Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Liesl & Po

Liesl & Po, by Lauren Oliver. The GoodReads summary:
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.
Okay, so basically, it was a nice story, but I didn’t like it as much as I feel like I should’ve. Maybe it’s just that it’s been so long since I’ve read a middle-grade book that I don’t know what to expect from the genre. I just . . . expected more from this book since it was Lauren Oliver.

Liesl and Po and Will are all likeable characters, but I never connected to any of them. (My favorite character by far was Bundle, the cat/dog--I totes want a ghost pet now.) Plus, the story is a bunch of circumstances and things that go wrong that all happen to work out in the end for no discernable reason. And that tends to annoy me, so I found myself skimming sometimes. I also thought there were a lot of loose ends. Like what happened to Mo’s sister? And what’s Po’s backstory? And what happens to Vera? And what happens to Liesl’s fortune? There were just so many things that weren’t ever explained, and it drove me kinda crazy.

It’s still a fun story, though. And it’s definitely well written. I think I just wanted it to be deeper and more thorough, and maybe that’s expecting too much from a middle-grade book. I have no idea. Anyway, I’m not saying it’s not worth reading, I’m just saying it didn’t live up to my hopes.


  1. Lovely review. Too bad you didn't love it like you were expecting. This was my first book by Lauren so maybe it helped with my expectations too. I have her other book here though I have to get to that soon! :)

    Xpresso Reads

  2. It sounds like perhaps the book was rushed. It happens sometimes when a writer has over-committed her/himself. An engaging review. And wouldn't a ghost pet be neat? Roland

  3. I find that I feel like this a lot when I'm reading middle grade type books. Probably why I tend to steer clear of them. I've heard so many good things about this one and I like Lauren Oliver's writing in her other books so maybe I'll give it a go.


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