Kristy's Reviews > 13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
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's review
Jan 24, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: on-the-road-again

Can you imagine just dropping everything and parading off to England on the whim of your Aunt, who is now dead not knowing exactly where you are going or who you are going to stay with? Ginny is in this situation. Her Aunt left her 13 letters, all of which giving her instructions on what to do next and where to go, never opening the next letter until the task was completed. She is on a quest throughout Europe. I'm a little jealous... not of the dead aunt part, but the all expenses paid for traipse through the country! Some of the letters are a bit bizarre, but I guess her Aunt was just that type.

It was a cute little story, there were a lot of fun moments. I liked the characters... I can't really say anything too bad about it. It's not going to blow your mind, but it will be a fun ride. Travel books are almost always fun! I found myself enjoying the letters far more than the actual story.

The back cover says: Would you follow the directions?
Would you travel around the world?
Would you open the envelopes one by one?

You'd like to say yes wouldn't you... but man, that would be hard not to just open all the letters to see where you were going next!!! It would also be very hard for me to just follow someone else's directions in such interesting places, I think I would veer off the chosen path!
And the no cell phone, no internet bit??? There is no way a 17 year old could/would do that... not to mention the parents??
Spoilerish: I hate the ending. Just leaving an opening for another book. Missing the last letter!! This one could have been a stand alone and actually given us some closure! I am a hypocrite though, I will read the next book I'm sure.... I'm still interested, but I would have loved to just have had a stand alone.
3 stars
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Reading Progress

January 24, 2011 – Shelved
March 1, 2011 – Started Reading
March 1, 2011 –
page 157
48.76% "better than I had expected... that's always nice!"
March 2, 2011 – Finished Reading
July 1, 2011 – Shelved as: on-the-road-again

Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Val (new) - rated it 5 stars

Val there's a sequel (FINALLY) for this one coming out, The Last Little Blue Envelope....

Kristy oooh, i need to hurry up and read this one then!!

Katie I hated the ending! I think it would've worked so much better as a stand alone.

And I was jealous of her, too, haha. I want to go to Europe!

Kristy me too!! sooo bad!!!

Georgia This book drew me in with the caption on the back that you're describing. I love Europe and this book made me want to follow in her footsteps so I could explore everything like she did. As a photographer, I was disappointed that she wasn't allowed to bring a camera, but she was on a mission of sorts so I guess that makes sense. If I were in that position, I would've ignored my crazy aunt dying of a BRAIN TUMOR and brought a phone against her wishes. I'm surprised Ginny's parents let her travel all around Europe without contact, knowing when she would be home, and knowing whom she would be staying with. I didn't realize the complete lack of parental supervision in this book until I read other reviews noting the same thing. I am currently reading the second book, which has a completely different vibe than the first book. Personally, I think it would've made sense for Ginny to receive the 13th letter at the end of this book. I don't think there is enough content in this book to demand a sequel, and completely see your views on thinking this book should stand alone. I viewed the thieves stealing Ginny's bag as lazy on Johnson's part, and think she could've had Ginny continue as planned. If I were in Ginny's position, I probably would've opened all the letters ahead of hand so I would have a back up plan in case things went wrong (which they did). I don't completely agree with Ginny's judgement, but I enjoyed the un-realisticness of this book.

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