Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Release date: 10/4/2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age Group: Middle Grade (Ages 8-12)
Pages: 320
Flirt Factor: Chaste/None
Overall: 5/5 stars

Summary from Amazon:

Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice—until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone.

That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable

Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.

Going into Liesl and Po I had high expectations. After reading Before I Fall and Delirium, both of which I loved, I knew Lauren Oliver's writing would be beautiful and that I'd instantly fall in love with the characters. However, neither of those books could prepare me for Liesl and Po. Liesl and Po was entirely different from Oliver's first two novels, and not just because it's a middle grade novel. In the beginning of my copy of Liesl and Po (I have an ARC so the finished copies may be different) Lauren Oliver talks about how much more personal for her Liesl and Po was compared to her other books, and it definitely shows through her writing.

Liesl and Po is a beautiful children's story with an excellent set of characters. You'll fall in love instantly with Po, the ghost who's forgotten what it's like to be human; Bundle, the cat-dog-ghost that brings a little bit of happiness to the dreariest of moments; Liesl, the determined little girl who loves her father; and Will, the alchemist's apprentice who seems to always be missing a hat.

Liesl and Po is both fast paced and mysterious, filled with twists and turns that intertwine the many characters lives. Lauren Oliver did a wonderful job with her world building, making you feel as if you were in that dark and dreary place or in the chaos of the Otherside. She writes a deeply personal and enchanting story about grief, adventure, and hope for new life.

Liesl and Po is so entirely different from Lauren Oliver's other works that it's almost impossible to put into words how I feel about this book. Liesl and Po is a mix of the haunting sadness of Coraline and the bravery and adventure of The Tale of Desperaux. I definitely recommend this book if you're looking for an exciting cast of characters, a little bit of adventure, and an emotional story.

Writing: 5/5 stars

Characters: 5/5 stars

Plot/setting: 5/5 stars

Ending: 5/5 stars

Visuals/drawings: 5/5 stars

Cover: 4/5 stars

Love always,