Liesl and Po, by Lauren Oliver, is amazing. When I was reading it, I knew I would have to review it, so here it is:
Eleven-year-old Liesl sees a ghost (Po) three days after her father dies. The same night, Will, an alchemist’s apprentice, screws up a delivery containing the most powerful magic in the world. This has a huge effect on all of their lives.
To me, the premise is excellent, and it turned out even better than I thought. Oliver’s writing was amazing, and really let you get into the story.
I also adored setting. It is a rather interesting setting. It’s rather steampunky, because the houses and clothes seem Victorian, but the characters also have things like kitchen sinks, toasters, and waffle irons. It takes place in this world as well, for some common countries and cities are mentioned.
The characters were developed very well and were in some cases outrageous, but for the most part lovable (yes, the villains are in included in that lovable.)
The author deftly weaves all these characters into a beautiful intricate web that all fits together in the end.
One of my favorite parts to this story were the trains. Liesl said that she loved trains, and that there whistles reminded her of birds, and oftentimes she imagined them with wings. Isn’t that beautiful?
The charcoal/pencil drawings were a perfect touch to this story, and brought so much character and interest to it.
Rebecca Stead said, “For me, this book was like a ride in a sleeping car on a fabulous train, one with deep, plush upholstery, shining brass window latches, and secret compartments; one where the bed slides out soundlessly and the sheets are not too new but not too old, and where small amazing cakes arrive regularly on lacquered trays while the night rushes by outside, the moon always visible.”
This is definitely my favorite modern-day fairytale.