13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson

Ginny is sent a parcel with the knowledge that her Aunt Peg has died. In this parcel are 13 little blue envelopes each with a number on and instructions in each one to be followed out as Aunt Peg’s last wishes.

Aunt Peg was someone who did not follow the norm and did things differently, a contrast as we read the book to Ginny who seems to think she should do what is expected and what is safe and known. However these letters change Ginny’s life and she embarks on finding out what she really wants at the age of 17 and who she really is.

The letters take Ginny to London, Edinburgh, Paris, Amsterdam, Denmark and Corfu as she has tasks to complete, someone of them not as obvious as others. There is little description on the places, this is not a travel book where the destinations are described as being characters themselves, and it is the vehicle that Ginny uses to find out about her grandmother and ultimately herself.  Ginny is the main character even though Aunt Peg is important she is almost a background character as are all those who Ginny meets on her travels. It is not until the end of the book that the important people stand out for Ginny and also the reader, and what is learnt from them to help Ginny.

This is very much a book for young adults, although as an older one I did enjoy it! A fair introduction of something dare I call ‘young chick-lit’. There was something of the cynic and practical side of me that was saying, what about the money aspect of travelling off round Europe with very little money and not getting into more problems, moving from country to country was easy as if moving from street to street.

The writing and Ginny as an individual is somewhat immature and infantile but I believe that this is the crux of the story, of Ginny growing up. The ending is somewhat odd, and slightly disappointing, although as I have now found out there is a sequel it makes a bit more sense my only concern is that the author may need to be careful and not wear a plotline to thin, as it may end up boring the readers.

A quick, agreeable read, ideal for young girls who want to perhaps bridge the gap between too childlike and too adult books.

I got the opportunity to read this when it was going for free on Amazon Kindle. Not a book I would have normally chosen, but I do like books where they use letters as a toll to tell a story, I always find that rather intimate. I have said in my review it was a quick read but it was lacking in something, what I cannot put my finger on. That said, the nosey part of me would like to read the sequel just to find out what happens but I would not pay very much if at all for the book. I think therefore that reflects on how I felt about the book. 

Is there any books that you would like to read or perhaps a sequel to find out what happens but you cannot justify paying the money to do so?