Sunday, March 13, 2011

Snack Size #14 - Maureen Johnson

Once again I have some mini-reviews for your reading pleasure! Each reviewlette is around 100 words and this week, I've chosen three recent reads by Maureen Johnson.

The Key to the Golden Firebird
Published by Harper Collins, 2004
297 pages

Reading confession – I really love sister-stories in YA. Yep, am a total sucker for them, and really enjoyed this book. Following the sudden death of their father (in his beloved Firebird convertible), the lives of the Gold sisters, Brooks, Mayzie and Palmer, have been forever altered. A year later, May is desperately trying to keep the family together and starts driving lessons with neighbour/nemesis Pete. The Key to the Golden Firebird is a touching and funny novel about grieving and the importance of family. Without giving accidently giving anything away, I want to say that the last chapter is just amazing and really ‘made’ this book for me.

Girl at Sea
Published by Harper Collins, 2008
323 pages

Clio is forced to give up her plans for a perfect summer working with her art-store crush, to accompany her eccentric father on a mysterious boat expedition in the Mediterranean. Whilst this trip sounds kind of amazing to me (did I mention there are shipwrecks, and a cute-nerdy-academic boy involved?) Clio is unimpressed at all the secrecy and the seclusion on-board and is determined to cut her stay short. It’s a light-hearted read and has a fun mix of history and hijinks on the high-seas, though I did wish the relationship between Clio and her father had been explored in greater depth.  

13 Little Blue Envelopes
Published by Harper Collins, 2006
317 pages

A collection of envelopes from her recently deceased aunt, sends Ginny on a whirlwind adventure around Europe. Each envelope gives Ginny instructions and a task – whether it be supporting a (very attractive, kilt-wearing) starving artist in London, visiting Vestal Virgins and buying boys cake in Rome or staying in horrible hostels in Amsterdam. Though I felt that Ginny was a bit more subdued than your typical Maureen Johnson heroine, her journey is engaging and her travel observations amusing. If anything, I do wish there was a bit more in the Ginny/Keith (wearer of kilts) storyline – but with a sequel to come, I’ll cross my fingers!


Jordyn said...

Awww it makes me so happy that you love sister stories in YA because that's what I'm writing right now!!! *happy dance*

Miss Friday said...

Jordyn - yayyyy! I have to say, I do get a little excited when I see your #sisterstory tweets on twitter Jordyn and I hope the writing is going well :)

Chachic said...

I really should read more of Maureen Johnson's work because I think she's hilarious on Twitter. I've only read Suite Scarlett so far.

Kate Evangelista said...


I'm Kate Evangelista, author of Taste, and I just wanted to take this time to introduce myself. If you have the time, please stop by The Coffee Bar by using the link below:

I hope to see you there.


Miss Friday said...

Hey Chachic, I would definitely recommend reading more of her work, agree that her writing is so fun :)

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