Tuesday, October 15, 2013

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Little Blue Envelope #1. Harper Teen (Dec. 2010) Library
Would you follow the directions?

Would you travel around the world?           

Would you open the envelopes one by one?                                                                         

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.
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.


Ginny is about to embark on the journey of a lifetime and it is all thanks to her crazy, artist aunt. She must follow the directions her aunt has laid out for her in 13 little blue envelopes. After she finishes one task, she goes on to next one, traveling around Europe from London to Paris to Venice and all the places in between. Ginny wouldn't be called the "adventurous type." Only when she was with her aunt did she truly let herself be free. Ginny goes on this reckless journey because her Aunt Peg asked her to, a person she has a great bond with, at a time when she is trying to discover who she is. Along the way she meets a cast of mismatched characters including a starving artist who captures her heart. Through this journey Ginny begins to discover herself in an off beaten path type of way all because of her favorite aunt.

I read this awhile back specifically because I wanted to read a book with a good romance but I found that this book isn't nearly so much about romance as it is about Ginny growing and learning things about herself on a trip to Europe. Ginny is very much the type of person that "follows the rules" but when she's with her aunt she's very LOUD which is very much like me so instantly I liked Ginny's character. I liked that her aunt was guiding her throughout her journey.  It was pretty clear what Ginny's aunt wanted her to learn from this trip but it took awhile for Ginny to understand which was nice because you got to see Ginny discover what she needs to with this trip. 

I've never read a book where there is this much traveling so I enjoyed going to all these new places and seeing them through Ginny's eyes but as Ginny got tired of all the new places so did I. I was left feeling rushed towards the end which I'm not too happy about. I also didn't like the romance portion which seemed a little useless to be honest. It didn't really add anything for me. I really did love the story and Ginny's character. There were things that I had fault with towards the end but I always enjoyed reading about Ginny's growth as a character. Everyone comments on how the sequel is better than this first book so I really want to read it and see if it lives up to its hype. I would recommend giving 13 Little Blue Envelopes a try if you are looking for a good travel book with a character trying to figure out her place in this world.

16 comments:

  1. I love to travel and this book sounds like a fun one. I like that there is a travel scavenger hunt and that Ginny is with her aunt on the journey. This book sounds unique. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm surprised you don't know about this one. I don't know why but I thought you would have mentioned reading it... anyways I'm sure this will be a great read for you since you like traveling to different places (:

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  2. I do love books that incorporate travel in them and I have had my eye on this one for awhile. I actually really enjoy books that just have a focus on the main character, and this one sounds like a great coming of age book!

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    1. Huh. I guess it is a coming of age story. I always think of those with characters at age 13 or something... :P

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  3. I loved this book! I will agree that the romance part of it was kind of useless, but the travel was a lot of fun.

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    1. Aha! I am glad someone else thinks so. It was cute and exciting in the beginning but it went nowhere... kid of annoying that it went down like that.

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  4. My youngest, loved this book and all of the traveling made it loads of fun. Wonderful review!

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    1. Really? I love that your kids read books I enjoy/love. Thanks (:

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  5. I love books about traveling so this one sounds really good to me. Maybe I'll check it out. I'm not fan of rushed-endings though. Great review :)

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    1. Me either but you might like it anyways. It IS Maureen Johnson, friends with the Vlogbrothers, so I would give it a try if you ever have the chance.

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  6. I don't know why I've never read this book when it has always interested me. I love the idea of her aunt leaving her 13 envelopes with instructions in them to travel the world, it's so fun and mysterious!

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    1. I know, I love this concept and how the story is so original to have the MC aunt guide her through her journey.

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  7. I've been curious about this book, though mostly because I've been wanting to try something by Maureen Johnson. It's a shame that the romance didn't really add anything to the story (I get frustrated when a romantic plot serves little purpose!... better not to have it at all) but I'm glad you enjoyed this overall. The travelling aspect sounds quite interesting. Great review, Adriana! :)

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    1. I wanted to read this book because of Maureen Johnson as well because it's Maureen Johnson! I've got another book of her so hopefully it will go a lot better in the romance department.

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  8. It's not easy figuring out where one belongs. :-)

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