29 January 2009

10. 13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

I chose this book because I "know" the author. I have never met her in person. I know her through some blogs, video blogs, and Facebook. I thought I should read her work just because I have a cyber connection with her. She is a young adult author. Her fans are 99.9% teenage girls. I did not expect to or think her stories would be my cup of tea.

13 Little Blue Envelopes is about a 17 year old girl whose aunt has died. This aunt is an artist, is flighty, and is in some ways her hero. This aunt packed up and moved to Europe a few years earlier with no explanation and no contact. One day a package comes in the mail that says the aunt has died and it contains 13 envelopes. In these envelopes are letters from the aunt. The girl, Ginny, opens the first one and it says buy a plane ticket to London and do this and that.

The letters end up being a string of tasks for Ginny to complete while traveling through Europe. The aunt is trying to teach Ginny something, but does it in a very "aunt like" way.

Ginny spends a month bopping around England, Scotland, Denmark, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, and Greece. She is doing all sorts of seemingly random things that all have a meaning or purpose that is explained in the next letter...and much more at the end of the book.

The story was OK. It was a teenage romance with some exciting moments and a few unexpected twists. Seeing how Maureen Johnson writes on the blogs, I could "hear" her telling this story. It had a lot of her personality in the words. There is a third person narrator telling the story, and I could hear Maureen's voice and sense her attitude while reading the words. That added quite a bit to the book for me. It personalized it.

Can I recommend this book as something you should read? I don't think so. Unless you are a teenage girl or course. It was good for it's target audience. Young adult, teenage, female.

As a 46 year old man there are way too many other options for me. I doubt I will be picking up any more of Maureen's books for a while. Maybe some time when I have a day or two to kill and don't feel like hitting a book store. We will see.

Speaking of "hearing" the author. My brother started writing a novel years ago. I wonder if I will ever "hear" his voice.

1 comment:

  1. You will. It's on the shelf and gets a toss here and there. Teaching has sapped a lot of the creative energy. Maybe it's a ten year project!