Saturday, August 16, 2014

Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

"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. But will she ever see him again?

Everything about Ginny will change this summer, and it's all because of the 13 little blue envelopes."

Taking a break from the sloggy classics, here's a pure fluff piece that you can get through in a couple of days and stay entertained. And honestly, it isn't quite as flat-out cheesy as you may be thinking. Well, just a little bit. But in a fun way. The summary kinda deceives you, too, I should mention: the Scotland trip's just a shortish bit near the beginning, before she keeps following the envelopes and all sorts of other interesting things happen. So thankfully the romance isn't the end-all. It's more about Ginny processing the circumstances around the person that wrote the letters, her aunt. There's a fair bit of processing and character development and all that--again, only slightly stereotypical--set against a whole slew of pretty European backgrounds and tasks. Plus, Ginny's narrative is slightly quirky and funny, which is kinda nice. It's not Great American Literature or anything, but it's fun and involving to read. I started and finished it with definitely time to spare in a single eight-hour leg of our road trip, so it goes fast. Maybe four stars. There'll be a copy at Kettleson.

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