Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Author: Maureen Johnson
Published: April 26, 2011
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.
I'm one of those people who likes closure. I want the things that I watch and read to have endings. They don't have to be happy, but there has to be some sort of closure. It probably won't surprise you that I didn't enjoy the end of 13 Little Blue Envelopes as much as I enjoyed the rest of the book. The end left me begging for more, for closure. I first read it three years ago, I think, and at that time there wasn't going to be a second book. That just about killed me. I am so, so happy Maureen Johnson changed her mind and wrote The Last Little Blue Envelope. It gave me the closure I was looking for and went in a completely natural feeling direction.
You might think that in the years since Johnson wrote 13 Little Blue Envelopes she might have forgot her characters. This is not the case. Everyone was exactly like they were in the first book. I would know because I reread the first one right before reading the second. Ginny was the same Ginny, no matter how much she tried to be different. Keith was still infuriatingly but endearingly Keith-like. No one felt out of character to me, which is quite a feat.
I think the plot when in a great and believable direction for Ginny. I had no trouble believing she could find her way to London for Christmas break when she was abroad an entire Summer. I also thought the relationship twists and turns that occur throughout the book, of which there are many, were entirely believable. I really liked how Johnson gave this book the same sort of feel as the last one, where Ginny's exploring different countries and herself at the same time, yet it was different enough to feel fresh and new. The addition of Oliver was one of the main reasons it was so different. He is an odd character, to say the least. I loved not really knowing how I or Ginny felt about him for a lot of the book. It was less predictable than it could have been.
Maureen Johnson is such a fantastic writer. She has an awesome sense of humor, and even though these books are in third person I connected with Ginny more than I connect with some characters in first person. I was sucked into the book right from the beginning. There were a couple times where I thought it was going too slow, but that never lasted long.
Basically I think The Last Little Blue Envelope is a fantastic and completely necessary sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I would definitely recommend it if you've read 13 Little Blue Envelopes and wanted more.
Overall: 48/50 A