Author: Maureen Johnson
Age Group: Teens
# of Pages: 320
My Rating: 4/5
Life is usually depressing after someone you know and love passed away. Virginia (Ginny) Blackstone is as shocked as anyone when she found out her runaway Aunt Peg died of a brain tumor without notice. Before her death, she planned a little game for Ginny to play. "Little" is the wrong word, so let's use "worldly" instead.
Ginny received a bundle of mail, thirteen to be exact, from Aunt Peg. Each one is numbered from one to thirteen with adorable designs that her artistic aunt drew on all. Starting from the first letter, Ginny is given $1000 so she can buy herself a passport, a one-way plane ticket to good ol' London, and things she can backpack for her trip. After completing each task a letter has given, Ginny would be allowed to open the next one. Of course she could have opened them all at once but then what fun would it be when this was her crazy aunt's last dying wish? Soon enough, Ginny was all over Europe! What is the message Aunt Peg trying to tell her by going on all of these crazy adventures?
This book takes on a very interesting way on perceiving someone's death wish. I mean heck, who in the world let their daughter travel halfway around the world from America to Europe for no reason?? Well, of course there is a reason here but this kind of reason would make my parents go haywire if I actually took it seriously like Ginny did. (I likely would have just save the money and opened all the letters like a normal person...) It makes you wish you were in her position, minus all of the crazy, unpleasant things that happened to her. But without it, it wouldn't make much of a story would it? What slightly got under my nerves in the beginning is that Ginny seems so distant because the story is written in third person. It lasted for awhile but eventually her emotions are more out there for the readers to see as the story continues. I was really eager for the ending because I was waiting for something big. It did not turn out as big as I thought it would be (though it definitely was if you were in Ginny's position) but it is a good read nonetheless. Not a very fancy novel but indeed I find it with a cutesy touch and that is what I like.