Review: The Last Little Blue Envelope
Ginny has returned home from her travels in Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes. She and Keith are kind of something, but not official. (Can you really see Keith doing much officially?) Ginny has college apps to work on, and she swears she is going to finally get her personal statement written. Seriously. Someday. It will get written. But then she hears from a stranger who has found letters addressed to her–the letters that were stolen in Greece.
Ginny takes off to spend her winter break in Europe in order to retrieve her letters and complete the final task: putting together another piece of her aunt’s artwork to sell. The downfall is that Oliver, who found the letters in a backpack he bought in Greece, wants 50% of the profits made from the sale. Ginny is forced to complete her task with a little more company than she might have liked, accompanied by Oliver, Keith, and Keith’s (surprise!) girlfriend. As before, Ginny’s travels teach her as much about her aunt as they do about herself and her future.
The Last Little Blue Envelope is quirky and fun, as one would expect from Maureen Johnson. (If you don’t follow her on Twitter, you should go do that now. Really. You’ll thank me later.) Yet, it is still sentimental. All of Ginny’s gallivanting around Europe is laced with the reminder that she has been sent on a mission by someone who is no longer alive to travel and make art herself, making the experience bittersweet. Similarly, Ginny’s relationships are realistic, not too sappy, and enhanced by the characters’ many flaws.
Neither Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes nor The Last Little Blue Envelope are about happily ever afters, but Johnson’s sense of whimsy ensures that the realism doesn’t get too dark. The first story could easily have stood alone, but the sequel was an enjoyable followup with an ending that I found predictable and satisfying. Fans of the first book will likely enjoy the closure brought to Ginny’s journey in this novel.