Wednesday 1 August 2012

214. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
Published July 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:

Ginny Blackstone spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt 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 the adventure was supposed to end.
Now a mysterious boy has contacted Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally she can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a whole new one, and Ginny must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

This book is the sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, which came out 5 years ago.  For those of us who read and loved that book, we get to find out what was in that last blue envelope, the one that was stolen in Greece.  If you haven't read the first book, I really don't think it matters.  To be honest, after 5 years I had very little memory of the details in the story, just a recollection of the plot, so I read this book as a stand alone title, and it seems to work as one.

I love road trips, in real life, and in books, so a road trip to Paris, Amsterdam and Ireland was a real treat.  Ginny is in the middle of writing her college application essay when she  gets an online message from someone in London telling her that he has the last blue envelope.  With money in the bank, and an uncle to stay with, the decision is easy, Gunny flies to London.  It will also give her the chance to see Keith, the boy she met over the summer, the boy who said they were 'kind of something'.

Of course things don't work out as well as Ginny had hoped.  Keith has a new girlfriend, Ellis, and Oliver, the boy with the envelope, is blackmailing her.  The shock of Ellis was bad enough, but when Ginny meets Oliver only to discover he has no plans to give her the envelope, she is shattered.  The last letter leads them to one last piece of artwork, and Oliver wants to go with Ginny to find it, and then take half of the money when it's sold.  If she doesn't agree, she doesn't get the letter.  She has no choice, she's going to Paris with Oliver.

When Keith hears about Oliver's intentions, he decides that he will join, them and this lead to Ellis coming along for the ride also.  So there's an interesting mix of people, a couple, an ex 'kind of something', and a moody blackmailer, all stuck together in a tiny car travelling across Europe.   There's a lot of arguing, tension and moodiness, but there's also a few laughs with a little bit of 'breaking and entering' thrown in and not to mention the night spent in a cat infested B & B.

I loved this book.  It has everything you want out of a great girly read. First love, heartbreak, first kisses, travel, adventure, jealousy, sadness (you may need tissues, I did) and Europe in winter!

Who will like this book: Girls age 14+
Read it if you like: A Love Story for my Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner

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