Review: LIESL & PO by Lauren Oliver

Liesl & Po 
Lauren Oliver
307 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: October 4th, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: LOVED

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.

    The first thing about Lauren Oliver’s latest book that caught my eye was the cover – the golds, browns, and raised textures were all so beautiful. When I first began reading Liesl and Po I thought, Oh, it’s another one of those boring books, filled with fairies and ghosts. Then about ten pages in, things only got better and better.

    When Liesl’s father dies, she is left her behind to live with her cruel stepmother, Augusta. Little Liesl gets locked up in the tiny attic. Three days after Liesl’s father’s death, a ghost named Po appears in her new room, along with his pet ghost, Bundle, the animal that follows him everywhere. The two become friends and Po helps Liesl escape the tiny attic. Then Liesl and Po embark on a journey filled with magic and danger – Liesl or the box must not fall into the hands of Augusta and the others.

    I enjoyed the twists and turns Liesl’s journey took her on. The book seemed a little fast-paced, as if the author couldn’t wait to finish writing and read the book herself. This is Lauren Oliver’s first middle-grade novel. I have to say, the drawings are very realistic, I felt like I was seeing the characters, not actually reading about them. Overall, I highly recommend this adventurous and exciting book to anyone looking to disappear into two new worlds at once!

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This review was written by my 11 year old sister , Asma! 


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Juju at Tales of

    September 20, 2011

    Sounds like fun. I want to try this one.

  2. Reply

    Patricia's Particularity

    September 20, 2011

    Lovely review – with so many adults (*clears throat…like myself) its refreshing to hear an actual Teen review a Teen book. Wonderful!

  3. Reply

    Lauren M

    September 20, 2011

    Ooh, I didn't realize this book had illustrations! That's awesome! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, Asma! I loved Lauren Oliver's YA books, so I'm looking forward to reading her first middle grade story. :)

  4. Reply


    September 20, 2011

    Great review Asma! I'm even more excited to read this book now. I have an ebook so I'm not sure if I have the illustrations, but I'll have to pick up the book when it's released to get the full effect of the artwork. Glad the book exceeded your expectations!

  5. Reply

    Mary @ BookSwarm

    September 20, 2011

    Great review! This one sounds adorable and I do love the cover, too. From what you said, it sounds even better in person.

  6. Reply

    A Canadian Girl

    September 21, 2011

    I love the cover of this one too. I had no idea that there were drawings in this one so finding that out made me even more excited about it. I've only read Oliver's Before I Fall and since I loved it, I'm looking forward to reading her first MG story.

  7. Reply


    November 19, 2011

    I adored this book. The drawings added so much flavor. I loved that. Plus, Oliver's writing was spot on as usual. Such an enjoyable, cute read!

  8. Reply


    November 22, 2011

    I loved everything about this book. I thought Lauren Oliver did and fantastic job with this one. I also found the drawings to be excellent.

  9. Reply

    Chi Kittie

    January 31, 2012

    As I don't find myself reading many middle-grade novels this book sounds like a lot of fun. I loved your review and I know others have found this book to be great. :)

    So the book was a fast read?

    – Beckie

  10. Reply


    February 12, 2012

    This sounds like a fun book. I've heard so much about it and I was wondering just how good it was. Thanks for the great review…I'll be adding this to my reading pile very soon!