The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Posted by Caitie F on May 5, 2011
Title: The Last Little Blue Envelope
Author: Maureen Johnson
Hardcover: 280 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen
Year Published: 2011
Summary (from inside cover):
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.
While 13 Little Blue Envelopes was not my first Maureen Johnson read, it was the one that got me hooked on her writing and sense of humor. When I saw that there was going to be a sequel, I was excited, yet a little leery. Could it live up to the first?
Turns out I had nothing to worry about! Ginny is even more amazing in this book. She grew so much her first time in Europe, and that growth has made her more mature and willing to try new things. Yet it is not an unrealistic change. She is still unsure with guys and stills needs some convincing when things are illegal, but it is a different Ginny.
Sadly, it is also a different Keith. While I loved him in the first book, I thought he was a royal jerk in this one, While i may not have liked it, it did make sense though. People are not always what you first think they are. He was this ideal vacation guy, now he is a mere mortal.
The other side characters are all great too. Oliver (the guy who found the envelope and is blackmailing Ginny) is complex and had me questioning his motive the whole time. At the same time, there is something under the surface that is waiting to get out. Then there is Ellis, who I just wanted to be friends with.
Because there is one last letter, Ginny’s Aunt Peg is throughout the book also. The woman who has always challenged Ginny gets to say one last goodbye, make one last impact and it is done extraordinarily well. I finished the book last night and I already miss that character’s voice. It is something that sticks with me.
The final thing I want to say is that the writing was incredible. Better than the first. Maureen Johnson’s style, characterizations, and humor has grown at extremely high rates since the first and it made this book even more fun to read. The British and pop culture references were a lot of fun (especially since I got more of them, yay Doctor Who!), but didn’t distract if I didn’t get it. I could jsut figure it was some British thing.
This book was an absolute joy to read. If you loved the first, you need to read the sequel.