19 December 2012

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Title: 13 Little Blue Envelopes
Author: Maureen Johnson
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: 29th January 2009
Series: Little Blue Envelopes #1
Source: Own Kindle Copy

When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel. - From Goodreads

A literary shout out to my hood!! This may be a common occurrence for some people who live in London or New York, but I come from an area in Edinburgh that has a less than stellar reputation. It is unusual to see Leith mentioned (in a good way), so I actually clapped for joy when Ginny travel to Leith as part of her journey.
Leith Gang Graffiti
I am not a huge fan of the Journey style story, as I like to get a good feel for where the character is and constantly changing scenery makes that trickier, but I felt like I was travelling alongside Ginny through this adventure and I enjoyed all of the twists and turns.

Ginny has lost her Aunt so when a package of 13 letters arrives from her Aunt in the post she feels that she has to follow the directions left on the letter left for her. This letter leads her to a flat in London where her Aunt used to live and from there 13 letters, in beautifully decorated envelopes take her on a Trip around Europe. During her travels Ginny meets some amazing people and learns to know who she is.

Ginny was a likeable character who goes from being quite nervous and unsure of herself to a strong, confident girl, ready for anything. I enjoyed seeing the progression of the character through the story and seeing how she handles the hurdles that life throws at her differently at the beginning and at the end of her story. There was a rotating support cast with this book. Since Ginny travelled so much there were a few characters who were consistent, but most of the people we met came into Ginny's life and left just as fast. These characters helped to enrich the story and add a warmth to a story that could have been a little lonely.

The story itself was interesting and fun with little twists along the way. The locations that Ginny travels to are interesting and fun much like the people she meets. The end of the story genuinely made me cry, but it was a good type of heartbreak and I was completely fine with the ending. I did not feel like I was missing anything, and I finished the book satisfied. I don't feel that I need a sequel to this, but I will read it as I am interested in seeing what Ginny is up to in the future.


  1. Most definitely reading this! I personally love all the conventions of road trip/traveling novels. In fact, I took a whole class on just that back in college so I will no doubt love this book. I never thought about how a character's personality could get lost amidst all the changing scenery. Killer observation! If the ending made your cry in a good way, I have got to read this!

  2. I adored this book when I read it, about 5 years ago. Glad you were able to, too!