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!
On a beautiful summer night a few days ago, the Man of the House and I had the occasion to go eat downtown with some friends. We went to a little Chinese restaurant that we love, and since we arrived there a little earlier than planned, we had some time to walk and enjoy Chinatown.
Montreal’s Chinatown is a really small area of our big city, filled with little shops and restaurants selling all kinds of things.
In the summer, these little stores explode on the crowded street with their tables filled with treasures of all sorts : figurines, hats, fans, bags, bracelets, spoons, there’s a little of everything.
I’ll admit, it’s a bit too crowded for my taste – I’ve never been comfotable when squeezed among huge amounts of people. But I love the place : stepping onto that little street in Chinatown transports me into another world, a world that is not here (Montreal), nor there (China), but somewhere in between.