BookBrowse Reviews 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

13 Little Blue Envelopes

by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson X
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2005, 317 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 318 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A sure hit with fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Ages 12-18

From the book jacket: Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 Little Blue Envelopes.  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 her artist, a playwright/thief/bloke-about-town called Keith, go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous -- though utterly romantic -- results. Ginny isn't sure she'll see Keith again, and definitely doesn't know what to think about him.  Could the answer be in the envelopes?

Ginny doesn't know it, but adventures in Rome and Paris are in envelopes 6 and 8. The rules are that she has to open one at a time, in order, so perhaps it isn't surprising that she discovers things about her life and love one by one. Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 Little Blue Envelopes.

Comment: As the story opens we find 17 year-old Ginny setting off on a glorified scavenger hunt across Europe following the directions of her formerly wayward but recently deceased aunt.   Putting aside that the opening premise does stretch credibility somewhat (would Ginny's mother, who is described as someone who was "born practical" and "encouraged her younger sister to become an accountant, like herself", really allow Ginny to go off into the wild blue yonder with no known destination and no money?) it's easy to get absorbed into Ginny's journey of self-discovery.  This would be a great choice for teenage girls who are drawn to such books as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Did you know?  13 Little Blue Envelopes won the 2005 Cuffie Award in the category of "Book We Could Have Sold with a Better Cover".   The Cuffies, short for off the cuff, are an informal, fun, annual poll of children's booksellers conducted by Publishers Weekly.   The complaint being, " Could someone please stop giving the publishers stock photos of slutty teen girls?"

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in November 2005, and has been updated for the October 2006 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Black Sun
    Black Sun
    by Rebecca Roanhorse
    Reading the first book in a series is always difficult because readers know that, by definition, it ...
  • Book Jacket: Somewhere in the Unknown World
    Somewhere in the Unknown World
    by Kao Kalia Yang
    Resettled refugees are mostly invisible. Their needs are rarely publicized and their struggles are ...
  • Book Jacket: The Orchard
    The Orchard
    by David Hopen
    The protagonist of David Hopen's first novel, The Orchard, is 17-year-old Aryeh Eden, a Brooklyn boy...
  • Book Jacket: What Are You Going Through
    What Are You Going Through
    by Sigrid Nunez
    Shortly into What Are You Going Through by Sigrid Nunez, it becomes clear that the narrator is ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Blind Light
    by Stuart Evers

    A multigenerational story about two families bound together by the tides of history.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Exiles
by Christina Baker Kline

The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win This Book!
Win Jack

Return to Gilead with Jack, the instant New York Times bestseller

Enter to win Marilynne Robinson's latest novel in her classic series.

Enter


Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I G I O Ear A O T O

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.