Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope

The Last Little Blue Envelope
By Maureen Johnson, read by Emily Durante
Published 2011 by HarperTeen

WARNING: There may be spoilers for the first book. To read my review of that title, go here.

Ginny imagined that the contents of the last little blue envelope, stolen from her last summer (along with her backpack), were lost forever. She is mistaken. One day, she receives an email from a boy in London and the next thing she knows, she's on a plane, about to embark on another life-changing adventure.

13 Little Blue Envelopes was the first book by Maureen Johnson that I read, and I loved it - funny, smart, exciting, great characters, and interesting plot. I mean, what wasn't there to love? I read it right around the same time this book, a sequel, was published and, as I finished, I wondered if the sequel was necessary. I always imagined I'd get around to it someday but, for me, someday usually means many many years later. Well, here we are, two years later, and I've finished The Last Little Blue Envelope.

Do I still think this sequel is unnecessary? Yes, but I mean that in the kindest way possible. For folks who like a little mystery left at the end of a story, they'd be content with simply reading the first book. It's not necessary to Ginny's story to find out what was in the last envelope - at least, I don't think it is. But, for those folks who loved Ginny and her adventures and want to spend more time with her, then The Last Little Blue Envelope is a worthy follow-up.

I listened to the audio version this time around and it's very well done. Durante does a great job voicing Ginny, and handles the accents of secondary characters quite well. This book is mainly just more of what I loved about the first - great characters, engaging writing, quick reading, realistic teenage experiences. I do feel that I could have read the print version much more quickly than I could listen to the audio, but that's okay. It wasn't bad to take a little extra time with this one.

My main issue with this sequel is how Ginny and Keith's relationship played out. At the start of this book, I thought to myself, "Oh, please don't make this go the way these things typically go." And then it did. It was disappointing and I felt that the whole romance-y plot detracted from the story of the last blue envelope.

Overall, a good follow-up to a delightful novel, though I prefer her Shades of London series.

1 comment:

  1. I keep meaning to read this, but I did like the end of the first book.