Monday, July 11, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope

“The Last Little Blue Envelope,” by Maureen Johnson, is the sequel to “13 Little Blue Envelopes,” which I madly, truly, deeply adored. So I was super excited to read this book--which is always the cause of my downfall. More on that later. Here’s the summary:
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.
I think I just need to go into books with lower expectations. That’s probably a really bad philosophy, but lately I’ve just been feeling like the books I’ve been looking forward to have been letting me down--probably because my expectations are too high. It’s not that I didn’t like “The Last Little Blue Envelope,” because I did, it just wasn’t everything I was hoping it would be.

I liked that Ginny was the same old Ginny that I knew and loved from the first book--normal and good-hearted and surprisingly brave. But Keith, Ginny’s old flame, let me down in this book. I’ll admit that he had some jerk-esque qualities in the previous book, but they were under control and I liked him anyway. But in this book, I just couldn’t handle him. I just wanted to punch him sometimes for being so mean to Oliver (the guy who finds Ginny’s lost envelope and gets this whole adventure started). I could see why he was acting the way he was (jealousy, over-protection, dislike, etc.), but really, there’s no excuse for being so rude to someone, even if you don’t like them. Seriously.

And Oliver. I’m not really sure how I feel about him, honestly. But I think my overall feeling about Oliver is that he didn’t live up to his potential as crush material--Ginny never really seems to get to know him, and thus I didn’t either. Which is a shame, because he seems like he would be an interesting guy to get to know. We do find out a little about his backstory, but it’s only like a page’s worth at the very end. But I guess even though we don’t get many details about him, we can tell he’s a good guy based on his ability to ignore and rise above Keith’s immaturity. Ug, Keith.

Basically, if you enjoyed the first book, this one is good for reminiscing and finding out what actually was in the lost thirteenth envelope, but I don’t think it really can stand on its own. And if you loved Keith in the first, you might want to approach this one with caution.

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