Monday, April 4, 2011

13 Little Blue Envelopes ~ Maureen Johnson review (+ a bit of Anna & the French Kiss)

13 Little Blue Envelopes*
Harper Teen
September 26, 2006
368 pages
Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository/Kindle version currently (as of 4.5.11) $0.00


Anna and the French Kiss
~ Stephanie Perkins
Dutton Juvenile
December 2, 2010
384 pages
Goodreads/Amazon/Book Depository

Ginny's young aunt Peg has always been a bit of an oddball. She's pick up and leave any job if it got too boring or she felt too comfortable. But now she's been out of touch with her sister's
(Ginny's mother's) family for several years. It's after these few years that Ginny receives a package.

The package from Peg, who has recently passed away, includes a letter for Ginny, little blue envelopes, some money and a task.

Following the four rules (which include no communication with back home and no guidebooks) straight laced Ginny is to set off on a journey as dictated by her now deceased aunt. Each
destination will have a task for Ginny and the instruction to open another envelope with another destination.

Ginny knows this is Aunt Peg who devised this so it's not going to be your average travel experience but she decides to do it because she's always been so fond of her aunt.

Let the travel adventures begin.

Ginny wasn't allowed to have guide books on her adventure, that was one of the rules. If I ever end up on a trip to England or any part of Europe where guidebooks are disallowed, I am definitely, definitely taking 13 Little Blue Envelopes. With it Johnson has created a substitute guidebook any girl would be more than happy to follow (a few things maybe aside).

There's enough adventure, twists and turns, friendship, cute boys, humor, crazy Europeans,
crazy Americans in Europe, grief and longing, heartbreak, things to know about travelling, and things you really wish you'd known to do when you went to X, Y or Z (or now plan to do) to make this book so close to perfect.

It doesn't just rely on grand adventures or the traveling, though, there's a real story to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Ginny really has lost her Aunt Peg and she's figuring out what that means for and about her. And what it means about what she knew about her aunt, as well. Nestled in this little road (or air) tripping book is a story of self discovery, too.

Honestly, if you know someone who's planning on going to England or Europe or just dreams of it, definitely, definitely get them this and Anna and the French Kiss. Both are books that will have you booking a plane ticket in no time.

(But they're also two of the best self discovery books I've ever read!)

9/10 for 13 Little Blue Envelopes

(Last Little Blue Envelope review is coming in a few days--Harper sent me the ARC!!

And I do hope to figure my way enough around my love of Anna and the French Kiss some day soon, so that I might actually review it--if not just know I think you should read it. )

*I reviewed the old edition (with the blue cover, but I'm using the graphic of the new cover so you can recognize it if you decide to buy it!

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