Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Release Date: October 4, 2011
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.
It's a rare occurrence that I read Middle Grade books, but I made an exception for Lauren Oliver's upcoming Liesl & Po (only because I love her writing THAT much. Seriously, I've written two posts about it: one on Delirium and one on Liesl & Po even). And... I think I might be hooked on Middle Grade fiction again. I haven't read it in years, but I suppose I'd just forgotten how much appeal there was in it; I think it's a genre that has widespread appeal, in the same way that Young Adult books do.
Liesl & Po is yet another utterly enchanting story from Lauren Oliver. I think it's official now- she just doesn't disappoint with her books. Yet again, Lauren uncovers a level of depth which I believe is uncommon among most other contemporary authors. Similar to her other stories, tree are heavier topics dealt with in Liesl & Po, such as the ideas of life, death and even grief. And she NAILS it!
Her writing is exquisite, and actually reads in a way that's closer to prose than it is to just another novel. It truly reads like a traditional fairytale (including some creepy and depressing story elements), in the same way that I praised Victoria Schwab's The Near Witch for the same style of writing.
Oh, and did I mention the illustrations are beautiful? I only saw the ARC illustrations from the e-book version, but I'm confident they're going to be even more stunning in the finished copies.
And even though this is a Middle Grade book, Lauren doesn't shy away from including some deeply touching moments. My favourite moment (non-spoilery!) is when Will daydreams that someone will call him useful, rather than useless, one day............ wow. It's the way he says, but it hit me so hard. And Mo is one of my absolute favourite characters- and I so wish he had a story of his own! He's the kind of man that deserves one all to himself.
I really don't think it will matter whether you're an adult or teen just looking for your next fabulous read, or a parent looking for a book to share with their child, but I don't think this is one to disappoint.
e-galley received from publisher through netGalley in exchange for my honest review- no other compensation was received.