Monday, September 17, 2012

MMGM: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

About The Book: 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.

First Line: On the third night after the day her father died, Liesle saw the ghost.

Great Passage: “She liked the word ineffable because it meant a feeling so big or vast that it could not be expressed in words.
And yet, because it could not be expressed in words, people had invented a word to express it, and that made Liesl feel hopeful, somehow.” (12)

What Others Are Saying: "By alternating quietly lyrical, philosophical passages with laugh-out-loud broad comedy/farce, the author takes her readers on a fantastic voyage from loss to healing and joy."—Kirkus

"Invigorating and hopeful, this novel testifies to the power of friendship and generosity to conquer greed and depression." —Publishers Weekly

What I Thought: Oliver's book is a magical blend of rich images and lyrical prose. The Dickens flavor and tone brought me at once to that place where I couldn't help but turn words and phrases around on my tongue. After reading about one third I stumbled on the audio version, narrated by Jim Dale, the same great voice that did the audio books for the Harry Potter series, I knew at once I would enjoy this. It was utterly and delightfully captivating. I loved the story, the characters and most of all the voice, strong and gentle at the same time. Oliver masters the language with lyrical prose that bears repeating. Definitely in line to become a classic.  
Be sure not to miss the author's note at the end of the book. 
An Excerpt: “Additionally, Liesl and Po is the embodiment of what writing has always been for me at its purest and most basic--not a paycheck, certainly; not an idea, even; and not an escape. Actually, it is the opposite of an escape; it is a way back in, a way to enter and make sense of a world that occasionally seems harsh and terrible and mystifying. (From the "Author's Note" at the end).”

About The Author: Lauren Oliver
Author Website
Book Website
Book Trailer [The music is awesome!]

Lauren Oliver captivated readers with her first novel, the New York Times bestseller Before I Fall, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. She followed that up with Delirium and Pandemonium, the first two books in her bestselling trilogy, which concludes with Requiem. Delirium has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures. Oliver is also the author of two luminous novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver lives in Brooklyn, New York.

I haven't yet got my hands on her newest book The Spindlers, but I am anticipating it will be filled with just as much wonder. 

What do you think about what Lauren said about writing being a "way back in"? Back into where?

Also be sure to make a stop at the other MMGM posters listed in my sidebar. There are some really great reviews this week!!


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This was on my summer reading list and I reviewed on MGM a few weeks ago. I found some of the characters a bit cartoony, but overall, it was an endearing story. Loved Mo!

  3. I really loved this. I'm a huge fan of Lauren. I have an ARC of The Spindlers. Can't wait to read it.

  4. Natalie- I am green with envy!! I look forward to hearing what you think.

  5. I love the way Lauren phrased writing--as a way back in. To me, her next sentence tells the where--a place to make sense of what we see and experience. Often what we see and experience is hard, and writing helps place a framework around that.

  6. This one is next up in my real life reading pile. I can't wait.

  7. just wanted to drop by and tell you that the package arrived yesterday! thank you so much - i can't wait to dig into these great books! and after reading your blog post, it looks like there's another in my TBR pile!


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