Book Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue EnvelopesBook: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson|Narrated by Emily Durante

Published December 2010|Published by HarperCollins|6 hours 51 minutes|Audio Book via the library

Series? 13 Little Blue Envelopes #1

Genre: YA/Contemporary

Find out more: Goodreads|Barnes And Noble|Amazon|Maureen Johnson’s Website Summary: 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.

I have mixed feelings about 13 Little Blue Envelopes.  I like the idea of 13 envelopes that taking Ginny on this interesting adventure through Europe, but the book didn’t quite work for me.  I mean, Ginny has the chance for a lot of adventure but it felt like she was just going through the motions.  Seriously, it felt like she didn’t care about having fun or exploring Europe or getting to know some of the people her aunt became friends with or admired.  She was just so disinterested in her trip that it was hard to care about her journey.

Ginny really zipped through those envelopes, which took her to a lot of different places.  As a result, she never really got to spend a lot of time in each place.  Overall, it was hard to connect with Ginny and her taking the same trip through Europe that her aunt took.  And I honestly couldn’t tell you anything about Ginny, who was pretty lackluster, and didn’t seem to have a personality.  Actually, lackluster describes pretty much every single character in the book.

And the rules surrounding this trip through Europe.  No maps, no guidebooks, all of her belongings have to fit into a huge back-pack…only the money her aunt has set up for her, and Ginny has no idea how much that is until she can get to an ATM.  Oh, and no cell phone, no contacting her family and friends, unless it’s a hand-written letter or postcard…and of course, no way for them to contact 17-year-old Ginny.  I’m willing to overlook a lot in YA, but who lets their 17-year-old traipse around Europe with not a lot of money and no way of keeping in contact?

And the narration?  It was okay.  Not amazing, but not completely horrible.  It did work fairly well as an audio book, but the narration itself doesn’t really stand out.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, 13 Little Blue Envelopes was pretty uninspiring.  It could have been a lot of fun, but unfortunately, I felt like Ginny was just going through the motions.  I liked the concept of the novel, but it just didn’t work for me.  It gets 2 stars.


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