Published: September 1, 2011
Source: Read online for free
Rating: 5 STARS
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.
In short: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver is a wonderful and whimsical MG fantasy that reminded me how much I love the genre.
Every element characteristic of an MG fantasy was present in Liesl and Po - unexplained and whimsical phenomena, magical elements, cartoonish characters, etc. - so much so that at times, it almost seemed cliched because it was so ideal. This may be irritating for people who are looking for an MG read that breaks the mold a bit, but I was fine with it because I adore these elements, personally.
Lauren Oliver's signature beautiful writing was of course present in Liesl and Po - fantastical and gorgeous and effortless. The use of the third-person omniscient point of view lets the reader see the story through the eyes of many different characters, which makes for very effective storytelling. I was impressed that Lauren Oliver was able to translate her usual realistic teen writing into whimsical MG writing - if I hadn't known any better, I would have thought that she's been writing MG all along!
I read Liesl and Po when it was made available free online by HarperCollins for a limited time, but I will most definitely be purchasing a beautiful finished copy. I look forward to seeing Kei Acedera's wonderful illustrations in ink. And I also look forward to reading a lot more MG in the future!
Alison Can Read
i swim for oceans
Poetry to Prose