13 Little Blue Envelopes
by Maureen Johnson
Ginny Blackstone goes on an adventure around Europe, following the instructions contained in 13 little blue envelopes, organized by her deceased Aunt Peg.
This is a light, quick read about a teenage girl blindly following a spontaneous trip around Europe on her own. It’s not particularly believable that her seemingly protective parents let her do this without any way to contact her, or that the seemingly un-adventurous Ginny took so many risks and stayed with so many strangers without having anxiety the entire time. Still, Ginny covers a lot of ground and meets a lot of people, a number of whom were a part of her aunt’s life and own journey of self-discovery.
Although there is a clear theme, and some interesting characters and events, the story doesn’t get too deep. And, while there is some growth by our main character, this isn’t a profound, soul-searching journey. Ginny is impacted and changed in a smaller way, as are the people she meets along the way. While a lot of the destinations are brief and the journey feels a bit random at times, everything comes together with the ending when the reality of her situation finally hits Ginny and the purpose of her adventure is discovered.
This was a nice, light travel story about appreciating all the small things and making your own adventure.