29 August 2011

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Also by author: Girl At Sea; Suite Scarlett;
Official Website
Description: 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.

Review: Maureen Johnson is an author that I have allowed a special place in my heart. I read her book, Suite Scarlett, about two summers ago. It was one of those books that I clutched to my chest on subways, read everywhere, and tried to pretend that I was in it. It was really an excellent book, and I was excited to read more by the author. Unfortunately, I was not introduced to Goodreads or Blogger during that time, and I wasn't aware that she wrote any other novels. So, I am sad to say, this is only the second book I have read by Maureen Johnson. But it will not be the last, because there are a lot of sequels I have to catch up on.

13 Little Blue Envelopes tells the story of Ginny Blackstone, who has always lived a shy, introverted life. However, when she's around her crazy Aunt Peg, her true self is revealed. When Aunt Peg leaves New York without a word, it leaves Ginny and her family confused and angry. Two years later, Ginny receives 13 blue envelopes, leading her on an adventure of her, and Aunt Peg's, lives.

Ginny was a very likeable character. I find myself liking characters who are shy and withdrawn like myself, and seeing them actually going out and doing things gives me hope for me! Some of the things Ginny has done, I would never do. For example, while in Rome, she has to ask an Italian boy out for cake. Without advising her friends and/or the internet first!! Ginny was very brave and daring, and that was admirable in a main character. She also went traveling - without her iPod. C'mon! I can't even leave my house without that thing, let alone the country!

If you're confused, let me explain. So these letters basically give Ginny a little insight into Aunt Peg's history and her journey throughout Europe, which is the trail that Ginny is taking. It also gave a little idea as to what was going through Aunt Peg's head when she left New York, and then left other places.

And the places she went! I really love books where they travel to Europe, or some other faraway place. Being that I've never left the country, it's exciting to see the world, even thought it's through a book. I actually think it's better to see the world through a book, so you don't get the sore legs, sun burn, and language barriers. Ginny travels to London, Rome, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, France, and Greece, and that is awesome! I love book where the main character travels and leaves their comfort zone, and this book was an excellent example of that.

Aunt Peg's backstory was very interesting, and I really felt for all of the characters. The male main character, which I guess was Keith?, was funny, and he was definitely the type of guy you'd like to meet in London. Keith was someone she met through the envelopes. He was aware of the craziness of Aunt Peg, but he still travelled with Ginny.

Overall, 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a book you definitely want to read. It has slight romance, loads of traveling, and lots of family closeness.

"Sometimes artists like to catch themselves looking out, let the world see them for once. It’s a signature. This one is a very bold one. But this is also a witnessing. We want to remember, and we want to be remembered. That’s why we paint."
-13 Little Blue Envelopes; Maureen Johnson

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