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Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Published December 21st 2010 by HarperTeen (first published August 23rd 2005).

Literary Awards Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2008).


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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 ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it’s all because of the 13 little blue envelopes. (Goodreads)

I actually picked up 13 Little Blue Envelopes this month while doing a bit of thrift shopping. Anytime I go thrifting I check the book section. It can be hit or miss, but on this day I scored this and a hardcover copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcereror’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, 3 free bookmarks found in said books, and a short sleeve black sweater that I have already worn at least 5 times. I was so excited I posted about it on my Instagram. I decided to buy 13 Little Blue Envelopes despite it being paperback for a few reasons. It was $1, I have heard both Sylwia and Cece talk about it, and finally (the coolest reason!) I found some annotationed notes tucked inside! that’s absolutely never happened to me before but it made for such a cool reading experience.

This story is about Ginny receiving 13 envelopes from her favorite aunt. Each of the envelopes are to be opened one at a time and once she completes the task inside she may open the next envelope and so on. These letters challenge Ginny to travel around Europe on her own. Her aunt does leave a set of rules for Ginny to follow. Some of the tasks make more sense than others but Ginny meets people who were important to her aunt. In the process she gets to know her late aunt better and even more so herself . It’s a YA coming of age, travel story with mystery. It deals with acceptance and finding yourself. The ending was unexpected and I was 1/2 delighted and 1/2 confused. In the end I rated this book 3.5 stars.

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