I miss you so much it's giving me a pain in my pancreas.

13 little blue envelopes maureen johnsonI first heard about Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes in Harper Collins First Look review section. Since then I've seen it pop up a few places. And I can understand why.

I loved this book. And it's been awhile since I read a YA book that I really, really liked. I mean I've liked some recently but I really, really liked this one.

Ginny receives a letter from her Aunt Peg (whose name is actually Margaret and I'm still not entirely sure why they call her Peg...I may have missed that...). The letters set her up for an adventure. Her and her aunt used to play a game where they pretended to live in different cities. In this letter her aunt tells her that she's going to do just this. She is to follow the instruction in this letter and be prepared to travel for several weeks in foreign lands.

There are rules that she must follow: she can only take 1 backpack that she must be able to take as carry-on if she has to go on airplanes; she cannot take guidebooks, languages guides, maps, etc.; she cannot bring extra money or credit cards; and she can't bring a cell phone or use email - no electronic crutches (man that would suck - no internet for an indeterminate length of time?).

At her first stop Ginny picks up a package. It contains 13 little blue envelopes. She is to open the first one on the plane to London and then after that she can only open the envelopes after she's completed the task in the letter.

I don't want to say anything more than that. But I really enjoyed this book. Something about it just struck a cord with me. I think that maybe I'm a bit like Ginny in some ways. But at the same time I really was impressed with Ginny's bravery. A self-confessed shy girl who takes off to wander to foreign lands unknown all by herself without knowing how anything was going to be paid for completely alone. And it made me cry. I tend to like a book that makes me cry (I'm a sap). But at the same time, it's really not a heavy read. It's a quick read, good for a rainy summer afternoon. I'd be wary about reading it in public due to the whole crying thing but really, I'm a sap (and it was only the last couple of chapters that really made me cry so you're probably perfectly fine starting it in public).

In fact, I loved this so much I'm going to put it in my "must read" category. That's rare people. Go read. Now.

(And sigh, I really want to go to Paris.)