Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Posted as part of Tween Tuesday, hosted by GreenBeanTeenQueen.
Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: October 2011
ISBN: 9780062014511
Source: Library

Liesl has been imprisoned in the attic for months, thanks to her cruel stepmother.  But, when the ghost Po appears and helps her make a great escape, she embarks on a journey to a place she once knew.  Will, the alchemist's apprentice, has only seen Liesl from afar, but he already wonders if they will be friends.  An accidental mixup leads their two lives together in unexpected and unusual ways.

Things I Liked:
I loved the magical and wonderful setting.  Despite a world without color and sun and warmth, the characters blaze from every page.  Leisl and Po and Will may start out sad and lonely and pitiable, but they each seek and find what they need to change and be happier.  I think that mostly, this story will please those who want a sweet, fairy-tale-ish journey that transforms a dreary world into someplace vibrant.  Hand this one to your magic-loving tweens.  Of course, it comes with Oliver's signature gorgeous descriptive writing too:
Now she remembered.  And so she squeezed her eyes tight and climbed down the tower of months she had been in the attic, reaching back adn back into the rooms of her memory that were dusty and so dim she could catch only little, flickering glances of things. p 42-43
She repeated the word ineffable clearly, three times, in her head, lingering over the gentle slope of the double fs, like the soft peaks of the whipped cream she remembered from her early childhood, and this made her feel slightly better. p 44
Things I Didn't Like:
Po's "it" thing bugged me the most (neither girl nor boy, thus "it" throughout).  But not enough to make me stop reading.  In places it had some This Is The Theme going on and the ending was practically tied up with a bow (but not in a way that ruins it, somehow).  Overall, though, a fun read.

Reminded me a bit of The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo

s-factor: none 

mrg-factor: none 

v-factor: -> 
a little bit, nothing terribly frightening

Overall rating: ****

Were you a ghost story reader as a kid?  I think I avoided them, mostly cause I thought they were all "scary" (though this isn't really).

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I really enjoyed this one!! :)

    Here's my review of Incarnate. Stop by and leave your thoughts?!


  2. Po is an IT? What the heck? Well, despite that everyone is saying it's good so I'll still read it, but weird!

  3. Lindsay, thanks for stopping by!

    Jenny, it is good and worth the read. I haven't seen many people mention the It thing, but it bugged me :)

  4. The it thing bugged me a bit too-it was a little confusing at first to read. I also thought there were parts it was a bit cheesy, but you're right, if readers want a fairy-tale-ish story, this is perfect.

  5. GreenBean, it definitely had some cheesy sections, but I wonder if some kids will want the cheese anyway (I probably did :)


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