Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

7/24/2014

Book Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver (children’s fiction, fantasy, paranormal - ghosts)Synopsis: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.Review:You may recognise the name Lauren Oliver; I’ve talked about her many times on this blog. I met her back in February and I thought she was lovely so American (I hadn’t met many Americans before!). All three of her novels: Before I Fall, Delirium, and Liesl & Po are very different from each other but are equally as good. She has a  talent for writing realistic fiction, dystopian fiction and now  children’s fiction.  Liesl & Po is a story about a young girl’s bereavement  and how a ghost and a lonely alchemist’s apprentice help her fulfil her  father’s wish: his ashes are to be settled under the willow tree, next  to his wife’s grave. Our protagonists face many challenges and come  across quirky characters; some loathsome, some affable. I thought the  characterisation was of a similar style to Lemony Snicket; it’s a style  that really stands out and makes it clear that this a children’s book  and not a young adult book. It is also wonderfully written and has many  quotable sentences. I think one of the reasons why I liked it so much is because at the  beginning of the book, Lauren Oliver talks about her inspiration behind  the novel. She wrote Liesl & Po in 2 months in order to  make sense of the sudden death of her best friend. Knowing that each  sentence has personal significance for Lauren made it much more  meaningful. I’ve also mentioned previously that I’m a sucker for illustrations in books (e.g. A Monster Calls). I thought the sketches in the review copy of Liesl & Po were impressive, but the final versions are even more so. They’re beautifully drawn by Kei Acedera and they fit perfectly with the storyline.  Overall, I really enjoyed Liesl & Po. I think it’s a very well written children’s book that I can see being treasured by many.  Liesl & Po will be released 29th September in the UK and 4th October in the US.Thank you Hodder for sending me this book to review!My Rating: ★★★★71 / 100 books read for 50 Book Challenge #3

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.

 3 stars


From the beginning it almost felt like reading something like Neil Gaiman, because ghosts, alchemists, magics and such. Okay so that may be a bad thing to incorporate L&P with Gaiman, because they are totally different writers. As I understand, this is the only children’s book that Lauren Oliver has written.

So I think it may be a good idea for her to stick with YA like Before I Fall. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading it. It was good but not that good of a story. It felt lacking in something. Oliver said in her author’s note that this was the most personal book she has written, I know this was inspired by death of her best friend and that’s probably the most awful thing in the world, and I hope and pray through this book she has felt better or is in a good state now – but I think she was right in thinking that this was unpublishable.


Hey, I still look forward to reading her other books; I hear good things about them. I don’t judge because of one book.

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