Miss Riki’s Review:
Ginny’s charismatic and artistic Aunt Peg always made Ginny feel like something special, and when Ginny was with her, she no longer faded into the crowd. When Aunt Peg passes away, she leaves behind 13 little blue envelopes with some very intriguing directions for Ginny to follow. Beginning with $1,000 and directions to purchase a plane ticket to London and followed by a series of directions designed to take Ginny all over Europe, the letters in the envelopes both answer lingering questions about Aunt Peg’s bohemian life as well as create brand new ones. With strict instructions not to have contact with anyone back home, Ginny sets out alone on her European adventure and meets a lively cast of characters along the way.
This was a delightful novel filled with quirky characters and lively adventure. The premise is brilliant, with young Ginny going on a quest of sorts in order to both explain her Aunt Peg’s motivations for disappearing as well as to find herself along the way. I loved the wonderful description of all of the exotic locales that Ginny visits and fell in love with the wonderful cast of secondary characters. Aunt Peg was an eccentric artist who knew some very cool folks, each one of them eager to help Ginny solve the puzzle that her aunt had set forth for her.
The only thing that didn’t quite ring true to me in the novel was the romance plot between Ginny and Keith. I never saw what Ginny found to be so appealing about Keith, who is not a very well developed character and who is really not all that nice to her. He sort of flits in and out of her life, giving her very little to go on, yet she falls for him hard and pines for him when he is not with her on her journey. There just never seemed to be a real connection between the two of them, and I had a difficult time believing the romance. This element is what made this book four stars instead of five for me.
Despite my disconnect with the romance, this book was fast-paced and fun and I really enjoyed it. Ginny goes on the ultimate of road trips, by plane, train, and boat and finds a lot of herself along the way. It is a cute book that will appeal to young adults for its sense of adventure.