Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

I really enjoyed 13 Little Blue Envelopes and was excited to learn that Maureen Johnson had written a sequel. This was a fast and equally enjoyable read. At the end of the previous novel, Ginny Blackstone's backpack was stolen and with it the last little blue envelope in it. As The Last Little Blue Envelope opens, Ginny is struggling with writing the college admission essay that asks what is the turning point in your life. Of course it was the trip to England to follow her Aunt Peg's instructions. Then everything changes and she is contacted by Oliver, a mysterious young man, who has come into possession of the last little blue envelope. And so another adventure ensues.

Ginny contacts her Uncle Richard, OKs it with her parents, and takes off to find out Peg's last instructions. Although this adventure is not nearly as extensive as the last journey, there is still the excitement, twists, and a satisfying resolution.
In addition to Oliver, Ginny's friend Keith and his new girlfriend, Ellis join her on a journey to Paris, Belgium, Amsterdam, and eventually Ireland. The foursome must try to evade the police, while finding themselves in the midst of a very strange hostel overrun by cats. The tension between Keith and Ginny heightens as the book progresses. Ellis is a very likable character who is a real friend to Ginny.

Although the book could stand on its own, the reader will enjoy it much more if she has read
Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes. It is a great story and Johnson's attention to details of international travel is spot on. Dublin on New Year's Eve was enough for one to start packing a suitcase and boarding that plane to cross the pond- Guiness at Temple Bar, crossing the River Liffey, and the bells of Christchurch. Maybe that should be put on my bucket list. A good and satisfying read.

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