Sunday, July 24, 2011

{Review} 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

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.

Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publication: 01st October 2006
Publisher: HarperTeen
336 pages

The last little blue envelope, a sequel to this novel, has already been released.

My review

I had heard a lot of positive and eager things about this novel, but I'm not nearly as enthusiastic. I was a bit disappointed in this book and I was not able to really get into the atmosphere and the story.

I don't know if it's because I am French, and I have already been to most of the places described in this book, but I was unable to dive into the story. In fact, I think this is mainly because I live in Europe, as I'm pretty sure that if the story had been about a road trip around the United States, I would certainly have dreamed about it, been captivated and loved the scenery. In fact, I am quite sure that 13 Little Blue Envelopes will totally please people who don't know Europe. For Europeans, they are some clichés. However, if I had to write a book about the U.S, I am totally positive that there would also be a lot of them.

I was not able to relate to Ginny, it may be because I have already traveled a lot, but I found her quite clumsy and not very resourceful. I especially think of a particular moment in the subway, but it is not the only one. Finally, I had problems about the credibility of the whole story. Yes I know, I read and enjoy vampire books, but I couldn't stop thinking: what kind of parents would allow this to happen? And I kept thinking that the whole situation was totally unconscious. Some people may think it would be okay to take the same trip as Ginny after reading this book, but I found it quite irresponsible and almost dangerous. And also, I wonder how someone can find a one-way plane ticket between England and Italy, at the last minute and especially in summer, for only £35! Please give me his number :)

On a more positive note, Maureen Johnson's writing is pleasant, smooth and entertaining. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a nice, light and refreshing read. This book makes the reader want to travel, to take his backpack, get away and abroad and immerse himself in another culture. The plot is really original and takes the reader to several European countries: UK, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Denmark and Greece. Moreover, the story is relatively cute and charming. Maureen Johnson deals with the topic of illness and loss with great accuracy and pertinence. The feelings and emotions are particularly well-described.

To sum up, if I'm not entirely convinced by this book, I'm sure it can still appeal to some of you, especially those who are not used to travel or people who don't live in Europe. I'm pretty positive it will make Americans and Australians want to come to Europe. The ending of 13 Little Blue Envelopes is quite satisfactory as nearly all the threads are resolved. However, a sequel, The last little blue Envelope, has been released and I think I'll read it to see how the story ends.

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  1. I did not love the book. Like you said I just did not relate to Ginny, there was something missing. But its different story and I liked that. Nice Review

    -Mariana @ Smart Girls Read

  2. Hmm...I've had this on my Kindle for a while and just haven't gotten around to reading it. I don't know if I'll push it up the list or not. Great review!

  3. wow! great review! I like how you describe the cliche of this book and how you feel about this book as an European. :D

    Ana @ Cow and Her Books

  4. Thank you so much for all your kind comment and for my review :D

    Happy reading to you ;D And have a great week :D


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