The Last Little Blue Envelope - Maureen Johnson Alrighty, so it's like midnight. And I could be working on writing my own book right now. Or I could be reading the book I wrote when I was 12, because I took it upon myself to read it again just to get another laugh out of it––it's horrendous and about talking cats. But I'm also sick and I have a terrible headache. Seriously, every time I stand up it feels like someone is hitting me in the back of the head with an axe. And I don't want to make that worse. So, like, I guess I'll write a book review.What does this have to do with the book? Um, nothing. I'm just stalling for a while, and complaining because a) I have no one to complain to right now, and b) no one really reads my reviews except Seth. It's rather sad. So Seth, here's another review for you.THE LAST LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPE. YAY.So, yeah. I love Maureen Johnson. A hecka lot. Not just as an author, but as a person. Recently she led a Twitter-riot against the horrendous Wall Street Journal article "Darkness Too Visible" which claimed that YA fiction is oh so dark and disgusting and poisoning the minds of today's youth and making us all cut ourselves, yada yada. I spent like a whole week fuming about this article. So if you want to hear me complain any more about it, just read my blog post about it. But anyway, Ms. Johnson started the #YASaves hash tag, which encouraged everyone to share their experiences with YA fiction and how it has helped/inspired them. It was awesome. And she is just ... awesome. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is the first of her books I ever read. I picked it up thinking it would be some shallow girly beach read that I wouldn't like ... and yeah, I guess it's still kind of shallow and girly, but I found myself strangely sucked into it nonetheless. Who doesn't love a crazy travel-all-over-Europe story, eh? Very cute and addicting book.After that, I picked up ... well, pretty much every book she's ever written: Devilish, The Bermudez Triangle, The Key to the Golden Firebird, Suite Scarlett, Scarlett Fever, Girl at Sea ... (And I am eagerly awaiting The Name of the Star––sounds SO EFFING EPIC! AAAH!) All great books. Did I get, like, extremely emotionally invested in any of them? No, not really. But they were all entertaining. (Okay, I lied. I wasn't really into The Key to the Golden Firebird, but I loved the rest of her books.)So in a way, The Last Little Blue Envelope kind of brings it full circle, because it reminds me why I love Maureen Johnson in the first place. Now, I was nervous about it. I'm always nervous about sequels––because often times, they suck. Or at least, they're not as good as the first book. Also, this book seemed to come out of nowhere. I didn't get the impression from the first book that it was going to have a sequel, although I guess it left a sort of open-ended conclusion, but––but I like when stories end that way!Oh, well. It's a Maureen Johnson book, damn it. So I have to love it. And I did like The Last Little Blue Envelope. As much as the first one? Ehhh, probably not as much. But like her other books, it was cute and addicting and over all quite enjoyable. *Yawns* GOOD MORNING! So yeah, I fell asleep after writing what you see above ^^ But now I am awake again. So, moving on.Where was I? Ah, yes. The Last Little Blue Envelope.So, like I was saying, I didn't know 13 Little Blue Envelopes was going to have a sequel; in fact, I suspect it was unplanned. Which only ticks me off a little. I just get annoyed that everything nowadays seems to have a sequel ... just because. A lot of the time, the sequels end up overcomplicating the plot or being a crappy repeat of the first book.I didn't think this sequel did either of those things, though. I mean, it wasn't the most fantastic book ever, but it was a fun read.So, the premise. We all know how, at the end of the first book, Ginny's backpack got stolen in Greece and hence she lost her dead aunt's last blue envelope. In this book, some mysterious dude named Oliver contacts her to tell her he has found her backpack and so has the envelope. Ginny just hops on over to Europe, because that's what she always does. First thing, she goes to visit Keith (aka love interest from the first book and creator of the brilliant "STARBUCKS: THE MUSICAL") and discovers in the span of about two pages that ... he has a girlfriend named Ellis. DUNH DUNH DUNH. Ah, long distance relationships. They always work out so well.What follows is a crazy road trip story as the band of four––Ginny, Oliver, Keith, and Ellis––travel around Europe ... once again. Well, what can I say. This is a very charming book. "Charming" is just the perfect word for it, I think.The character additions were nice. I was glad Ellis was actually a part of the story and had her own characteristics; she wasn't just a prop to create drama. And actually, there was surprisingly little drama over the whole Keith/Ellis relationship. Sure, Ginny was kind of pissed off but she and Keith really only argued about it once. I guess because the whole thing made sense. And anyway, Ginny had Oliver ... who was also a nice addition.I was initially kind of pissed off about his existence. It's kind of like, "I'm bored with the hot guy from the first book, so I created a different hot guy!" (A lot of sequels do this...) But nevertheless, Oliver is pretty cool. He has a photographic memory (or something similar) which seemed a bit unrealistic at times, but then again I don't have a photographic memory so I wouldn't know. This enables him to do useful things like recite Harry Potter books from memory, which he does in a café–-then tells the shocked onlookers that he knows Harry Potter so well because he's Dumbledore. So you know, he gets a hundred awesome points for that. He also apparently has a large penis. (Stop giving me that look ... Maureen Johnson kept saying so! It's just that, he'd be walking around in his underwear and Ginny would be like, 'Can't help but notice.' So, I guess that's realistic.) Also, Keith was being an asshole to him the entire book, so he got my sympathy.So, over all, a lovely read, simple but entertaining. Like all Maureen Johnson books, the writing is good, the characters are likable, and the dialogue is witty. She balances humor with tragedy well; I liked how, as in the first book, Aunt Peg's death and her lingering "presence" through her letters made the story bittersweet––with a good message about how we should appreciate small things and take time to notice the beauty of the world.