13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Maureen Johnson

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 30mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007319908
  • ISBN 13: 9780007319909
  • Sales rank: 78,114

Product description

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of 13 little blue envelopes...Perfect summer read from Queen of Teen 2012! Ginny, aged 17, is left 13 little blue envelopes by her free-spirited young Aunt Peg. Little does she know just how much they will change her life...* Inside envelope No 1 is money and instructions to buy a plane ticket. * Inside envelope No 2 are directions to a specific London flat * Inside envelope No 3 a note to Ginny says: Find a starving artist. * And because of envelope No 4 Ginny and a man called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous - though utterly romantic - results.

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Author information

Maureen Johnson was born in Philadelphia, but soon ran off to New York City to study writing and drama at Columbia University. Along the way, she served up hamburgers in the company of mad scientists and talking skeletons in New York, worked in a bar in Piccadilly Circus, nervously worked alongside 5 tigers in Las Vegas, and once got mixed up with the entire cast of a major West End musical. She is the author of The Key to the Golden Firebird and The Bermudez Triangle. You can visit Maureen online at maureenjohnsonbooks.com.

Customer reviews

By Sandra Beekhuis 19 Jan 2014 4

In fact, I have read this book a couple of times, not recently though. I have this book on my bookshelf for about a few years now and I read it when I don't know what to read. I have the Dutch copy, because when I bought the book, I didn't know English just yet. I've been planning read the original version for quite some time now, but I didn't really got around it, and I actually forgot it once I got around reading. So I'll put it on my reading list and see when I get around reading this one in the original language.

Now, I'm just going to review the Dutch version in English. I dont' think there is a lot of difference between the two. The title differences a bit, so do probably the names and some parts in the book (but I'm not sure). There are always a lot of translation errors, but as young me, didn't know English, I didn't notice.

The book is about Ginny, who receives an envelope from her Aunt Peg in the mail, containing a $1000 in cash and a letter with instructions. The instructions are specific; no cell phones, no maps, and Ginny can only open one envelope at a time, after she's completed each task in the previous letter. Throughout the letters, Ginny learns more about what drove her aunt to flee to Europe in pursuit of her art and about Aunt Peg's last year of her life, since Aunt Peg has passed away from a brain tumor by the time the first envelope arrives.

Just thinking about it. Ginny has parents. Would her parents leave a 17-year old girl alone traveling all over Europe because her dead aunt sent her a letter saying so? I don't think my mother would let me do something. She'd go with me. Ginny could not bring her cell phone, which would drive my parents crazy, they want to know where I'm at and what I'm doing and I wouldn't even be able to call the police or an ambulance when I'm in need. Yes, making up things that might happen when I would be alone without a cell phone with only a thousand bucks.

Just trying to point out the non-realism in this book.

Overall, it's a fine book, Maureen Johnson's writing is not perfect and can get slightly annoying at times, but it's nice, for younger teens and for those who really enjoy reading 'chicklit' books, which I don't particularly enjoy. It was a book that is nice to read when you don't really want to read something you have to think about. Or when you're tired and feel like reading some easy, and flowing. Something you can finish in a day. Then this is a good book.

What appears to be, is that there was a part two made of the book (which I thought it should, I mean, this book has an open ending I bloody hated). I picked up the book from the library, maybe last year, or two years ago, but I didn't finish it, due to the lack of motivation to read. So I am planning to read that as well and fixing my review when I have read them both, in Dutch and in English. I can pick out the translation flaws.

I must say, that Ginny, the main character, wasn't developed well in the book. We didn't know a lot about the character, we didn't get to learn how she was feeling through all of this. It was as if she was emotionless for some reason. One thing I didn't really enjoy about it.

I am not sure whether to recommend it or not, because I used to really enjoy this book, but now I'm slightly older and realizing what a mad idea it is to travel through Europe without any phone etc. So I'm not sure if I still like it that much.

Review quote

"Equal parts poignant, funny and inspiring, with a delicious fairytale ending." Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Johnson's writing is sophisticated and humorous, her characterisations pitch perfect." Kirkus Reviews