Tuesday, April 26, 2011

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes13 Little Blue Envelopes
Maureen Johnson

Only a few months after her mysterious but beloved Aunt Peg dies, Ginny suddenly receives a package. Inside the package are thirteen letters from her aunt containing explicit instructions to send Ginny out on the European adventure of a lifetime-a final gift from Peg.  

This book has been on my 'to-read' list for months now and at last I grabbed a chance to pick it up! It turns out that my timing was actually pretty ideal since the long awaited sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope comes out TODAY!  And after finishing this book, I'm definitely eager to read more about Ginny and her adventures.

13 Little Blue Envelopes is, like all of Maureen Johnson's books, witty, fun, romantic, and heartfelt.  Ginny is a solid lead in a cast of quirky and appealing characters.  The hook (those mysterious little blue envelopes)creates a non-stop adventure that manages to be both an epic love song to European travel and a gentle coming-of-age story for the quiet but spunky Ginny.  As Ginny travels from city to city and country to country, she slowly learns more about the woman her aunt became while discovering the young woman she wants to become.  

Following Ginny across the Continent, I immediately longed to return to my own year abroad in Europe; this novel will not only appeal to fans of Johnson's other works but also to teenage travelers or want-to-be travelers.  Overall, a great read! The novel could pair well with nonfiction about travel and different countries or a other novels featuring globe-trotting girls such as Stephanie Perkins' Anna and the French KissJohnson's Girl at Sea, or Ann Brashares' Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.  

4.5/5 STARS 

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