. It’s the perfect book to spend an afternoon traveling around the world without moving from your seat. I’ll definitely be reading its sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope!

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8 responses to “Review : 13 Little Blue Envelopes”

  1. Lenna (veganlenna) says :

    It sounds really interesting, I imagine it would be a very exciting experience to find such envelopes and make a trip around Europe…

  2. Novel Girl says :

    Travelling around the world on someone else’s wishes is certainly a different idea. It’s a shame this book didn’t live up to your expectations.

  3. Amanda says :

    You get to learn more about her in the second book, which i actually liked better than this one, though this is one of my favorites of Johnson’s. I’m glad you liked it.

  4. BermudaOnion says :

    I’ve heard a lot of buzz about this book and hope to read it some day, so appreciate knowing it’s not perfect. I know I couldn’t wait to open the letters!

  5. zibilee says :

    I have heard such good things about this book, and almost all the reviews I have read have been positive. I think I need to add this one to my list and try to read it soon. It sounds like an excellent escape! Very thoughtful review today!

  6. Jennifer says :

    I haven’t read anything by Maureen Johnson but I follow her on twitter and read her blog. I have a feeling I will enjoy her books because I like her so much.

    This book sounds like a fun read. Maybe not the best read ever, but it sound fun. I like the idea of being able to travel around the world on a quest do uncover what is hidden in these mysterious envelopes. I am obsessed with travel because I haven’t gotten to do very much of it!

  7. Meg says :

    I read this one a while ago and enjoyed it, though I agree about Ginny: I knew enough about her to feel like she wasn’t a stranger, but I definitely didn’t feel like she was quite a friend! I actually enjoyed the sequel to this one even more than the first — very enjoyable for those who like to travel through reading!

  8. Kailana says :

    I read this earlier in the year and enjoyed it. I am glad you liked it, too!

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