Liesel & Po Book Review

Liesel & Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesel lives in her attic, imprisoned by her murderous step-mother. When her father dies, Liesel grows despondent and catches the attention of a ghost. Po has come from the Other Side and it is as lonely as Liesel and it has a message from her father. "I shouldn't have eaten the soup."

Down below on the street, Will, the alchemist's apprentice watches little Liesel as she sits in her attic window and dreams of having a friend. When Will misplaces a box containing the world's most powerful magic, it sets him on a course that will put him directly in the path of Liesel and adventure.

Set in world that is vaguely industrial revolution, Liesel & Po is full of vivid imagery and quiet yearning. The illustrations were beautiful and gave just the right amount of clarity without feeling heavy handed or childish.

There are some darker themes, with a murderous stepmother, an abused boy, and a dead best friend, one cannot avoid it, but there is a sensitivity to the story, a softness. The wonderful description of the Other Side, a place where one goes after death, was written in a beautiful and magical way that removes the fear of death, inserting instead a peace that even the grieving Liesel can understand.

Although there is a melancholy to the story, there is also a great sense of adventure, purpose, and discovery. There are a lot of great moments of dramatic irony culminating in some wonderful moments that the reader sees coming, but take the characters completely off guard.

Liesel & Po is a delightful fantasy that is both profound and fun.

Release date: October 4