The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
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 Peg 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—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart. This time, there are no instructions. (Goodreads)
The Story: This is a sequel to Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes. Be warned, if you’ve not read the first book, there will be spoilers! Like, now.
Months after Ginny’s return from Europe, she receives an e-mail from a strange guy in London who claims to have Ginny’s missing letters. Not only does he have all twelve letters that Aunt Peg used to send Ginny on a crazy, whirlwind tour of Europe, but he has the last letter. The thirteenth one. The one she never got to open. This letter apparently details one last piece of artwork for Ginny to find.
Eager to retrieve her letters, to see her Uncle Richard and to explore the undefinable thing she has with Keith, she jets off to London over Christmas vacation. Right away there are two big problems: One, Keith kind of, in a roundabout way, seems to possibly maybe have a girlfriend (seriously!). And second, that mysterious guy, Oliver? Well, he’s decided to blackmail Ginny since he heard about the art auction from Peg’s other paintings. He’s basically holding Ginny’s letters for ransom until they find the last piece of art, sell it and split the proceeds(!!!!!!). Can you say tool?
But Ginny is Ginny. So undeniably sweet and kind-hearted. So shy and bold all at once. She agrees to Oliver’s demands because she wants her letters back and she wants to figure out the last lesson Peg wanted her to learn. So she agrees to Oliver’s demands and worse, she lets Keith and his girlfriend (seriously!) tag along. The whole think is as awkward as can be because Ginny still loves Keith. And Keith totally flirts with her (I know!) even though his girlfriend (who I challenge you to dislike. She rocks) is right there. Oh and the guy who’s blackmailing her? He’s kind of hot (you know, outside of the blackmail thing).
I liked this book better than its predecessor. Ginny is still funny and awkward, but she is slightly more self-assured now. As always Aunt Peg is a beautiful enigma who, even in her death, loves and inspires Ginny. This story had a little more charm and left me feeling that although Ginny’s story is over, she continues to live on somewhere, hopefully making her aunt proud.
Crush Intensity: 3.25/5 I liked it. I probably wouldn’t read it again, but if there were ever more stories about Ginny, I’d pick them up.
The Way I See It:
All our other casting would stay the same as our previous review, but Tom Sturridge (this version, not the hairy, bearded version) looks exactly as I pictured Oliver.