Thursday, 12 January 2012

Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

My edition: Hardcover, published in 2011 by HarperTeen, 282 pages.

Description: 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.

Rating:

 

Maureen Johnson is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors with her wildly different but all equally fantastic YA novels.

The Last Little Blue Envelope continues on, as the title suggests, where 13 Little Blue Envelopes left off (see my review for that novel here). I was so glad when I realised a sequel was on its way as I was really frustrated by the open ending of the first book. The second novel, rightfully so, provides the story with a satisfactory conclusion.

Ginny returns to England to collect the final envelope (filled with more strange instructions from her aunt Peg) and reconnects with familiar faces (Richard, Keith), as well as new ones (Oliver, Ellis). The addition of Oliver in particular is an interesting one, and while his true agenda is predictable from the start, the character's journey still makes for an interesting read.

Unfortunately the main issue I had with the first novel largely remain present in this one. It is completely unrealistic that her parents let their teenaged daughter loose on Europe like that. Sure, Ginny's one year older now, but she is still far too young to be left to her own devices without even having to check in with the parentals every once in a while. Thankfully Richard (the "relative" her parents do not even know - he may be a creep!) does check up on her, but it's still peculiar that her mother and father let her run off all the time.

Having said that, the story is lovely, the main characters are all interesting in their own right and the descriptions of foreign places (or not so foreign to me in the case of Amsterdam) certainly sparked the travel bug inside of me. All ensuring that The Last Little Blue Envelope is yet another wonderful read by Johnson.

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