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The Last Little Blue Envelope

Review

The Last Little Blue Envelope

Six years after Ginny Blackstone's first adventure through Europe was published, she's back again. THE LAST LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE takes place a few months after the end of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES, in which Ginny received a series of letters from her deceased aunt, which took her on adventures spanning the European continent. While swimming in Greece, her backpack was stolen, and she never got to read the 13th and final little blue envelope or follow its instructions.

So Ginny is surprised when she gets an email from an English guy who says he found her backpack with all 13 letters still inside. But he's not just a benevolent stranger. Ginny now has to follow a new set of mysterious instructions, and she heads back to England to be blackmailed by a man who holds her deepest connection to her Aunt Peg.

Oliver, the holder of Ginny's letters, says that the first step is for them to head to Paris. Not willing to be taken advantage of, Ginny enlists the help of Keith, who she met on her first trip, and his girlfriend Ellis. In Keith's too-tiny car, the foursome sets off to recover the pieces of the artist Peg's final masterpiece. They only have a few days until the new year, when the piece will be auctioned off, and Ginny will have to give half of this new part of her inheritance to Oliver.

Peg's final letter takes Ginny and her friends back to many of the places Ginny had to visit on her first trip, though this time is a little different. She's allowed a computer and phone, and instead of being with only friends, they have the annoying tagalong Oliver, who should be easy to hate because of his blackmail. But somehow Ginny can't help but feel a little sorry for him, though she has no idea why she does.

THE LAST LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE is as good a book as its prequel, mostly because Maureen Johnson is gifted at both travel writing and witty, snappy dialogue. It reads as realistic, even if its premise seems like something that could only happen in a movie. This and the prequel are probably the closest literary experience you can get to actually backpacking through Europe. However, it lacks some of the luster of the first one, probably because its larger cast of main characters leaves less room for personal discovery and development.

That would make this book a less than perfect novel, but it's not just a novel. It's a sequel. And as a follow-up to an adventure, THE LAST LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE completely delivers. This is a totally satisfying end to Ginny's story.

Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gomez on April 26, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope
by Maureen Johnson

  • Publication Date: May 3, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 13+
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 006243912X
  • ISBN-13: 9780062439123