Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver(story), Kei Acedera(art)
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Age Group: Middle Grade
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Paranormal
Release Date: October 4th 2011
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.
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes a luminous and magnificent novel that glows with rare magic, ghostly wonders, and a true friendship that lights even the darkest of places.
Liesl & Po radiates utter brilliance. But not in a loud way. This book will enchant a person with a quiet beauty that will circle around you for a little bit of time, and then grip onto your heart in an unbreakable hold. Lauren Oliver has created a flawless novel that not only sparks with magic, but also with friendship, hope, and love.
For me, this was a novel whose story made the eager, curious child in me to surface. The adventure just had a certain feeling to it that made me want to find the best adventures in the littlest events. It’s hard for me to describe the story of Liesl & Po since there is just so much going on, but just know that it will telaport you to a world filled with whimsy.
The most remarkable thing about this novel was how the author progressed the story by using the carefully woven relationships of the many characters. It was truly amazing and worth a mention in this review.
The three main characters of Liesl & Po will always be dear to me. Liesl is an incredibly endearing protagonist. Her bravery and sweetness had me smiling in adoration. The quiet, thoughtful, and enigmanic Po is the perfect kind of ghost, and the adorable, loveable Will completes the story with his hesitant but true to the heart feats of bravery.
There were also many other characters that were dragged into the adventure by the chain of events. And oh my goodness, were these characters colorful. They just lit up the dark corners of the story that were somehow missed by the brightness of Liesl, Po, and Will’s light.
Lauren Oliver’s writing enhances the story with it’s unique way of painting the world. I couldn’t help but notice how Oliver puts to use the colors of the world to beautifully describe the many settings:
“The sky was still a velvet purple, with just a thin line of gray ringed around the horizon.”
But Oliver doesn’t just use the beauty of colors in her descriptions. She uses many other ways to present the world of Liesl & Po with ultimate finesse.
The book itself is also very beautiful. There are many lovely pencil-drawings that are peppered throughout the book. They are a joy to look at and they really add to the story.
Out of all the middle grade novels I have read in my life, Liesl & Po is one of the best. The book just resonated with me in such a way that made my heart flutter. I can’t help but compare my experience with Liesl & Po with my experience with Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. These novels are nothing alike, of course, but they are both beautifully realized stories that etched themselves deeply into my memories.
I think I found another bookish soul mate. I love you Liesl & Po…