Saturday, July 2, 2011

Book 15 of '11 The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Dust Jacket Description:

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny’s backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he’s found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart.

This time, there are no instructions.

Characters: I enjoyed Ginny's character a heck of a lot more in this sequel. I think it's because she finally began the process of finding her voice after the end of 13LBE. I loved experiencing more of the dynamic between Ginny and Richard, which I didn't get enough of in the first book. The progression of Keith's character made me really fall in love with Maureen's writing style - and belief in pursuing the story right for her characters, for the first time. Even if I didn't always like the person he seemed to be playing. I was also thrilled by how Aunt Peg's personality maintained the crazy fun continuity it had in the first novel.

I also loved the new additions to the story and thought Maureen did a great job with them. I loved watching my emotions towards Oliver evolve. Reading this book was a lot like visiting old friends again, and then finding out you like them even more now than you did before. Johnson does the best job I've seen in all of YA literature of demonstrating that sometimes life changes - and sometimes that's more than okay. 4 and a half flowers.

Writing: LLBE picks up right where 13LBE left off. The book doesn't miss a single beat, but you can tell Johnson has definitely matured as an author. Whatever you can say about Johnson's books, she certainly knows how to write descriptions that seem organic to the characters, even as a writer you usually uses third person. 4 and a half flowers.

Plot: The pacing is a lot more rushed than the first book. LLBE feels more like a short, satisfying epilogue to the original book than a new story in its entirety. But it does work for the vibe of the series. Everything was tight, logical and interesting. 4 and a half flowers.

End: I loved how Peg ended the last envelope. I also loved the conclusion Ginny came to by the end of the novel. It all fit the story perfectly. 5 flowers.

Dust Jacket Description: Not my favourite, but it sums everything up well. 4 flowers.

Cover: Why does Johnson always have the worst covers? I hate faces on my covers. Hate em. 2 and a half flowers.

Overall: If you loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes, you'll probably love the sequel. It's more a mini adventure than a full blown excursion, but it ties everything up brilliantly. 4 and a half flowers.


  1. Interesting, I actually don't mind faces on covers. What I hate are headless torsos or disembodied limbs. I am a big fan of illustrated covers rather than photographic ones though.
    - Cassandra

  2. Glad you enjoyed reading this, I did too! I especially loved the scene where he admits to having the first chapter of every Harry Potter book memorized...swoon!