Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

“A book about backpacking through Europe has never been so heartfelt and real.”

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Title:13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author:Johnson, Maureen
Publisher:HarperTeen
Pages:336

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.

13 Little Blue Envelopes is full of a wide range of emotion. I went through intense bipolar episodes while reading through Ginny’s adventures. I felt Ginny’s love for her Aunt Peg, her fear of following the instructions in the envelopes, her wonder of Western Europe as she travelled through it, and her loss along the way.

While I think it would be easy for the reader to blame the runaway auntie Ginny doesn’t and that is what matters. Peg was flighty, Peg did things no one else did, Peg has the confidence Ginny doesn’t yet have and Ginny understands her aunt and her mentality. Sure, she wishes she had more time with Peg, and that Peg was there to do many more bohemian things with her but she ‘gets’ her aunt and doesn’t blame her for her faults.

Johnson paints such a rich portrait of Western Europe and as I have been to most of the places Ginny traveled multiple times I was able to have such a lush picturesque vision of Ginny on those same streets completing the tasks in each blue envelope.

The details are many in this book, from what illustration is on the envelopes to the way the canals in the Netherlands smell in summer. Even with the stunning details, the book travels at a fantastic speed allowing for the reader to reach the conclusion in mere hours.

The ending is sad-making but I was lucky enough to have read the book when book two The Last Little Blue Envelope launched. I sped drove carefully to my local indie to obtain book two and spent another lovely day with Ginny and friends.

If you haven’t read the series please do. I cannot put into words how amazing/fun/sad/hopeful it makes you feel as you are reading, and isn’t that what we read for people? To feel.

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10 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    Yes! To all of this!! I love these books so hard :)

  2. Gravatar

    That’s it..the last straw. I’ve seen too many amazing reviews about this—I must now break down and read these books! :D I’ve been so tempted before but I always put it back on the shelf. I can’t resist them any longer after your great review! Thanks, Pam!

  3. Gravatar

    Ooooh, I have the first in the series but haven’t kept up with the subsequent ones. Good to read that it stays good.

  4. Gravatar

    [...] think Pam (of Bookalicious.com) has finally made me want to try a book that’s been around for years. Don’t know what I’ve been waiting [...]

  5. Gravatar

    I have to admit that the titles and cover never really pulled me in, but after a review like this I’m really curious about them. I’m adding to my TBR!

  6. Gravatar

    You guys are all going to love it!

  7. Gravatar

    Hmmm, I’ve picked this up a couple of times, but it never quite called to me. Maybe now, it will!

  8. Gravatar

    I just read this one recently as well. It was fun getting to travel all over Europe with Ginny. Some of the places I’ve been too and some are places that I’ve been researching as potential honeymoon spots. Made me want to road trip Europe! I may wait a while before reading the sequel. Should be fun though!

  9. Gravatar

    preeetttyy gooodd bookk:)

  10. Gravatar

    [...] Bookalicious: “Johnson paints such a rich portrait of Western Europe and as I have been to most of the places Ginny traveled multiple times I was able to have such a lush picturesque vision of Ginny on those same streets completing the tasks in each blue envelope.” [...]

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