Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

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.

I always enjoy the idea of someone who has passed on leaving behind a set of instructions, letters, tasks or gifts for a loved one still alive.  Loved it in P.S. I Love You (awesome movie.  If you haven't seen it yet, what's wrong with you?)  I also love the concept in Maureen Johnson's The Last Little Blue Envelope.  She brings such a neat new perspective to the concept, where Ginny's Aunt Peg has left a series of letters for her that send her on adventures through Europe.

This time, Ginny's last letter, which she thought lost, is found by an English boy named Oliver.  The adventure begins again, with some old friends returning, and a new one, Oliver, there to stir up trouble and feelings.  I loved Ginny!  She was such a fun character to read because she was independent, smart, and determined to follow her aunt's instructions to the end of the journey and its rewarding conclusion.  Oliver was a bit harder to figure out.  At first, his motives for what he does seem not so very honorable, until much later you find out what the true motives are.  I had guessed along the way that Oliver probably had a good reason for what he was doing, and as romance began to bloom between Oliver and Ginny, I found myself convinced that he was a great guy.  The romance between the two was sweet, although I could have stood to see a bit more development on this aspect.  It was pretty late into the book before things really start to take off, so it didn't leave a whole lot of time left to really see their relationship grow.  So Ginny's final decision, while nice and what I would have wanted, didn't make as much sense.

I haven't read the previous book, but this one intrigued me enough that I will definitely be picking up a copy.  I enjoyed Maureen Johnson's straightforward writing style and had fun reading this book and following Ginny's adventures.  All in all, a satisfying read.

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