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.
Oh my. Words cannot describe my love for this audiobook. The funny thing is that I absolutely adore Lauren Oliver’s Delirium series and when I started this audiobook, I realized that this story was completely different from that one – it was a completely different world and a completely different style of writing.
And this is not a bad thing!
On the contrary, I immediately fell in love with the fairytale writing and the narration. The story was sweet and quirky and reminded me somewhat of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Since I listened to the audio version of this book, I missed out on the illustrations in the book, but this is the kind of story that made me want to buy the hardcover version to keep for myself.
What made this story so wonderful was not only the writing, but the characters. I loved every single character in this story, more specifically Po and his cat, Bundle (at least, Liesl thinks it’s a cat). I loved the innocence in Po’s character and how he had to get back in tune with human emotions and pleasantries, since he didn’t have any use for them as a ghost. Seeing him evolve as the story went on, as he got closer and closer to Liesl was such an enjoyment to read.
One thing that really cemented my love for the characters was the narration itself. I had heard of Jim Dale before due to his (supposedly) wonderful narrations of the Harry Potter books. I, personally, am listening to the Stephen Fry version of the Harry Potter books, but I am quickly changing my tune because Jim Dale is such an amazing narrator. He’s perfect with the voices and the pacing and really makes the story a joy to listen to.
Jim Dale really made the story – it was sweet and very fairytale-ish, but still so funny on certain parts. Sometimes it was because of something Oliver wrote, and sometimes it was the voice of the characters: the voice of Augusta, Liesl’s stepmother, had a wonderful voice, and there was one part where a character couldn’t stop sneezing (at which I laughed at EVERY SINGLE TIME). There was even the continuing sound of ‘mwauk’ that Bundle made – I smiled each and every time this sound was made.
Originally, I was worried that I wouldn’t like this story. There are two stories at first – the story of Liesl, who’s locked in the attic and meets Po, the ghost; and the story of Will, the apprentice of the Alchemist, who sees Liesl in the window of the attic and is very taken with her.
I loved that this story was so different from the Delirium series. Lauren Oliver has a way with writing that immediately draws you in. Her writing is beautiful and poetic, funny and honest, and just plain (for lack of a better word) GOOD! I’m very eager to try more of her stories and really look forward to more of the Middle Grade books she might release in the future.
This one, Liesl and Po, is a definite keeper, one I can see myself listening to again and again.
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