Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Inside little blue envelope 1 are $1,000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket.

In envelope 2 are directions to a specific London flat.

The note in envelope 3 tells Ginny: Find a starving artist.

Because of envelope 4, Ginny and a playwright/thief/ bloke–about–town called Keith go to Scotland together, with somewhat disastrous–though utterly romantic–results. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.

When this book first came out here in the UK, I was in the middle of my vampire obsession and so didn't want to read it. The only reason I picked it up is because I love Maureen Johnson already from her tweets and wanted to see if her books were just as funny and interesting and also because I was going on a long drive and wanted a long book about adventure and road trips to read.

The start of the book had me gripped, I really wanted to know what the envelopes were about and what the lesson that Ginny was going to learn was, I was convinced that Ginny was going to go through some moral development and learn some massive lesson in the book that changes her whole world. Nah. The book started to go downhill from there, it was just Ginny and her adventures with new people and they all started to mould in together to the point where every adventure seemed the same - cliche. Yet I still read on, right until the very last page, searching for the hidden meaning.

I actually would have enjoyed this book a lot more had I liked Ginny more. She was totally boring, no redeeming features at all which doesn't make her stand out at all and really annoyed me. She was naive, stupid and boring and I really couldn't stand her. I wasn't that keen on Keith either, her sort-of-love-interest. He was eccentric and Johnson tried to make him cool but he was just annoying, childish and I couldn't really stand him, there was also no chemistry between these two, so I didn't read it for the romance.

Also, what on earth is up with ginny's parents? They let her traipse around Europe on her own, just to follow the directions of some letters her dead, unreliable Aunt had left her? Ginny makes them sound responsible... my thought? not at all.

What did I like then? Maureen Johnson's writing is as witty as I expected, the descriptions of the places Ginny goes are fantastic and some of the situations that Ginny is faced with are funny and unique. I really enjoyed reading Aunt Peg's letters. Johnson paces the story fantastcally that even somebody who didn't love the story and characters can get through the book fast 

In the end though, I feel as though I have to read the next book in the series because we don't know what is in the last envelope, and I'm not sure that I want to - I may give it a try, but I really hope that Ginny has grown and Keith is gone. I want to see Ginny do something, not just follow orders and take advice!

Overall rating: D

Stand alone/series: First in a series of two
UK Release: April 30th 2091
Publisher: HarperCollins Childrens Books
Book obtained via: Bought


  1. I loved this one but felt like it fell a little flat. Though I read the Last Little Blue Envelope anyway and let me tell you this; its AMAZING! It was SOOOO much better than this one so please go read it!

  2. Sorry you didn't like this one. I enjoyed it, but I do agree with you about Keith - hated him!


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