Review of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Review of 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Also by this author: Suite Scarlett, The Last Little Blue Envelope
Series: Little Blue Envelope #1
Also in this series: The Last Little Blue Envelope
Published by HarperCollins on 2006-09-26
Genres: Adolescence, Europe, Young Adult, Social Issues, Family
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 0060541431

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.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson is a modern day coming of age story. It centers around Virginia ‘Ginny’ Blackstone, a 17 year old girl who is given a letter in a blue envelope. The letter tells her to fly to London, but she can’t bring any crutches. What ensues is a fantastic adventure.

I found Ginny to be a likable, relatable main character. She’s awkward, nervous, shy, and unadventurous. She’s very similar to how I was while in school. I love that she finds herself in Europe. I love that she throws her caution to the wind and learns to come out of her shell.
13 Little Blue Envelopes was a quick and engaging read. I was engrossed from the very beginning. I suppose if you tallied my total reading time, this book took about four hours to read. It’s not because it’s short on content either, the pages just turned themselves. Not to mention, I was curious about the tasks inside each of the little blue envelopes. There was one part in the second letter which really grabbed me, it spoke to me.
“I have a crush on a building. I’d been there several times but never to work. I always knew there were offices in there, but that fact never penetrated, really. You don’t work in the Empire State Building. You propose in the Empire State Building. You sneak a flask up there and raise a toast to the whole city of New York.”
Tell me that’s not great writing right there. Go on, I dare you.
I finished this novel wanting to leave my hellhole home and mosey on down to Europe and be a nomad. Then I realized the college loan thugs would find me, and probably beat me up for skipping out on payments. It would be nice though to get to do all of the exciting things Ginny did.
While I was in the shower, the perfect drink for 13 Little Blue Envelopes came to mind. A root beer float. Root beer floats are basically soda and ice cream. This is a carefree drink. People who drink root beer floats aren’t busy calculating how many empty calories they are. They aren’t thinking okay, this drink means a brisk 30 minute jog. Hell no. To me, root beer floats represent living in the moment. There isn’t always a rhyme or reason to having one, but damn do they taste good.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. justicejenniferreads says

    This book sounds like such a fun read. Definitely adding it to my list. I've always dreamed of just packing up and going on an adventure somewhere far away from my comfortable little nook in CA. When you live in one place your whole live, the rest of the worl looks so exciting …

    I'm new to your blog and I just want to say I love how you compare books to drinks. That's so neat! And the fact that this one was a root beer float makes me want to read it more – I love the occasional float, so good.


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