Monday, October 3, 2011

Book review: Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl has been locked up in the attic since her father's death, alone and grieving Liesl gets unexpected company. Po and Bundle, two ghosts, materializes in her room late one night. Perhaps Liesl can get help to communicate with her dead father? She never got to say goodbye while he was still alive, her stepmother made sure of that.

Outside in the cold underneath Liesl's window a young boy named Will stands and stares up. Will should have been on his way to purchase the items needed for his master's, the alchemist, potions. Daydreaming of becoming friends with the sweet girl from the attic window is bound to get him into trouble, trouble that could very well be the end of him.

My thoughts:
Author Lauren Oliver has said that Liesl & Po is the most personal novel she has ever written and that the story came to life when she was grieving the loss of one of her very best friends. After reading that I was expecting the story to have me constant in tears, because losing a friend is horrible. It feels so unfair and it hurts and aches deep inside of your very essence. Though Liesl's story is sad in many ways it is also a delightful middle-grade adventure story. Yes, I cried some and a wonderful scene managed to surprised me, made me feel ecstatic with joy and then sad(that is quite an achievement in ONE scene I would say).

This is a story filled with magic, magic in the fantasy sense of the word and the magic we people can create by loving and caring for each other. There is several storylines going on at the same time in Liesl & Po and Lauren Oliver ties them all neatly together towards the end of the book. Every piece of the "puzzle" falls naturally in the right place. If you know of any middle-grade readers (perhaps especially girls) I'm sure they will appreciate the story and be cheering for Liesl and her friends throughout their adventure. Will they accomplish their mission? 

For me Liesl & Po is very much a story about hope. Sometimes our hopes might be unrealistic but we hold on to it for dear life because without hope what else is there? We humans need hopes and dreams almost as much as the air that we breathe.

I cannot write this review without mentioning that this book is filled with lovely illustrations by Kei Acedera(I strongly recommend that you take a look at look at her other work it is truly fabulous). The illustrations add another layer of magic to the story.

I think I need to borrow back my copy of Before I Fall now, I've mustered the courage to read, I've been a bit scared of it until now but Liesl & Po  was such a sweet story and Delirium(check out my review) was AWESOME so I need to get cracking with BIF. I love Laurens writing!

Book trailer:

I love the cover, I mean how is it possible for me not to love a cover filled with magic and wonder? The green and the gold colors looks so good together and I love the font and the border/frame.

My rating of this book:
- I'm sure this tale will win over a lot of MG fans.

Full disclosure: 
ARC provided by the publisher; Hodder & Stoughton.

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and on-line book stores such as Amazon or The Book Depository (I'm not an affiliate of either). The latter store does by the way have free shipping to about 100 countries.



  1. I don't often read much MG, BUT I am totally willing to make the exception for this because A) It's Lauren Oliver and I love her so freaking much and B) Your review has 100% sold me on this beautiful novel! It sounds amazing and touching and exactly what I've come to expect from Lauren. Fantastic review!

    I can't wait to hear what you think of Before I Fall. I loved it, although I was a sobbing mess when I finished! *sniffles*

  2. I must get this book. I love Olver's writing and am really excited about this one being a middle level read. Fantastic review.

  3. Great review. Gong to check this out. x

  4. I've never read anything by Lauren Oliver, but this one has really been catching my eye. Everything has been giving it awesome reviews. Including yours! :)

    Xpresso Reads

  5. I'm so impressed with how Lauren Oliver can write such a variety of things. I had no idea this was going to be a middle grade book (with illustrations!) I really want to read it now. Great review. :)

  6. I'd read it since I like her writing :D I do need to read more by her

  7. Looking forward to reading this one. I do love the way Lauren writes.

  8. Really nice review Mari, I'm excited to read this one! I don't read much MG, but I can't really pass up something by Lauren Oliver, especially when it makes you extremely happy and sad all in one scene:)

  9. Great review, I'm keen to read this one and pass it on to my niece :) Love Laren Oliver's writing especially in Delirium. Liesl & Po is already on my very long wishlist!

  10. I've been meaning to read any Lauren Oliver's book but haven't really got the chance. Though I m surprised to see this book on local bookstores a week before its released in US.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)