YA Friday take two: The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Title: The Last Little Blue Envelope
Author: Maureen Johnson
Genre: YA
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2011
Source: NetGalley

I am writing two YA Friday posts this week because two of my recent reads are being released on Tuesday. So enjoy the extra YA this week!

The Last Little Blue Envelope, sequel to Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes, leads us to Ginny, senior year, Christmas break. Her European adventure led to some changes in her life and her style (who is this girl on the cover, and why doesn't she match Ginny's description of having shortish, reddish hair?). Despite the lessons she learned on her scavenger hunt through Europe, Ginny still has a lot of big decisions to make, and she isn't sure what to do. So when a mysterious message appears on her computer, its author claiming to have the last little blue envelope that was stolen from her at the end of her adventure, Ginny flies to England, eager to finish the adventure. However, her "benefactor" has some ulterior motives, and some of the people Ginny left in Europe have changed.

I had essentially the same experience with this sequel as I did with the first book - purely frivolous fun. I love Maureen Johnson's writing style. The woman is witty in a deadbeat way that fits in with how a teenage girl thinks (I include myself in this category, even though I am no longer a teenager). Par exemple:
Ginny had no idea what to say to this, so she made a noncommittal sound. Kind of an ohurggghhh. It was, perhaps, a little too noncommittal and perhaps a bit on the sometimes-I-am-Frankenstein side.
and also...
The thought would have been impossibly creepy before, but now... now it was kind of sweet. Oh, her brain was so broken.
I have said before, I am probably not really able to review this objectively just because of how completely I love Maureen Johnson's writing style. It blinds me to any flaws. But I will try.

I also enjoyed the changes in Ginny's relationships, because when you are a teenager, they usually do change, much as we hate the thought of any love not lasting forever. Johnson did a great job of contrasting the pain of disappointment with the desire to maintain self-respect and dignity. There were a few moments where my heart was aching right along with Ginny - I'd gone through similar situations, and I could feel exactly what she was feeling as if I'd been experiencing my dating dramas only hours ago. I did have one issue - it seems that Ginny's relationship later in the book (I won't name names to avoid spoilers) developed a little too quickly and lacked depth. I would have liked to see more interaction between those two to make their relationship more believable.

I also enjoyed Ginny's adventures more in this second installment. The first book, while enjoyable, sometimes felt a bit scattered to me. Granted, Ginny's aunt, who sent her on the adventure, was a pretty scattered individual. However, this book seemed to have more focus, and I liked that. There were fewer stops in their adventures, but they felt a bit more developed. I think the plot for this book was better overall than that of Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes.

So overall? This book was fun. I read a large percentage of it at work, and I always hated when my break ended because I didn't want to stop reading. I could relate to the book, the writing delivered just as it did in the first novel, and the story kept me entertained. This is a delightful, light read for a lazy day.

3.75 stars


  1. I liked the first one so much I'm worried that reading the second one would ruin that for me.

  2. Maureen Johnson is so fun & definitely writes YA that you can enjoy long after your teens. I just got this book today & am really looking forward to seeing how things end!

  3. @Amanda - I actually liked this one better. i tend to do that with authors - the second book I read by them is more enjoyable for me because I feel like I know them better.

    @Sarah B. - Hope you like this one!


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