Wednesday, April 13, 2011

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Ginny received 13 blue envelopes from her deceased aunt with specific instructions on what to and what not to pack in her backpack and how to follow the instructions in one letter before opening another.  These letters lead Ginny on a trip around Europe and to the greatest adventure in her life so far.
She was standing in the airport of Copenhagen, staring at a doorway, trying to figure out if it was (a) a bathroom and (b) what kind of bathroom it was. The door merely said H.
Was she an H? Was H "hers"? It could just as easily be "his". Or "Helicopter Room: Not a Bathroom at All.
This is my second read.  I read this about when it came out around 2006 and had positive memories about it. The sequel is coming out this month and I decided to re-read this one in order to have a fresh memory about the main character and her travels. And, while I like this book and I like Ginny, it struck me on this read-through how passive Ginny is about the whole thing.  She doesn't question anything and doesn't seem to have much emotion about it.  She just goes along with whatever happens.  She does what the letters tell her to and anytime anyone suggests something, she goes along with it too.  I don't want to spoil the book, but the boy in Italy, anything Keith says, the family in Amsterdam, Ginny just goes along.  I wanted her to take some active interest in what was going on.  Maybe show a little emotion or something. 

It is a charming book and I enjoy Ginny's trips around Europe following her aunt's letters and trying to figure out her aunt's life and why she ran away from New York before she died.  The settings are beautifully written and it (kind of) makes me want to go out and visit Europe with just a backpack and a vague idea of what I'm doing.  There are some really funny scenes and a few touching moments as well.

Maureen Johnson is offering a free download for 13 Little Blue Envelopes from April 12 - April 25th.  Check the links here for your favorite e-reader version.
Kindle Edition
Sony Reader Store

Hogwarts: Muggle Studies


  1. It's interesting what we notice the second time around. I ordered the free ebook version of this even though I'm not sure I'll read the sequel. This was my favorite of the Johnson books I read and I know I'll reread it one day.

    I just finished rereading 13 Reasons Why on audio and noticed some things that I didn't last time too.

  2. I SO need to read this.

    Nice review :)

  3. I really need to read this one - I picked it up months ago, but still haven't gotten around to reading it. Thanks for the review.

  4. I really need to read this one - I picked it up months ago, but still haven't gotten around to reading it. Thanks for the review.


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