13 Little Blue Envelopes | Teen Ink

13 Little Blue Envelopes

May 25, 2010
By cstith6 BRONZE, Montclair, New Jersey
cstith6 BRONZE, Montclair, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

This month I read the book “13 Little Blue Envelopes” by Maureen Johnson. It was an amazing book. It was well written, very detailed and it had a great plot line. One thing I did not like about the book was the main character development. Here’s my reaction on the book “13 Little Blue Envelopes” by Maureen Johnson.
The first great thing I noticed about this book is that it was easy to read. It seemed as if the letters in the blue envelopes were a guide. Little did I realize (until the end) is that the letters were a guide to the book. Every letter was foreshadowing the next thing that was going to happen. On page 21 of the 2nd letter it says, “Your path, your instructions, are in these envelopes.” What I got from this was that what ever I questioned would be in the letter that I just read. For example, if I wanted to know why Ginny was in Paris, I could just back on the letter and get my questioned answered right there. Without the letters this book would be very confusing without adding a narrator. For example, imagine I were an author and I had to write an adventure story like this. If I didn’t come up with the idea of letters like in this book, I would have to incorporate a narrator. It would be more difficult than the idea of what Maureen Johnson had came up with. Instead of having to incorporate an actual narrator, Maureen used the idea of having letters being the narrator. All she had to do was stick in a letter every few chapters telling the reader of what is going to happen next. In conclusion, this book was very easy to read and the letters made it easier to comprehend.
The next aspect of this book that I loved was the details. Not only was I able to get the intentions of the book but I was able to get every characters opinion. During the book, I felt as if I could picture the story in my head and I was right there with Ginny throughout the book. Several times throughout the book all of the foreign people had accents. When Ginny and Keith had went to Scotland, the girl Chloe (the maid) was said to have a Scottish Brogue. And it showed when she said two but the author had typed it tae as your supposed to say it with an accent. Another example of detail is on page 108. It is describing the house of Mari, on of Aunt Peg’s friends who she wanted Ginny to meet. It says, “They were in a very old house, certainly. There were large fireplaces in each of the rooms with piles of ash sitting under the grates. There was a lingering hint of burned wood in the air, even though Ginny suspected that the ashes were weeks old. The floors were all bare, with the occasionally furry white rug tossed her and there, with no apparent logic. Every rooms was painted differently: powder blue in one room, maroon in the next, bright spring onion in the halls. The windowsills and edging around the floor were egg-yolk yellow.” When I read this, I felt as if I was in the house. She went in to such great detail that I had to read this part over and over again so I could get each part as correctly as she had described it. Just so I could feel what it was like to be in that house. In all, details in this book are amazing so that you can actually be in the book.
For my last plus, I felt that the plot line was so amazing and different. It was just so out of the ordinary. On page 4 it says, “You will be gone for several weeks, and you will be traveling in foreign lands.” To me, this basically says whats going to be going on throughout the book. Have you ever heard of a book with letters in it. I know I haven’t and it makes you wonder what it would be like. One thing that really impacts the plot are the letters. Each letter is like a “plot point” and is totally different than the one before and after it. In one letter Ginny is jet setting off to London while in another letter she has to go find a cafe in Paris. But there is a twist to the story, Ginny isn’t the typical girl to do all of this and she only doing all of the because of her deceased aunt’s wishes. One thing that really surprised me in the plot was that the last and final letter was stolen when Ginny had came to Greece. I first had thought, “Aw! Now I don’t know what is says!” But it was smart of Maureen Johnson to do that because it gave the story a surprise ending. What I had originally thought was going to happen at the end of the book was that Ginny was going to read the 13th letter then go home or go where it told her to go. To make long story short, the book’s plot was very well developed and I truly enjoyed reading in which was going to happen next.
The one thing I did not like about this book was that the main characters weren’t really all that developed. It seemed quite boring with the characters actually.Ginny was your typical 17 year old girl sent on an awesome journey. Keith seemed like the bad boy and it was all unreadable. The one character I thought was different was Aunt Peg but she wasn’t really there as in living and talking except for in the letters. I would recommend to the author that she goes back in and makes the characters different. Instead of Ginny being maybe over-confident instead of overly shy. Or she could at least explain the characters a little more. I could really determine what Ginny was like all that much even though she was the one on the journey. To sum this up, I would like the author to make the characters different and make them a little more interesting.

The author's comments:
It was for a report and I really put my heart into it since it was my favorite book. After it was graded, I went into the essay and made it a lot better so I could submit it.

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happy234 said...
on Jan. 4 2017 at 9:36 pm
someone please help. does anyone now any symbols or irony that happened in this story i really need help