March 12, 2012

Review of "13 Little Blue Envelopes"

All right, self!  It's time for us to "man up," as it were, and catch up on this ridiculously mounting backlog of reviews!  No more slacking--I'm a book blogger, for goodness sake!

Anyway, I must confess that the book I'm going to review today helped cause this backlog to begin with, because I was somewhat dreading reviewing it.  So many YA afficionados have adored this book, gushed and raved about it, that having to say that I expected much more from it didn't sound like much fun.  In other words, avoiding this review for over a month is far long enough, so on with the truth-telling.

by Maureen Johnson

Virginia Blackstone's Bohemian, free-spirited, artist aunt dies young of cancer, leaving an incredibly convoluted and cooky sort of will for her niece that "Ginny" must follow, in the form of 13 envelopes that must be opened in a specific order and under very specific conditions.  Can anyone think of some cliches we've left out? Let us know, and we'll try to work them into the next edition of the book.

The concept of the envelopes themselves was fairly innovative, and I was really hoping for greatness from this book.  Instead, the envelopes' contents led Ginny on a series of disastrous Europen experiences that I mostly found annoying.  If I'd gone through chaos like this girl endured, I'd probably refuse to ever set foot outside my own apartment again!

Don't get me wrong; I'm certainly not saying that this book was awful.  I've read much, MUCH worse books in a wide variety of genres, and it did manage (barely) to keep me interested enough that I finished it.  Still, it was highly improbable, at times quite predictable, and frankly mediocre.  The most interesting characters and events were never developed, and it just didn't seem to coalesce into a single, unified book.  Sorry, gang; this one just wasn't for me.

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