Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Book: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Published: October 2006/ HarperTeen
Genre: YA
Pages: 336 pages
Where I got it: bought at Borders
Buy It: Amazon

Brief Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

My thoughts: 13 Little Blue Envelopes was my first experience with Maureen Johnson and it was such a fun book to read! As I'm sure I've mentioned a bunch before, I love traveling, so anytime I get the chance to travel along with the characters in my books is usually a must read for me. I've never been to Europe but I have some major wanderlust for that part of the country. Ginny's trip sounds so amazing, although I would have been terrified to travel to another country alone at 17. There was more to this story than I was expecting, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Ginny's aunt was one of the most special people in her life who promised she'd always be there for her, so when she disappeared, Ginny felt abandoned. After her aunt passed, there were so many things left unsaid. The 13 enveloped offer her closure in the typical and exciting Aunt Peg fashion. Along the way, Ginny finds love and friendship and gets the opportunity to learn more about herself which I think is so important for a girl her age.

A couple of little things nagged at me while reading this story, though. First of all, that cover. Eeeeesh. I like the envelope idea but the body shot of the girl tells me nothing about the story. Also, where were Ginny's parents?? They let their daughter travel to Europe alone without any contact whatsoever (this was one of the terms as instructed by Aunt Peg- she was to have no contact with anyone in the states). I'm not even as concerned that Ginny's parents were so trusting of her, but that they trusted the crazy, unstable aunt who wasn't around anymore to help her if she wound up in any trouble. Lastly, I didn't really buy the attraction between Ginny and Keith. They seemed to disagree more than they agreed. It just felt too forced for the most part.

Despite those things, I enjoyed 13 Little Blue Envelopes and I plan to read the other books in the series. This was a quick read that was appropriate for summer reading. I liked reading about Ginny and the excitement of traveling abroad while not knowing what's in store. I definitely felt that itch caused by the travel bug creeping up on me!

My rating: 3.5 stars

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