Book Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope

3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
The Last Little Blue Envelope The Last Little Blue Envelope by
Series: Little Blue Envelope #2
Published by in 2011
Genres: , ,
Pages: 282

Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She 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 it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he’s found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure, and Ginny finds she must hold onto her wits-and her heart. This time, there are no instructions.

My Review:

When I read 13 Little Blue Envelopes I was a Freshman in college. I was young and naïve. I’d only ever been overseas on tours with music groups and even then we didn’t do much outside our itinerary. I loved to travel though and the idea of traveling around the way Ginny did really impressed me. I was sure I could never do what Ginny had done, but I sure wished I could.

Oh, how things can change.

4 years later, here I am about to graduate and I have a totally different perspective. I have now spent a year abroad and wonder of wonders, I had my own Little Blue Envelopes trip (though not quite so extreme). I’ve grown as Ginny did, and now I can relate to her again, in a different way.

First stop: Paris. Such a glamorous city! Aunt Peg is right, there is no way you can “know” a city from just one visit. This time instead of being green with envy, I was able to sit back a bit and recognize some of the places I’d been and reacquaint myself with them. I like to think Les Petits Chiens was just around the corner from the Hostel we stayed in, next to the quaint little bookshop I had to visit. You can really tell that Johnson has done this at some point and it is so wonderful that she can share the experience so vividly through her characters’ eyes.

But my perspective was not the only new thing this time. I really loved the addition of Oliver to the cast. He was pleasantly frustrating and mysterious, and his story was part of the reason that I couldn’t put the book down.

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I was never very sure about Keith the first time around and I am so glad that Ginny didn’t end up with him forever. Oliver seems so much better for her than Keith would have been, even if he did some things I don’t really approve of. We all do things like that sometimes. Ellis was also a nice addition, though her character was used mostly for Keith/Ginny conflict. She seems like the kind of girl I would love to be friends with, even if she was dating the guy I still had a crush on

In the end, this wasn’t just a book about traveling. It’s about creativity and art and finding beauty where you least expect it. As an artist myself this really spoke to me. Two quotes from Aunt Peg really stuck with me and I’d like to leave you with them:

“People always say they can’t do things, that they’re impossible. They just haven’t been creative enough.” – pg. 48 (advance e-proof copy, page numbers may not be the same in finished copy) The Last Little Blue Envelope, Maureen Johnson

“I think something is art when it is created with intention.” – pg. 156 (advance e-proof copy, page numbers may not be the same in finished copy) The Last Little Blue Envelope, Maureen Johnson

Thank you, Maureen Johnson. You inspire me to find my art, no matter what anyone else thinks, and that is the greatest inspiration any artist can have.

Book Review: Suite Scarlett

2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review
Suite Scarlett Suite Scarlett by
Series: Scarlett #1
Published by in 2008
Genres: ,
Pages: 368

Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small Art Deco hotel in the heart of New York City.

When each of the Martins turns fifteen, they are expected to take over the care of a suite. For Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn’t quite know what to make of this C-list starlet and world traveler.

And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.

Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery and romantic missteps. But in the city where anything can happen, she just might be able to pull it off.

My Review:

I picked up Suite Scarlett not really knowing what to expect. I’d only read the 13 Little Blue Envelope series, so far, and I hate to judge an author just based on one book. I’m glad I chose to read it though. You know how sometimes you finish a book and you hate the fact that you finished it because you want more of a good thing? Well if you felt that after 13 Little Blue Envelopes like I did, then Suite Scarlett is definitely for you.

I loved that this book was kind of a variation on Envelopes but with a fresh set of characters and a new interesting story. Eric was more my kind of dreamy than Keith ever was, and I loved the relationships between all the siblings.

My favorite character, though, was the Aunt Peg of this one, Amy Amberson. Mrs. Amberson and Aunt Peg are the kind of woman I want to be when I grow up. They do their own thing, and even though they seem a bit weird and over the top to the rest of the characters, their view on life is so great! I’d love to be like them – but I don’t think I could. I’m too much of an orderly, follow-the-rules type. Instead, I’d like to think of Maureen Johnson as my Mrs. Amberson. She inspires me to be more spontaneous, though luckily without the kinds of things that would drive me nuts (like framing me for shoplifting – that would be way over the line for me, I’d refuse to even be around her after that!).

Anyway, bottom line is I really enjoyed this book, and I would definitely recommend it to friends.

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