Author: Lauren Oliver
Illustrator: Kei Acedera
My rating: 5 of 5
A girl locked in an attic room, drawing pictures of the world she once knew and mourning her recently-deceased father. A boy, clumsy and uncertain, who spends his life slaving for the alchemist who “took him in”–except for the nightly trips to steal glimpses of the drawing girl through her window. A ghost who can’t even remember if it was a boy or a girl, and its accompanying ghost-pet that might have been a dog or might have been a cat. Strange, isn’t it, how the threads of individual lives can seem completely unrelated, yet with a small coincidence, a twist in the fabric of our lives, the individual threads become inexplicably intertwined. So it is, in Liesl & Po, that a series of coincidences, mix-ups, accidents, and confusions bring about some extraordinary, world-changing events.
I admit, I picked up Liesl & Po based on cover value alone. It lived up to the cover and then some. A sense of effervescent wonder pervades the story–something that is both rare and precious. Both the characters and the plot are beautifully crafted. Moreover, the author’s way with words is absolutely scrumptious. It’s refreshing to find a story this different from most other books–as though it’s written from a completely different frame of reference. Highly recommended.