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13 Little Blue Envelopes

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

43 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes, written by Maureen Johnson, is a well-written story all about a girl who learns how to handle things on her own. It will encourage young minds all over the world to find their inner-beauty and encourage them to try things they never tried befo...
13 Little Blue Envelopes, written by Maureen Johnson, is a well-written story all about a girl who learns how to handle things on her own. It will encourage young minds all over the world to find their inner-beauty and encourage them to try things they never tried before. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is a funny and great adventure story that I think all teens will enjoy. I could not put it down; I read in the matter of a few days. The story line instantly pulled me in with a little bit of romance and Ginny┬┐s adventurous side. I felt like I was living through every experience Ginny went through.
Johnson makes her characters come alive and she portrays them as regular people. She made Ginny a regular teenager who has trouble speaking out. I could relate to this 100 percent. Her writing makes you never want to stop reading and the ending was a delicious cherry on top of an ice cream cone. It was the perfect story with the perfect ending.
I would definitely recommend this to a friend. This is a perfect pick-me-up when you have not read a good book in a while. If you like romance, adventure, and a tad bit of mystery, this is the book to read. You get to discover what it is like to travel through a country alone. You learn all new things about Europe and what life is like on the other side of the world. And surprisingly; it is much the same!
The reason I started reading this book in the first place was because it had been a while since I had read a truly amazing story that I had thoroughly enjoyed. I was tired of the stories that had no interesting conflict and always ended how I expected. I thought that 13 Little Blue Envelopes would stop my bad streak. I read the first chapter and it felt like I was living in Europe. This book is a great book to pick when you need something to pull you away from the world and the people around you. You become Ginny and open each of the envelopes with her.
This book is an overall great read for teenage girls. Most of the time it is interesting and I promise: you will not be able to put this book down! I know I look forward to reading more books by Maureen Johnson after I have read this, and I am sure you will too. I recommend this book to everyone who needs a book to read. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is the way to go!

posted by Shellyy on October 27, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

23 out of 52 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

After reading the description, I was really excited to read this book. But the more I read it, the more boring the book became. The ending didn't really please me at all and I never once felt for the main character, Ginny. I'm glad I was able to get it from the library ...
After reading the description, I was really excited to read this book. But the more I read it, the more boring the book became. The ending didn't really please me at all and I never once felt for the main character, Ginny. I'm glad I was able to get it from the library and didn't have to buy it; what a waste that would have been.

Read it if you want. Your taste could be different from mine and you might like it.

posted by JayLovex on August 11, 2009

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  • Posted March 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Completely original!

    Ginny is convinced that the only thing that makes her interesting is her aunt, a starving artist and constant traveler. When her aunt dies of brain cancer, Ginny can't understand what's ahead of her. Days filled with boring scenes and an unoriginal life? Then she receives a letter . from her aunt. She discovers that her aunt wrote 13 letters before she died, all addressed to Ginny. She sends Ginny off on a journey, to different countries to complete different tasks. Who said Ginny couldn't be interesting and exciting? But it's still her aunt that is making her that way and it's all a game. It finally hits Ginny: her aunt is dead. Now, she has to be her own person.

    13 Little Blue Envelopes is One-in-a-Million. It was completely creative and unusual! The author flowed with a new, fresh idea and it turned out great. I would have liked to read more about Ginny's mom and her home in New Jersey but it seemed that Ginny was caught in the moment and it rarely came across her mind. As the story developed, so did the characters and the descriptions of the settings blew me away! The writing is great and I look forward to reading more by this author in the near future. I could never imagine the countries that were spoken of but now I can with the help of this book. The reasons I rated this book a 4 are specified below.

    Contains:

    *brief nudity
    *homosexuality of a minor character involved in two chapters
    *sensuality
    *sexual references

    19 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great book

    This book gives me the desire to travel. I have already gotten my passport. Now it's just a matter of saving the money to go.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    from Missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

    Rule #1: You may bring only what fits in your backpack. Don't try to fake it with a purse or a carry-on.

    Rule #2: You may not bring guidebooks, phrase books, or any kind of foreign language aid. And no journals.

    Rule #3: You cannot bring extra money or credit/debit cards, traveler's checks, etc.

    Rule #4: No electronic crutches. This means no laptop, no cell phone, no music, and no camera. You can't call home or communicate with people in the U.S. by Internet or telephone. Postcards and letters are acceptable and encouraged.

    The rules were straightforward, sent to Ginny Blackstone in the first of thirteen letters from her eccentric Aunt Peg. Ginny is used to her aunt's whims and willing to play along because Aunt Peg is the only person in the world who can make Ginny seem interesting--even if it is just by association.

    The letters will take Ginny to England and across Europe on an adventure that starts in the hope of understanding her wayward aunt. Along the way she'll get a behind-the-scenes tour of Harrod's from one of the store's employees, meet artist/sometimes-thief Keith Dobson, and encounter youth hostels of various ilks. She will also karaoke. At the end of the summer, Ginny might discover she's more interesting than she thought--all because of those 13 Little Blue Envelopes (2005) by Maureen Johnson.

    Broken into chapters and separate headings for each envelope, this is a fast read that still has a lot of depth. The cover, along with some of Johnson's other covers, is sometimes slammed for having a semi-headless, midriff-bearing girl on the cover. All the same, I love it. Not so much because it's indicative of the story but of the novel's overall vibe.

    Equal parts travelogue, comedy, and Bildungsroman 13 Little Blue Envelopes is jam-packed with excitement and appeal. It's also a book about an ordinary girl discovering that sometimes just being herself can be extraordinary enough. Ginny is a persistent, resilient narrator that readers will be cheering for throughout this (sometimes) madcap novel.

    Johnson is also working on a sequel called The Last Little Blue Envelope with a projected publication date in 2011.

    Possible Pairings: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Howard's End by E. M. Forster, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley, Kitty Kitty by Michele Jaffe, Jungle Crossing by Sydney Salter

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    Adventure Packed!!

    I give “13 Little Blue Envelopes” by Maureen Johnson 5 out of 5 envelopes because it was a very interesting book with lots of adventure. It had lots of components to it such as mystery, adventure, romance, and many plot twists. The story was about a 17 year old girl named Ginny who had a very crazy aunt. Her aunt had miraculously disappeared one day leaving Ginny only a package filled with 13 little blue envelopes. These envelopes sent her to all different places and had many varying tasks. During one of the quests she meets a boy who she falls in love with. He is sometimes a jerk though, causing them to fight a lot. I would recommend this book to mostly teen and pre-teen girls. This is because this book is from the point of view of a girl and it has some girly concepts. This book has a lot of romance in it that many girls can connect to. For example, since she is so clumsy around boys she starts acting oddly so he starts to dislike her and she is trying to get him back. Also, this book describes the beauty of all the cities she went to and most boys aren’t interested in that stuff. This is a descriptions of the city were a big part of the book so many boys might think it is boring.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    A must read over and over!

    Any girl who loves romance books with a little adventure this is the book for you! I have read twice before and now i had to buy it. It is interesting and attention-grabbing. This book leaves you wanting more and now you can read more about Ginny in the second book The Last Little Blue Envelope. Totally recomend these books.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    really, truly good.

    i read this book for one reason and one reason only... i knew maureen johnson was best friends with my favorite author libba bray, so i picked it up. but, as i started reading it i found out that this book went way beyond my expectations. it was really good. i loved the story line and all of the characters. especially keith, keith is fantastic. i also loved the ending, even though i wish this book never had to end. i think maureen johnson is an extremely talented writer and i will read all of the rest of her books, thanks to this one. everyone should really read it. they will all fall in love with it, just like me.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Bookluver

    I loved the book soo much!!!, but I also thought it dragged a little bit to much...... its like GET TO THE POINT ALREADY!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    I loved this book. My favorite part is when Ginny and Keith trav

    I loved this book. My favorite part is when Ginny and Keith travel to the artist's house and then she draws on Ginny, I love the descroption that Maureen Johnson used to describe that scene.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2014

    I gave 13 little blue envelopes a 13/16. The plot is very exciti

    I gave 13 little blue envelopes a 13/16. The plot is very exciting but the author jumped around a lot. There is crazy, fun action in every chapter because
    she always ends up lost or
    hanging out with someone new. When Jenny gets a new, blue envelope, most of the time she will have to go new place. You have to read like five chapters till she actually finishes the amazing, wicked quest. There are a lot of awesome details that help you keep on top of things. I really would recommend this book to others. I learned about a lot of new, cool places that Jenny visited.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Read the ending!

    This book is a little boring at the beginning and middle because it was told in third person. But dont stop reading it because the ending is really good and kind of explains it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Good Read

    I read this book before bed every night and enjoyed the adventure Ginny had. Some parts of this book contain teen content but it expresses the reality of what every wants, feels, and goes through. I recommend this book for ages 13 and up.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Batu

    Ignored.... **faceplants and crawlback to his lonley cabin**s

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    Sab

    Dhejsgisduidhels the reis fonr undrstand how thsi is happening od my hos ho aviallu kida tipeing byge im sill imprwasws on mu word play!! Wjopps

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  • Posted August 1, 2012

    I've heard a great deal of great things about Maureen Johnson an

    I've heard a great deal of great things about Maureen Johnson and 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I absolutely loved Girl at Sea and was looking forward to 13 Little Blue Envelopes. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. It was a cute coming-of-age-story, but I just wanted more.

    Ginny, in the beginning, is a very quiet and reserved. Her life isn't very interesting. That all changes when she receives the letters and directions to take a trip to Europe from her late aunt. Ginny changes a lot over the book and grows a lot.

    Ginny always admired her aunt and her aunt's exciting life. We got to know Ginny's aunt Peg through the letters. Peg has always been flaky. Ginny learns a lot about her aunt and in the end, Ginny finds the courage that her aunt was never able to do.

    When I first started this book, I thought (in a way, hoped) that it would be more romantic than it was. But, even though I wouldn't deny more Keith, I'm glad it wasn't. This is the story of Ginny and how she finds herself.

    One of the things I was looking forward to in this book was the fact that it took place and traveled around Europe. I wanted all of the places to come of alive through the pages. They didn't. I still enjoyed the setting, but for the most part the book just lacked that extra something to make it come alive.

    In the end, I enjoyed 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but not as much as I hoped. I am looking forward to more adventure in The Last Little Blue Envelope, however.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Pretty good

    I liked this book a lot. I have a large interest in traveling so i enjoyed that aspect. I liked the slight romance in it and i disagree with the person who didnt enjoy it because they thought it was unrealistic because its just a story and its supossed to be fun and exciting and something you wish would happen to you. I got a bit bored at times but overall thought it was a good ook and i cant wait to read the next one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Pretty good

    I thought i mightve been bored reading this but i wasnt! It was really good!! :D

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

    Surprisingly Good

    I'm a little past the teen girl years, so reading any "YA" book always makes me a little self conscious. Especially since I've noticed how generally, a lot of the more popular ones are poorly written. This one, however, I liked. I think there are some areas where the story needed a little more fleshing out, but it is a fun, interesting coming-of-age novel where the protagonist feels like a very real person. There's also enough quirk to make it a charming read that flies by.

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  • Posted June 14, 2012

    Wonderful book! A must read!

    Maureen Johnson really captured the soul of a teenager and pulls the reader along in a journey of self-discovery, hope, and adventure. I was sucked in from page one and I loved traveling across the world with Ginny, hoping she would come out of her shell with the opening of the next little blue envelope. Wonderfully written, a must read for adults (ME!) and teens alike!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    I like it

    Pretty good

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

    Traveling the world seems like a pleasure not a task, right? But

    Traveling the world seems like a pleasure not a task, right? But in the book 13 Little Blue Envelopes, by Maureen Johnson, protagonist, Virginia Blackstone (Ginny) was on a search to change her dull life. Virginia is mourning the unfortunate death of her Aunt Peggy. Unknowingly so, Virginia travels the world in hope of love and luck. Arriving in Europe as her first destination, Virginia has envelopes filled with tasks, notes, and lovely advice from her late aunt. I enjoyed this book because of its suspenseful nature and its mix of realistic fiction. I highly recommend it for someone looking for an action packed story with a tough of a girl in love. Throughout the novel, I began feeling as if I knew Ginny; I began feeling as if her problems were my own. Even though the books’ character Ginny, tried to change her personality, I started to feel that she was becoming a little too unruly. I also disliked the aspect that Ginny, being only 18, traveling the world with only 1000 dollars and notes and guidance from her aunt did not attempt to communicate with her parents. This book was overall one of my favorites and highly recommended from a 6th grade girl. I ended up staying up all night reading this book because of its’ intriguing love story. Johnson creates a book where mystery, love and adventure are morphed into a marvelous novel. Please note I would not advise the book to anyone under the age of 12-13 to read this book, unless otherwise instructed to do so.

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