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13 Little Blue Envelopes Paperback – 6 Aug 2009
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“Equal parts poignant, funny and inspiring, with a delicious fairytale ending.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Johnson’s writing is sophisticated and humorous, her characterisations pitch perfect.”
About the Author
Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, but soon ran off to New York City to study writing and drama at Columbia University. Along the way, she served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, worked in a bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside 5 tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical. She is the author of The Key to the Golden Firebird and The Bermudez Triangle. You can visit Maureen online at maureenjohnsonbooks.com.
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so I guess my expectations were low.
I loved this book.
No it didn't blow me away like some books I have read. So why the 5 stars? I really enjoyed it. It didn't put me
through a huge emotional rollercoaster, but sometimes your emotions need a rest. I felt like I had made the journey
with Ginny, visited the places, experienced what she experienced. That is all I expect from a book like this.
I wish I could just take off on a crazy, unplanned journey where you don't know what will happen next and after
reading this I feel a little like I have. It was really well written, genuinely funny and there were parts
that made me feel sad. So not a life changing event, reading this book, but thoroughly enjoyable. I am desperate
to find out what was in the 13th envelope, and it just so happens I have "The Last Little Blue Envelope" sat on
my bookshelf, waiting. So I'm going to go read it ......
She is left 13 blue envelopes by a favourite, rather eccentric,deceased aunt. The instructions are explicit - open them at a specific time and follow the instructions contained within. Ginny could have open all of the envelopes at one time - she doesn't which in itself is curious but as she opens the first - she finds money and instructions to buy a one-way ticket to London. She must take only a back back, no ipod, mobile phone, laptop or the general trappings attached to the average teen. On the plane she opens no 2. That envelope tells her what to do and where to go initially. After that, there is a certain amount of strange free choice with each letter, which then makes Ginny's voyage into the unknown far more her own than her aunt's exact planning. This book (and its sequel , which is also a must read). The ending is not what you think it will be. This book is dramatically hitting the book charts in the US and I am really confused as to why this is not happening in the UK. For both parents and late teens this is a MUST READ. 13 Little Blue Envelopes..Then read the last little blue envelope.
The reader bit by bit learns about the nature of Ginny and her aunt and while all the scenerios are well written and exciting, it felt like there was something missing. The places all felt real, so well described it felt like I was right there. But to make this a brilliant read, I would have preferred some emotions.
Ginny meets Keith, a struggling artist. The only indication we get that she likes him is her inability to speak, and the writer telling us she a crush on him...apart from that, there was no indication. No fluttery butterflies, no longing glances, nothing.
The same with her travelling. It felt like Ginny was only going through the motions. I would have loved to read how scared or alone Ginny felt or how excited. A lot of the time it read more like an essay than a novel.
Asides from this, it was a good book and a fun read.
The story follows Ginny as she goes on a mad and random journey following a series of instructions given to her in envelopes by her late aunt. It initially takes her to London then off further afield in Europe and beyond. The idea of doing something so impulsive without a real plan thought through is so fascinating as I could never see myself having the courage to do anything of the sort.
For me the journey goes on it both very exciting and quite sad as she traces the foot steps of her aunt whom she never got the chance to say goodbye to.
Along her journey she randomly meets Keith. I loved Keith and how his personality was completely mirrored in the type of tasks Ginny found herself completing and I loved the relationship they built up between them over the course of the book.
A quirky offering from Maureen Johnson which I really did enjoy.