13 Little Blue Envelopes--Maureen Johnson
2005 by Harper Collins
Would you follow the directions?
Would you travel around the world?
Would you open the envelopes one by one?
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.
Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes.
Meh, this one's not for me. It just seemed to unrealistic, partially because I would never go off to Europe without having every single step planned out or make out with a boy I had met earlier that day. I can handle characters who are different from me, but not when they don't follow common sense and personal safety rules. Sure, I'll go to this random guy's house. I have no reason to trust him and don't even know his name. No one knows I'm in this country or will miss me if I disappear. Sure. Why not? What could possibly go wrong? The whole book was a series of I-would-never-do-thats and they kept me from being able to lose myself in the story.
Despite the life-changing journey promised in the blurb, Ginny never really grew or changed. We don't see her before the trip, so we have nothing to compare her end-of-book self to. A little, she-wouldn't-be-that-spontaneous-on-her-own isn't good enough. That's not significant change. And I never felt like I got to know any of the other characters either, not even Peg, and the book is supposed to be about her almost as much as it is about Ginny.
All around, 13 Little Blue Envelopes is just not the book for me.