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The Ninja Reader

High-brow or downright pretentious, good PNR or sparkly vampires, I don't care about the premise so long as it entertains me.

Currently reading

Bullying: The Social Destruction of Self
Laura Martocci

13 Little Blue Envelopes

13 Little Blue Envelopes - Oh, book. I had such hopes for you.Here's the thing - I love travel stories. I love coming of age stories. So what's not to love about a coming of age story that involves lots and lots of traveling?It's a hard question to answer, and the fastest way to answer it is: Aunt Peg is one seriously bitter person.She lives without having constants. Fair enough. She does all sorts of menial, petty jobs while waiting for her career as an artist to hit off. Alright with me. Then she packs up and leaves for Europe without contacting her family again. The next news they get from her is that she is dead.Then comes a letter instructing her niece to go to Europe without money, cell phone or any other means of communication - just a passport and a backpack, and instructions to do all sorts of weird things Ginny (the niece) is probably not comfortable with. And I ask - what kind of person does that to a niece they supposedly love? What kind of person expects her to jump on a plane to England with little more than the clothes on her back, without so much as an explenation. The only person who can be more annoying is the one who actually does it!Unfortunately, Ginny does just that. With surprisingly little drama from her parents, or if there was, it wasn't worth mentioning in the book. A lot of things seem not worth mentioning in the book, for example, why is Ginny not even remotely worried that her aunt's mystic journey might get her adbucted or killed or sold into slavery? Why does she trust all these people who she meets for the first time?Ginny does not rival Luce Price or Nora Gray in the TSTL heroines listing, but she does start a whole new category - Too Boring To Be Real (TBTBR. Sounds like a vaccine). The trademark TBTBR hero(ine) is distinguished by the fact that (s)he does exactly what s(he) is told with little to no deviation, never cheats, and at no point does anything to advance the plot. Ginny, unfortunately, qualifies for all these things.I know I'm going out on a tangent here. This isn't horrendously bad, far from it. There are actually some pretty good moments. But Ginny is by far the most uninvolved heroine I've yet to see. Even Bella Swan, who is known for her uselessness, did stuff to advance the plot of the book. Granted, some of that stuff wasn't very smart *coughjumpingoffcliffscough*, but still, it was something. Ginny just lets stuff happen to her and leaves it at that. I'm not saying all protagonists need to be uber confident and strong but this is a coming of age story without any coming of age in it. What does Ginny learn in the end of it? What does she do with that knowledge? How is she different from the person she once was? I certainly felt like nothing in her had changed.