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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Title: The Last Little Blue Envelope
Author: Maureen Johnson
ISBN: 9780061976797

Publisher: Harper Collins

Released: April 2011

Page #: 288
Source: ebook from Netgalley

Summary (from Barnes and Noble):

"Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions."
First Lines: (from the galley - subject to change in final version)

"It was that time of day again. Time to stare at the question, the two lines of black on an otherwise blank page. Question: Describe a life experience that changed you. What was it, and what did you learn? (1,000 words)"

If you have not yet read 13 Little Blue Envelopes, there are certain to be spoilers in this review. Please proceed with caution - or just go read it... because it's wonderful :).

13 Little Blue Envelopes holds a very high spot on my favorite books list - and will continue to do so for a long while. It's hilarious, it's heartfelt, it's adventurous, it's just a wonderful story. Unfortunately, it came out pre-blog so I can't prove it to you... but trust me! I was so excited to see the ending of the story years later.

The Last Little Blue Envelope picks up right where the first book left off. Ginny is back in America and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life. That's when she's contacted by someone in England who has found her last letter from her Aunt. She then embarks on a trip that continues her grand adventure and shows her a new side to people she didn't expect.

In the first book, you see Ginny as an innocent girl experiencing the world through fresh eyes. One of the great things about this second book is watching how she has grown and become more worldly wise. She visits several countries that she now considers old friends. It's an interesting change of pace from the first book - you see her as more comfortable with things that happen and more willing to roll with the punches.

I enjoyed the addition of Oliver to the story. This is a little spoilery, but I wish we had learned more about his life before the very end of the book. I think there was a lot of depth to his character and would like to have gotten more of that. But he is also painted as the bad guy throughout - but he isn't your typical villain. I think that was a really cool part of his character.

Honestly, if you haven't read 13 Little Blue Envelopes yet, you're seriously missing out. And I would recommend it to you in a heartbeat. That being said, you can't read this second book without the first. Don't even try it. This second book is wonderful, but shouldn't be taken out of context. I always look for the next awesome thing by Maureen Johnson. You won't be disappointed!
Other Blog Reviews:

The Literary Life of the Well-Read Wife
Jessica Lawlor
The Book Scout
Bewitched Bookworms
Anna Reads
Girls in the Stacks
Steph Su Reads
There are tons of reviews out there. This list only scratches the surface.

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