Friday, January 23, 2015

Little Blue Envelopes Duology / Book Review



13 littleblue envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Rating: ««
Virginia Blackstone, or Ginny, is a 17 year old girl, living in New Jersey what should be a boring life, regular student, shy, always trying to pass unnoticed. There was nothing exciting about Ginny’s life except her infrequent visits to her crazy aunt Peg, an artist who lived in New York City, and who passed away three months ago.
A blue envelope arrives with a letter from Peg and 1000 dollars. The letter itself is a series of instructions that Ginny must follow. Buy a backpack with the money, buy a ticked from New York to London, go to the Chinese restaurant that was under Aunt Peg’s apartment, where something is waiting for her, a package with 12 envelopes numbered from two to thirteen, each letter a mission that Ginny must accomplish in the journey she’s about to start. There’s only a catch, she must follow the instructions starting with four simple rules.
1.      Bring only what fits in the backpack
2.      No guide book, phrase books maps or journals
3.      No extra money, credit or debit card
4.      No electronic devices, not even a camera, no calling home.
In the process, she would meet Richard, the person who told them about Aunt Peg’s death and Keith, a performance student who would shake Ginny’s world.


Rating: ««
Ginny Blackstone is back in America after spent the summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt left for her in a series of letters before she died. When Ginny’s backpack is stolen in Greece before she could even read the last letter, she resigned herself to never know how her adventure was supposed to end.
But something certainly changed, Ginny is not the same girl at the end of the journey, she doesn’t even style her hair in braids anymore, and she can’t finish her application to college.
An email sent by a mysterious boy, with the scan of one of the pages of the last letter, the promise of give the letter back once they meet in London, would set Ginny in a new adventure, another quest, another set of instructions, would put Ginny’s world upside down once more.

My thoughts
While the Idea of the story at the beginning caught my attention, the rest caused me some problems. First is the similitude between PS I love you and the general idea of this story. A beloved one who passed away, who left behind a package with letters and mission to accomplish, even the cause of dead was the same.
The second thing that caused me conflict was that while Virginia describes her mother as a person who worry too much, who was always taking care of her little sister, it was a non-present figure in the whole book, or more specifically, in Ginny’s life. I think quite unbelievable that a mother like that would let her only child go on a crazy quest planned by her death sister, without being able to reach her from time to time, since cell phone or even phone calls were forbidden. Wasn’t she worried about her daughter at all? Didn’t she saw Taken and Taken 2?
The third problem was Ginny’s character, who was plain and kind of irritating. This girl was traveling to some of the most beautiful cities in the world, London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Greece, and there wasn’t a single moment where she truly mentioned how much she was enjoying the adventure. Instead of explore the places that she visited after complete the quest her aunt set on her, she only went from mission to mission, without really see what she had in front of her.
The fourth thing that really bothered me was the whole quest itself. Margaret, or Peg, was an artist, she did whatever she wanted with her life, and she believed that her way was the right way. So that kept me wondering, why did she wanted that Ginny followed her steps? Why made this list of things to do for her, forced her to look pieces of art, when it was pretty obvious that the girl wasn’t interested on it. What’s even worst, why sent her to all those places without considering the safety of the person that she supposed to love the most.
The Second book was pretty much the same. Ginny apparently suffered a change of personality because she remembers the experience as the best thing could ever happened to her, loving all the places she visited, which was a total surprise since in book one it was like she was in pain the whole time looking the most boring or disgusting things.
The introduction of two new characters probably would turn the story in something more interesting, if it wasn’t for the fact that Keith’s new girlfriend was as plain as Ginny. And Keith turned out a complete jerk and bully.
The other new character, Oliver, the bad guy you would ended up loving it, was less annoying than Keith, but his intentions were so predictable, plain as the rest.  
Both books lack of emotion, and what should be an adventure, turned out a to-do-list set by one of the most selfish persons in the world, trying to recreate herself in her niece.

And the fact that in the second book mentioned that Ginny has been trained all her life for certain moment, as if putting pieces together, very obvious pieces together was a science, and turned the girl in an Artist herself was absolutely ridiculous.







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