Monday, June 13, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope

by Maureen Johnson
New York : HarperTeen, 2011.

*Possible slight spoilers* - but nothing past page 50, honest.

At the end of 13 Little Blue Envelopes, Ginny's bag - along with her letters from Aunt Peg and the final, unopened envelope - is stolen. Despite this setback, her trip to Europe was life-changing. In fact, it would be the subject of her college essay, if she could ever figure out what to write. Then, she received an email from Oliver, a young man who claims he found has that last little blue envelope. According to Oliver, Aunt Peg left another piece of art, and he will give Ginny her letter back if she gives him a finder's fee from the proceeds of the sale.

I really enjoyed the first book about Ginny and her travels. At first, I wasn't sure if I would like the sequel as much, mainly because of the changing nature of Ginny's relationships once she finds out that Keith (her co-traveler in the last book and "sort of" but never official boyfriend) has a girlfriend, Ellis. All four of them - Ginny, Oliver, Keith and Ellis - are now on this trip, a dynamic that could have made for excruciating reading. But Johnson never makes it as melodramatic oh-woe-is-me that she could have. She realistically portrays Ginny's hurt feelings without making her maudlin or annoying. Once they leave on their trip, guided by Oliver and the last letter, I read nearly in one sitting. If you loved the first book, this is a good follow-up, but I think The Last Little Blue Envelope could stand decently on its own as well.

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