Monday, December 31, 2012

A Slew of Maureen Johnson Post Two: Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes

I have been recommending this book to people at work based purely on the fact that it has an awesome premise and it's Maureen Johnson.  Now that I've read it I am so so glad that I recommended it to people.

I am going to try my hardest to do this without tossing in my feelings for the second one as well.

I read this one (mostly) on a plane on my way back to Cleveland for Christmas. I pretended I was on my way somewhere exciting. Not that I wasn't excited to be heading home. It's just one of those books that makes you wish you were on some grand adventure.

I absolutely love the whole premise of this book. I immediately wanted to fly off somewhere else and just go. Just wander the world a little. Forget that I have a life. I don't think that I ever could do that but I wanted to so badly. Just go off and see some random show in a random school. Or check out some museums. It made me ready for an adventure.

Ginny is just so likeable and so easy to relate to. She doesn't have the same crazy small town quirk that Rory does and that some how makes her so much more like an every girl. I'm a little bit crazy and a lot reserved. Ginny is very similar.She does crazy, spontaneous things when prompted (which I realize sounds like an oxymoron) but wouldn't necessarily stray far from the beaten path on her own. It's easy for her to go with the flow once things are started. She has her own sort of sarcasm but is a great fan of thinking about what she's doing before she does it. I think many people relate to that.

It's Keith that brings the crazy side of her out. I could say that it's her aunt and the wonderful adventure but I feel like her aunt made her who she is and it's the adventure that puts her in the path of the crazy things but it's Keith that makes her act. He is well suited for her in that I think he wakes her up. There is something crazy and alluring about Keith. His wit and humor are so much fun. I think I would have been just as taken in by him as Ginny.

The flow of events moves very naturally. I think some of these books can come off sort of contrived and staged. And even with her path being determined for her by her aunt, Ginny's adventure just moves so believably. I didn't disbelieve any of it. It's the sheer believability in the story that leaves me a little in awe of Maureen Johnson.

This story is so very much about Ginny and I absolutely love it for that. It would have been so easy for it to end up about Ginny's relationship with Keith. But it didn't. It stayed so true to being about Ginny and her journey. Keith comes in a number of times and even occupies much of Ginny's thoughts but the story stays with Ginny. Through her we meet just about every kind of person. The quick fire tourists and the backpackers and the steady burning flame.

Which brings me to Richard. I have a little bit of a crush on Richard. There is something so steady and heart breaking about Richard. I always want to hug him.

I don't think I would have been thrilled with the end of the book if I didn't know that there was second one. I am so glad that there is.

There were so many Life Lessons Learned From Books tweets in this one (I haven't been doing much of that lately, admittedly. Mostly because I hate my new phone). Something about this book says so much about life and letting go and striking out on your own, and not being afraid of adventure.

Overall I gave Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes a: Massively Epic.

I think more than any singular thing about it I loved the spirit of the book the most. Have any of you read it?

Another one down and a few more to go! Next I'll talk about Polly Shulman's Enthusiasm.

Until then, my ducks,


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