Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

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Liesl & Po
Lauren Oliver
Released October 4th
by HarperCollins

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.

A truly magical story! Liesl & Po will open your hearts and make you reminisce on your childhood days when you believed in magic and anything was possible.

The first thing I noticed and fell in love with in this book was the wonderful illustrations inside it’s pages:


Also, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found under the dust jacket:

These added greatly to the imagination and increased the charm of the story immensely. I loved the way the characters were defined in the images. They were exactly how I would have pictured them.

The story takes us on a journey with Liesl and her ghost friend, Po, to bring her father’s ashes to the house in which they lived before her stepmother entered the picture. The same evil stepmother who locked Liesl in the attic since her father got sick – which was a year ago.

This book held extraordinary characters. Each and every one of them was fascinating and I couldn’t help but be enthralled by them. When I met Liesl, I was immediately drawn to her innocence and devotion. I really enjoyed her trek to their old house and how all the characters came together in the most uncanny way. What I also found great was how every character had a big part in the novel. It didn’t necessarily have one main character, it had many, and you get to understand and adore every one of them. The villains were also easily detestable.

It didn’t have the most unpredictable plot. It was actually pretty foreseeable from an adult standpoint. But keep in mind that this is a story written for children (9-12). Of course adults can enjoy this as well, much like the well loved Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Coraline and lots of other fantastic novels. The predictability of the plot never affected my appreciation of the book for one minute. The characters, the magic, the heartfelt moments were sufficient. It gave me the same feelings as when I curl up during the holidays to watch my favorite movies that I’ve seen hundreds of times but still never fails to make me laugh and smile.

Liesl & Po is a an enchanting tale that will bring tears to your eyes and smiles to your faces. I look forward to reading this to my son in a few years.


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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25 Responses to “Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver”

  1. The Princess of Storyland

    Oh wow! I have an ARC of this that I haven’t read yet, but I may just have to go out and buy the finished copy! I have this habit latley of taking off the dust jacket when I read a book, which is weird because the cover is the whole reason why I buy it. When I read All These Things I’ve Done, I took off the dust jacket and the actual book was way cuter! Shaped like a chocolate bar!! Too cute!!! Looks like I’ll have to add this one to my must buy list! lo;

  2. Anna

    I’m reading this one right now! I love all the pretty pictures 🙂 And the cover is soooo cute! It’s such an easy and short read, but I love it already 🙂

  3. Alison Can Read

    I loved this too. I agree that the plot was fairly predictable but it was the beautiful writing that made the book wonderful. I read an e-ARC of this so I should pick up the finished story. Gorgeous pics.

  4. Shellie

    The book is beautiful, the things one may find under a cover. The illustrations are stunning as well. I’ve seen this around but haven’t read to much into it. Thanks for the review. =)

  5. Giselle

    The Princess of Storyland : I always take off the dust jacket to read it so it doesn’t get bent/damaged. I’m OCD that way haha.

    Anna: Looking forward to your review!

    Glad you all liked it and if you haven’t read it it’s a must read, definitely!

  6. Jessica

    WOW! I love that cover underneath the dust jacket.. That makes me buy it just for that reason alone! Sounds like a great book though, I shall give it a try! 🙂

  7. Lauren M

    Liesl and Po sounds so cute! The illustrations look gorgeous, and I love that it appeals to adults as well as kids! I love Lauren Oliver, so I’m definitely going to give this one a try. 🙂


  8. Book Sake

    While I didn’t enjoy the book as much as you did, I absolutely love the illustrations and the cover of your version of the book – so gorgeous!

  9. A Canadian Girl

    Character can really make or break a book for me so I’m glad that this one has great characterization. I love that you showed some of the illustrations because it makes it easier for me to know what to expect within the book. I’m in love with it already 🙂

  10. T.V and Book Addict

    It sounds even more amazing than I thought. I’m curiouser and curiouser now. Thanks for the great review, glad you enjoyed it so much and I must say, I’m very thankful you posted those pictures because I hadn’t seen them anywhere else. Ahh Excited! I think I’ll love it and I will be sure to have my 11 year old bookworm-of-a-cousin read it as well. 🙂

  11. Allison

    I’m so glad you took those pictures, the book is absolutely gorgeous!

    I can’t wait to read this, it really does sound so enchanting – I’ve been on an MG kick lately so I know I’ll be diving into it soon.