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.show more
by Sandra Beekhuis