Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Title 13 Little Blue Envelopes
By Maureen Johnson
For Fun
Recommended by Everyone

First sentence Dear Ginger, I have never been a great follower of rules.

After her eccentric artist aunt passes away, Ginny receives a package from her. It contains 13 numbered envelopes, each with a task to complete. They lead Ginny on a wild adventure across Europe where she learns more about her aunt and more about herself.

General thoughts
I've heard so many good things about this book that I purchased it at the Borders store closing sale and there it has sat on my shelf for the past five months. I felt like an adventurous yet light read so I picked it up and read it rather quickly this week. Considering the all consuming depression slump I've been in, the fact that it only took me two days to read this book speaks volumes about its quality. It was just the sort of book I was in need of. I enjoyed traveling all across Europe with Ginny and was eagerly waiting for her to read each new letter from her aunt to see what it was all leading up to. Sigh, and, yes, maybe it's my current mood, but I did have some issues with the book. Firstly being the convenience. I hate books that have little facts thrown in just so the story is easier to tell, like Ginny's great sense of direction. I was bothered with how quickly and conveniently she fell for Keith and how their relationship just sort of sprung up out of nowhere. Plus, I just don't like guys like Keith. Sure, they're easy going and relaxed but it makes me wonder if they're truly capable of being in a relationship. Guys like him just don't seem to care about anything deeply enough to actually care about someone...for long. Anywho, the ending was a bit of a let down for me, as well, and I felt like the whole book in general had some deep meaning that I just wasn't getting. That's because I really don't think there was a meaning but what do I know? So, yeah, I really did like reading and enjoying it but in the end it was just OK. I will read the sequel, though, that's something. ;)

The Characters were very well fleshed out. Each had a distinct real personality and reason for existing. I admire that in books. Ginny, herself, was a little too passive for me. Everything just happened TO her. Maybe that was that whole deep thing I missed but it bothered me.

Would I recommend it? 
Yeah, it was good enough. But if you do read it and take some great meaning away from it, will you tell me? Cause I was just confused.


  1. I've heard a lot of good things about this book too! I think it's something I'll pick up from the library and give a try when I find the time or need a light read. And if I find some deeper meaning you will be the first person I tell lol! I hope you get out of your reading depression soon!

  2. I remember enjoying this one for the travel aspect, seeing the world and such. I don't remember a deep meaning. I have yet to get to the sequel, but I'm curious.

  3. Nope no deeper meaning. It's just a fun book, no need to turn on your brain for this one. I enjoyed the second one as well and it was a very quick read too.

  4. I have this book on my shelf, thanks for the great review! I like how you focused both the good and bad stuff. i'll just have to see how I find it!

  5. I enjoyed this one too but like you it felt more like a fluff book, that was fun and adventurous. The next book kind of explains somethings and makes them click a little better.

  6. Natalie, K, let me know. ;)

    Suey, Well, I'll just take it as a light read.

    Selina, K, then I won't keep wondering about it and I do plan on reading the second one.

    iLuvReadingTooMuch, Thanks! I think it's worth picking up off the shelf.

    Ang, OK, good. Then I'll have to get my hands on the second book for sure.

  7. I really enjoyed your thoughts on this one. I too have had that feeling that maybe I was missing some deep message that other readers were getting :)
    Seems like this was the right book at the right time for you, even if the ending was sort of lacking.

  8. Okay, I've borrowed this book from the library and will let you know if there are any deep messages. Although, I warn you, I am pretty dense when it comes to that sort of thing. Ha! Some books are just meant for light reading I guess.

  9. TheBookGirl, It was definitely a good book for me to read right now.

    Lan, K, I'm looking for your review.

  10. SAME! The ending was so horrible, I was like what? This is it? One thing that bothered me a lot is that MJ didn't get detailed with her writing. For example, when Ginny went into the Louvre she checked in her bag, so Ginny tries to leave the Louvre and she is going down random halls and all, and finds one and leaves. Later on in the book, she gets her backpack. How, when, and where did she ever retrieve her backpack? This drove me so crazy that I got distracted from the story!
    Enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this book! :)

  11. Roxy, That's annoying! I didn't even notice but I have in other books.

  12. This book sounds fun - travelling across Europe is something I'd love to do! But the fact that the ending is disappointing makes me not want to read it all that much. Maybe one to borrow from the library rather than purchasing it?

    Great review :)

  13. Chrissie, It's worth getting at the library for sure.

  14. I liked 13 LBE, but . . . something just seemed to be missing. It wasn't just that it was fluffy but that it seemed like the whole thing was a pointless wild-goose chase. I was hoping the second book would be a little more satisfying, but it wasn't. In fact, I left with the feeling that the books were just an excuse to write off a trip to Europe. But, I'm getting cynical in my old age. LOL

  15. Bookfool, That's exactly how I felt I just couldn't put it into words. There just wasn't some deep meaning behind the goose chase. Sigh.