Book Review: “Liesl and Po”

“Liesl and Po” by Lauren Oliver

Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade Fiction, Fantasy

Source: Bought

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


  • Very charming. It’s a great example of what an MG book should be. They take the heart and charm of children’s books but add some depth to the story.
  • The story has a bit of a fairy tale like feel to it: evil stepmother, dead father, magic and friendship.
  • The most of the characters are lovable. Liesl, Po, and William are lovely characters. I just want to give them all a big hug. The guard (I’m totally blanking on his name) is very sweet as well.
  • I initially thought the story was going to be predictable but was pleasantly surprised with the twists and turns! I loved feeling glued to the book because I needed to know what was going to happen next.
  • The illustrations are lovely. Definitely try to pick up a physical copy of the book so you can admire the artwork.
  • I actually look forward to trying Oliver’s other books in the future. I tried Delirium and really wasn’t impressed with it. Maybe I’m just more of a fan of MG books rather than her YA books?

The bottom line? Very sweet and charming!


7 thoughts on “Book Review: “Liesl and Po”

  1. I’ve been meaning to read this book since it was released and I ordered it for the library. It definitely looks like something I would like. I love MG books, although I’ve read mostly teen this year.

    I’m very excited this this has a fairytale feel! Love fairytales!

  2. Before you rule out Oliver’s YA, I think you should read Pandemonium. Delirium didn’t work for me either, but I loved Pandemonium. Oliver trimmed down the long prose and exchanged it for action. And Lena become a lot more likable. (though I admit that the world-building doesn’t get any more detailed)

    I’ve avoided Oliver’s MG works because…I guess I’m scared of MG. For the most part they feel awfully juvenile and characters always fall flat for me. I also heard mixed things about this one, but I love fairy tales…might have to check this one out later.

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

    • Oooh good to know. It’s a shame the world-building doesn’t get better though. That’s one of my favorite parts about dystopia books!

      Whaaa! I can’t believe you’re scared of MG! I do know what you mean about the characters feeling juvenile though. I hope you decide to give this a shot!

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