Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes was one of the first books I read when I first "re-discovered" my love of YA during my graduate school years. I'd devoured most of Dessen's books and stumbled on 13LBE. I LOVED it. While I recall many people having issues with her parents letting a teenager gallivant across the world, I have such a horrible case of wanderlust, and always have, that I didn't give a crap whether it was realistic. When I heard there was going to be a sequel I was ecstatic! However, it had been so many years since I read 13LBE and I have a horrible memory. I just had the barest recollection about what had happened in 13LBE.
I recalled Ginny's Aunt dying and sending her off on this adventure. I remember a boy. I remembered exotic locales and quirky characters. Lastly, I remembered that the last envelope was lost. And that was about it.
The Last Little Blue Envelope begins with Ginny receiving an email from Oliver, an English lad, who happened upon the last envelope. Having opened and read the letter Oliver realizes that Ginny's Aunt's artwork is worth a fortune and that the last envelope gives Ginny clues to assembling her Aunt's final piece of art work. Oliver demands to go with Ginny and, once the piece is assembled and sold, half the profit.
For the most part I enjoyed the book however, one thing really irked me. When Oliver tells Ginny what he's planned she doesn't question him. One of the first things I'd do is ask someone "Why are you doing this?" Obviously he's after money. But common, in all the time she never once thinks to ask him why? As readers, we pick up on things that Ginny clearly overlooks. She clearly knows he's somewhat of a decent guy, despite the extortion. So, if he's mostly an a-okay guy wouldn't you assume that there is some situation in his life that has left him no other options but to take advantage of someone else? Wouldn't you ask why? She never asks why until the book is practically over. Even if she had asked why it's likely that Oliver wouldn't have spilled his guts but at least she would have asked. I was so frustrated the whole time wanting Ginny to friggin' ask him why already! Gah.
This frustrating bit hampered my enjoyment of the novel somewhat. Overall, this installment was enjoyable and we see Ginny grow, however I felt it lacked the magic and spark from the original. But fans of the first book will be happy to revisit Ginny and other characters and get a sense of closure that the first book lacked.
Challenge(s) Fullfilled: E-book Challenge
Disclosure: I received this as a digital ARC through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for this review.