Saturday, 18 December 2010

Review: Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

Published: 2005
Pages: 336
Series: Little Blue Envelope #1
Read: December 16th 2010
Challenge: N/A
Reason I Read It: I've read several of MJ's other books.

Synopsis: When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen.  What Ginny doesn't know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one.  Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel. (from Goodreads)

First Line: "Dear Ginger, I have never been a great follower of rules."

Review: Have to confess that this was on the rapidly growing pile of books I'd started, got about fifty pages into, and then put down when I was distracted by something shiny and new.  And then I got to the fifty page mark again on this readthrough and the same thing nearly happened, but this time I managed to pinpoint the issue and it's entirely mine: it's set in London.  Daft, eh?  But I know London, I now live there, and so I was kind of going "oh, it was all new to me when it was set in New York and there's European travel on the horizon, but London?  Nothing exciting there" (even though I know that last statement is completely untrue).

Once I got past this the book picked up for me, even before Ginny set off for Europe.  And once she got to Europe I turned into a page turning loon, rushing through the remainder of the book like it was reading crack.  The book made me want to rush off to Europe (because it's right there, there's this tunnel they dug to connect us and everything), and I felt as if I was in every city that was described.  There were a few episodes of the book that I wasn't sure where they fit, even in the thematic sense, but every bit kept me reading.  Then the ending made me cry - and that's the second time an MJ book has done that to me; the other was The Key to the Golden Firebird - but wasn't so perfectly tied up in a neat little bow that it made me want to throw it across the room.  Though I am curious as to what the sequel will be about - which is what makes me want to get my grubby mitts on a copy now.

However, much as I liked it, I didn't love it the same way I love Devilish and Girl at Sea (read both of those now if you haven't).  It was an enjoyable read, but compared to those two it didn't grab me.  The romance didn't have the same effect on me as in the other two.  Basically, this book fell down for me because I read my two favourite MJs before this, which is, again, totally on me.  Definitely recommend it, but I would recommend the other two more.

Rating: 8/10

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