Saturday, March 31, 2012

REVIEW: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

I adore Maureen Johnson, it is true. I think she's funny and slightly crazy and every book of hers I've read I've really enjoyed. I look forward to her books and I'm excited to read them just as I was with The Last Little Blue Envelope. But while this book is just as funny and entertaining as 13 Little Blue Envelopes and I loved the fact that we finally get answers to what was in that final letter, I also felt like there was something lacking in it. And that is a shame.

The Last Little Blue Envelope is the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, in which Ginny Blackstone travelled around Europe, doing tasks that her Aunt Peg set out for her in a series of letters written before Aunt Peg died. This trip and these letters were great for Ginny, they allowed Ginny to have this crazy adventure and ask questions about her life and her future, and find out more about her eccentric aunt. But just as the trip is ending, before the last letter is read, her bag is stolen and Ginny never gets to hear Peg's final words of wisdom and advice.

Now it several months later and Ginny is preparing for university. She's trying to answer college essays and really struggling to return to normality. So when a stranger emails her regarding her stolen bag and the last letter from Aunt Peg, Ginny jumps on a plane and finds herself at the start of another Peg-induced adventure. This time though, she has the mysterious Oliver to deal with as well as her almost-boyfriend and his possible-current-girlfriend. Things could not be more awkward. And also fun!

I do really love travel within stories. Ginny and her group of companions go on this fun journey into France and Ireland in search of Aunt Peg's final piece of artwork. There have to deal with boats and being crammed into a little car. There's some breaking and entering going on and a lot of specualation and concern about travelling with a complete stranger. There's plenty of awkwardness to deal with as Ginny's love interest from 13 Little Blue Envelopes is there with another girl.

All in all, it's a very fun read. I'm certainly glad that this story's loose ends are tied up and that we could spend a bit more time with this great characters. Even though Keith is a bit of an ass, and we know almost nothing about Oliver until nearly the end, there is still quite a few emotional bits to the story and enough travel-related zaniness to keep me smiling throughout. I can't even pinpoint exactly why I didn't connect as much with this book as with 13LBE, but even so, I'm not sorry that I picked this book up!

12 comments:

  1. I still need to read the first, I have it on my Kindle... Pity you didn't enjoy it as much as 13LBE, but I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the review!

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    1. I'm glad I read it even though I didn't love it as much as the first because I hate not knowing what happened.. I hope you enjoy 13LBe!

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  2. Great review! I downloaded the first book onto my kindle about a year ago, and I STILL haven't read it yet. This looks like so much fun, and I must read it soon when I need a contemporary fiction fix!

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    1. Both books are really great to read and I hope you enjoy 13LBE when you get around to it :)

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  3. It's great to hear more about this book - I've been curious about it. Thanks for your review!

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  4. I have checked a number of times and my library hasn't had this book. I just checked again and they finally do so I have requested it. I liked the first one, although I was a bit concerned by the missing parents.

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    1. Were you? :) It's quite common in YA to have missing parents, though, isn't it?

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  5. I kick myself every time I read a review of one of Maureen's books and realise I haven't read anything by her yet!

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    1. Oh Sophie, that definitely needs to be remedied!

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  6. I'm sure I'll get around to reading this one eventually, but I don't think I enjoyed the first one as much as you did! I'm hoping a few loose ends get ties up, at any rate. Not holding out much hope for Keith though!

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    1. No, I really wouldn't either. I didn't really pick up on it in the first book, but Keith really is an ass.

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