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.

Ineffable!

5 Hot Espressos

Dusty Reads (5)

Posted by on 10/25/2011 • 12 Comments

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted here, featuring a book that has been sitting unread on our home shelf for some time. To participate, add your link at the bottom. If you wish, you can grab the button and find more information here.

My pick this week: The Truth About Forever Sarah Dessen Released May 1st, 2004

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish…

Interview & Giveaway with Belle Whittington

Posted by on 10/24/2011 • 43 Comments

Belle Whittington, author of Cicada, is stopping by Xpresso Reads today to answer a few questions about her debut novel, the first in a planned trilogy. She has also generously offered an ecopy of her book for giveaway.

Before we get started on the interview, let’s take a look at Cicada: Cicada Belle Whittington Released July 14th, 2011Add to your Goodreads to-read shelf

Purchase: Amazon / Smashword / B&N

For 17-year-old Blair Reynolds and her friends, being the bearer of secrets is getting really old. But it’s something she learns to deal with, because there’s no other option. If the people in her small town ever found out what she and her friends discovered in the woods and hid in the storage room, the whole town…

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Posted by on 10/24/2011 • 281 Comments

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & The Diary of A Bookworm are hosting a huge giveaway hop. Over 400 blogs are participating which gives you an extremely good chance of winning some books! Xpresso Reads is excited to be a part it. Thanks for hopping on by!Here’s what’s up for grabs. I have picked some great books that would be perfect for a Halloween read. The winner will be able to choose any one of the following books. I’m hoping there’s at least one in here that will suit everyone’s taste.

Giveaway details:Open Internationally (as long as The Book Depository ships to you)Must be a GFC followerLeave a comment with your GFC follower name and email address to enter.

Extra entries:+1 if you follow me on Twitter @Giselleco+1…

In My Mailbox (6)

Posted by on 10/23/2011 • 129 Comments

“In My Mailbox” is a meme, created by Kristi at The Story Siren, that features books I’ve  received/ purchased/ borrowed during the current week. 

How are you all doing this week? I had a pretty uneventful one, really. It’s getting cold and steady rain is kind of boring, but great for reading (glass half full, right?). So this week I suddenly got a bunch of ARCs that I had requested as well as a few author review requests, so the list is a little crazy. I’m glad the release dates are scattered or I’d never be able to get them all posted in time.  What I got for review (click on cover for Goodreads synopsis):                            I want to thank…

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Posted by on 10/22/2011 • 21 Comments

Vampire Academy(Vampire Academy, #1)Richelle MeadReleased August 16th, 2007by Penguin Group

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s the very place where they’re most in danger. . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires make Lissa one of them forever.

This was actually better than I expected. When I read vampire or…

Fresh Batch (Oct 23rd-29th)

Posted by on 10/22/2011 • 6 Comments

This week’s hot releases

Fresh Batch features some of the hottest releases this upcoming week. The books to feature are exclusively chosen by Giselle.

Flavour of the week:                 

     Amplified      Tara Kelly

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she’s the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn’t think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . . . In…

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Posted by on 10/21/2011 • 16 Comments

The Name of the StarMaureen JohnsonReleased September 29th, 2011by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it’s the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn’t notice the mysterious…