Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Author: Maureen Johnson
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Challenge: Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge
Synopsis: When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.

Ginny has the coolest Aunt Peg who is artistic, fun, and makes Ginny feel interesting. Then Aunt Peg dies and leave Ginny 13 Little Blue Envelopes filled with instructions, advice, and information about her last days.

The first thing that hooked me was the premise. I'm totally an amazing race kinda girl. Having to do tasks before opening an envelope is my kind of thing so I was already excited to read this book. Maureen Johnson made the envelopes fit in with the story. They were not all of the story, but just one part of it. Ginny had many adventures on her own.

Ginny herself is an okay character. She's nice, normal, not super hormone crazed, wishes she were more interesting, has a best friend named Miriam, etc. I still feel like she's not distinct enough for me. I feel like I haven't seen even half of Ginny which isn't something very good.

Not to say Maureen can't properly characterize characters because she can. Aunt Peg was a wonderful example of that. At first she was perfect, since Ginny pretty much idolized her but as the story progressed, we saw her flaws. The best part is that she was a lovable character because of her flaws. She was complex, weird, crazy, and I loved reading about her.

There was some romance in the novel but I didn't think much of it. It wasn't a huge plot point and by the end of the story the characters hadn't decided to love each other for eternity. It felt like a real relationship and I appreciated that.

Overall, 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a nice, easy read. I could easily have read it as a standalone but since there seems to be a sequel, I'll check that out too. 3.5 stars,

*** & 1/2 *

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