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: Vita Nostra
    Vita Nostra
    by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko
    Vita Nostra by Ukrainian authors Sergey and Marina Dyachenko is one of those novels that defies ...
  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kinship of Secrets
    by Eugenia Kim

    Two sisters grow up bound by family but separated by war; inspired by a true story.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L 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.