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

  • 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 November 2005, and has been updated for the October 2006 paperback release. 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" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Brother
    Brother
    by David Chariandy
    Brother is the brief, moving account of how a single, tragic moment in time can alter the course of ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Spy of Venice
    The Spy of Venice
    by Benet Brandreth
    Benet Brandreth's delightfully diverting historical thriller brings the Bard to vibrant life. ...
  • Book Jacket: Three Things About Elsie
    Three Things About Elsie
    by Joanna Cannon
    The novel opens with the primary narrator, Florence, prone on the floor after a fall. She is in her ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott

A crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    French Exit
    by Patrick deWitt

    A brilliant and darkly comic novel from bestselling author Patrick deWitt.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Clockmaker's Daughter

The Clockmaker's Daughter by Kate Morton

A rich, spellbinding new novel from the author of The Lake House. On sale Oct 9.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T Turn T S

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.