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13 Little Blue Envelopes

(Little Blue Envelopes #1)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  81,994 ratings  ·  5,204 reviews
Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke about town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous though utterly romantic results. But will she ev
Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by HarperTeen (first published August 23rd 2005)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  81,994 ratings  ·  5,204 reviews

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13 Little Blue Envelopes suffers from DPS. Disappearing Parent Syndrome is a tragic epidemic in YA novels. In this case the DPS was particularly severe. Seventeen year old Ginny Blackstone goes on a trip to Europe sponsored by her deceased aunt. Aunt Peg was not reliable when she was around. In fact, during the last several years of Ginny's life Peg was in Europe. She died without contacting the family to let them know she was suffering from a prolonged illness. The family was just expected to p ...more
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
This was a quick read but at the same time I felt like it dragged, nothing had any real depth so I just was questioning what the point of the story was and why these characters existed.
Feb 03, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, ya-books
Unimpressive. The way Johnson writes is annoying; more than halfway into the book, I really didn't know ANYTHING about the main character, other than that she was on a (ridiculous) journey. It was all action and no thought. It was not insightful. The main character was not likeable. She wasn't unlikeable either. She was just like...doing things. She didn't have very many thoughts. And never very insightful ones (ie "I like this boy! I am sad. I am happy. I am angry"). COME ON. There was no attem ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
This is an unrealistic, borderline fantastical narrative with an annoying main character, a deeply unlikable dead-aunt character at the center, and a totally flat romance.

But it was very fun and I...kinda liked it.

I will forever have a soft spot for slightly out of date travel-based YA contemporaries.

It's just who I am.

That's the review.

Bottom line: Travel books forever!


i may not be able to travel right now, but i CAN read about it in books, which is like...kinda the sa
Aug 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not going to review this book except to say the thing that made me crazy. There were several instances in this book where something was mentioned and you think it is important and then it was dropped.

For instance, when the MC goes in the Louvre, it is mentioned that she checks her backpack in at the front--kind of like a coat check. Okay. No problem.

But then, as she is trying to get out of the Louvre she kind of starts going down random hall after hall in search of an exit and finally finds
Dec 11, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as an assignment from a mother-daughter book club that I am in with some friends from B.F. Day.
It wasn't very good, and while the plot is a nice idea, the author didn't really write it very well.
I mean, who would let thier daughter go overseas with no contact to the US and only carrying what she could fit in her backpack. And only haveing 1000 US dollars to spend. In addition to several other appalling facts, some of which are:
letting your daughter do the following:
1 stay with a
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
This was supposed to be my cute, inoffensive, fluffy, sweet, palate cleanser book... So much for best laid plans and all that.

To start with the book has an utterly implausible set up, improbable love story, MC that is borderline stupid .... and by borderline I mean 100% stupid. I was trying to be nice but well..... It was laden with clichés and conveniences and was all rather bland...

But I mean it was okay. I was expecting all of the aforementioned story set ups. And it was very fluffy and over
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book as an audio book during my drive to New Orleans which made me dislike the book even more (I didn't enjoy the reader's voice). I enjoyed the book in the beginning but soon felt like the story was dragging and every country visited after Paris was unnecessary. I also didn't really like any character in this book, they had no depth and weren't interesting or likable. The concept of this book was so intriguing but I was disappointed. ...more
Kayley Hyde
If you've ever been to Europe, thought about going to Europe, wanted to go about Europe or even heard of'll love this book. It's a quick, fun summer read. Very clever and warm-hearted. I love the characters, the plot and just everything about it. It always keeps you guessing. One of my favourites. Maureen never lets me down. ...more
Aly (Fantasy4eva)
I liked the premise. It was sort of interesting and cute. Dead Aunt sends niece on this unpredictable and slightly loony journey. (maybe not so cute). One very similar to the one that her aunt took when she felt a little lost and was dealing with a bit of a reality check.

17 year old Ginny doesn't think twice about it. She jets to her first destination, London. From there on it's one big ride. She goes through many experiences, and although it's a decent read, I just was not in love with the boo
jv poore
I've no doubt that I'd thoroughly enjoy reading the side of a cereal box if Maureen Johnson wrote it. ...more
Prabhjot Kaur
I was introduced with this book on my local library page. When I looked at the title, I wanted to read it and when it said that lovers of The sisterhood of travelling pants would enjoy I knew that I wanna read it asap.

Meet Ginny, she's so naive that when she receives letters or blue envelope from her long absent now deceased aunt she follows her instructions without much or any thought. She's never traveled on her own but decides to buy a plane ticket to travel to another country with the money
This book would be more aptly marketed as a book about what NOT to do on a trip abroad rather than a YA quasi-adventure/quasi-romance. The most common emotion it drew out of me was annoyance. What parent lets their 17-year-old child go to Europe alone WITH NO SUPPLIES? No parents, that's who. Ginny wasn't properly equipped to travel the way she did. She talks to strangers, goes back to apartments with random people, just walks around some places at night, and leaves her crap unattended like it i ...more
13 Little Blue Envelopes was a book which had been in my TBR pile for quite some time. I was glad to finally be able to read it after I discovered Anissa @ TheBookworm Central wanted to reread it. We read it together and it was so nice to discuss this read with someone!

What I loved the most about the story would have to be the traveling side of things. Ginny’s trip takes her all across Europe to places like London, Denmark, Amsterdam and so many more places. As she is an American, she really get
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Dena Landon for

When Virginia Blackstone (Ginny) receives the first blue envelope from her Aunt Peg in the mail, it sends her on an exciting, funny, and sometimes poignant adventure that readers will be delighted to join. The envelope contains $1,000 in cash, and the instructions to pick up a package of envelopes that start Ginny on a trip around Europe, tracing the steps of her eccentric Aunt. The instructions are specific; no cell phones, no maps, and Ginny can only
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Mini mini review
13 Little Blue Envelopes is a quick, light read that will intrigue young readers from the first page. This 'road trip novel' is filled with adventure and a cute romance. Maureen Johnson manages to pull off an entertaining story in 300 pages that may not fulfil older readers' expectations.

Looking at the Goodreads shelves for 13 Little Blue Envelopes, I'm quite positive that this should actually be under 'Middle Grade'. Now I love the MG genr
It's a such amazing story! Well written, interesting and unexpected. Maureen Johnsons discriptions were so vivid I could've swore I was traveling through Europe with her. It's an easy read, and a really feel good kind of novel. All about finding yourself in the midts of unkown cities and countries.
Thank you Maureen Johnson for taking me on this incredible journey.
Ms. Yingling
Don't know what it is about this book, but I liked it enough that I immediately bought a brand new copy, something I rarely do. My older daughter loved it and took it on a plane trip when she was in 6th grade-- a teenager in line with her had also read it, so she got on the plane chatting and didn't even turn around to wave goodbye to me! My younger daughter is studying in Ireland (2018) and was worried about making travel plans to Greece and Rome but said to herself "If Ginny could do it, so ca ...more
May 23, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pub-2005
Sometimes I get silly books to listen on audio because I find audiobooks really hard. I zone out all the time, so I just use them to practice staying focused. But this was, perhaps, TOO silly.
This book has that god-awful Emily in Paris vibe to it, i.e. clueless American in Europe, see all the silly stereotypes in one neat package!

The main character Ginny is sent on some hare-brained adventure around Europe by her, now dead, quirky aunt, who left her some ‘envelopes’ to be opened posthumously wit
Tessa Herondale~Carstairs
I don't really get it... She's blindly trusting a guy whom she's never met before, going to a pub with him, learning that he has behavioral problems and has set fire to things before... And still hanging out with him. If I were her, I'd be slowly backing away and running home, IF I even got in the situation of hearing about his past...Too unrealistic and annoying ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angel Gelique
Passport Europe photo: Passport j0365180.gif

Ginger "Ginny" Blackstone, a seventeen-year-old college-bound girl, receives a letter from her deceased aunt instructing her to pick up a package from her former apartment. The package contains twelve additional envelopes, numbered two through thirteen. As per her aunt's insistence, Ginny must open an envelope only after completing the task from the previous envelope. The first envelope sends her to London with no money, cell phone, computer or guidebook. Ginny begins her adventure.

I honestl
Dec 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I felt that this was only an okay book from Maureen Johnson and that it paled in comparison to my favorite from her, Girl at Sea. There was a good plotline that promised adventure and romance in a foreign country that I was dissappointed to find did not exist. While it was an excellent idea, I felt the story did not develop well enough and it didn't go too in-depth. This book could have been better written but otherwise, still a good read. ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2017
Aunt Peg is dead and the thing she left Ginny? A little blue envelope with $1000 and the instructions to buy a plane ticket. So begins the adventure! This is a lovely tale of a girl following the trail of her aunt's life and discovering herself along the way. ...more
Apr 15, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to read this book while I was in China because it has to do with travel. I was traveling, Ginny was traveling - it seemed the thing to do. I read it in two days, as well, which is saying something. But still, there was something lacking for me in this novel.

First, I'll admit that this is definitely a fast-paced read. I was never bored with the story. The constant change of setting kept the book clipping along at a pretty breakneck speed. Ginny visits a crazy amount of countries i
Amélie Boucher
I filmed a video in which I read this book and 4 other YA travel novels just like this one if you'd like to check it out!

What a disappointment.

I loved the premise and the concept of the book, but the execution was very lackluster. I don't know how Maureen Johnson managed to turn such a great concept into a story that was utterly boring, but... here we are. You would think I would be excited to read about all the different locations our main character
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

2.5 stars

I enjoyed this enough as I read it - I was sick, jetlagged and in need of something pleasantly escapist – and this book did the trick. It’s a light, fun read and I quite like Maureen Johnson’s writing (admittedly more so in her other books than this one, though).

But ultimately I just found the story rather forgettable (and a little implausible). I found Ginny to be a fairly delible (thank you, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks for the neglected positive there!) character
Yeah, it's unrealistic: no parents would send their daughter off for a month with no contact, especially if she's never travelled before. But... who really cares? It's a fairy tale.

A lot of the travel stuff *was* very authentic and struck a very strong chord with me. The only thing I really missed were the Canadians, although she definitely got the Taking Up With Random Australians thing.

I think it would be a great book to read before traveling, or while traveling. Excellent travel feel, with
Jacob Proffitt
I loved this book and I'm afraid this review won't do it justice. Virginia (Ginny) is a good kid. She doesn't get into trouble, she gets good grades, and she follows the rules. Yes, she knows that she is shy, even with her aunt Peg (who she loves wholeheartedly), but she's okay with that. When her aunt Peg dies and leaves her a stack of envelopes with travel instructions, Ginny reluctantly begins following the path they describe.

I thought I'd have a harder time with Ginny than I actually did. Sh
Apr 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, contemporary, library
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson is a modern day coming of age story. It centers around Virginia 'Ginny' Blackstone, a 17 year old girl who is given a letter in a blue envelope. The letter tells her to fly to London, but she can't bring any crutches. What ensues is a fantastic adventure.
Read the rest of my review here
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“Rule #1: You may bring only what fits in your backpack. Don’t try to fake it with a purse or a carry-on.

Rule #2: You may not bring guidebooks, phrase books, or any kind of foreign language aid. And no journals.

Rule #3: You cannot bring extra money or credit/debit cards, travelers’ checks, etc. I’ll take care of all that.

Rule #4: No electronic crutches. This means no laptop, no cell phone, no music, and no camera. You can’t call home or communicate with people in the U.S. by Internet or telephone. Postcards and letters are acceptable and encouraged.

That’s all you need to know for now. ”
“I'm Keith," he said, "and you're . . . clearly mad, but what's your name?” 108 likes
More quotes…