A Girl, A Ghost, and An Alchemist's Apprentice

4:15 AM

Summary of Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
After the death of her father, Liesl’s stepmother locks her up in the attic and refuses to let her out with the claim that it’s for her own protection. Liesl is all alone until one night a ghost named Po appears in the attic.
That very same night, an alchemist’s apprentice named Will bungles a delivery by mixing up two different packages: a box filled with the ashes of Liesl’s dead father and a box containing the most powerful magic in the entire world. This simple mistake has enormous consequences for Liesl, Po, and Will as they are drawn together on an incredible journey.

Liesl and Po is the first book I’ve read (well, technically I listened to it, but more on that later) by Lauren Oliver, and I definitely plan to read more of her work. Though it is a children’s book, I enjoyed the story a great deal and found myself smiling through much of it.

Part of what made this story so entertaining was the way in which Oliver seemed to effortlessly weave together so many different characters’ lives. The ways in which their paths crisscrossed and intertwined was skillfully done and made for some funny scenarios. I loved the way all of the characters met up at the end of the story for the final showdown.

The ghost named Po was my favorite character in the book. He crosses over into Liesl’s room from the Other Side and is confused by the world of the living. One of my favorite parts of the book occurred when Po asks Liesl to explain human phrases like “Goodbye” and “I’m sorry” because ghosts don’t bother with them.  

As I mentioned before, I actually listened to this book which is a rare occurrence for me. Most of the time, I can’t stand to listen to books because the reader never quite seems to get the characters’ voices right, and I can read much more quickly than the person reading. The one exception to my dislike of listening to books has been, and will always be, Jim Dale. Ever since I listened to Jim Dale read the Harry Potter books on tape, all other readers can’t hold a candle to the magnificence that is Jim Dale. So, whenever I have a long road trip, I download whatever book is available from my library that is read by Jim Dale and listen to it while I drive. Liesl and Po just so happened to fit the bill. I don’t know that I ever would’ve read this book if I hadn’t seen that it was narrated by Jim Dale. I’m so glad I did. If you’ve never listened to a book read by Jim Dale, I strongly recommend Liesl and Po by Laruen Oliver. No one can do fake sneezes quite so well.

Seriously. All hail Jim Dale, king of audiobooks.

Do you prefer to read books or listen to them? Do you have any favorite readers when it comes to audiobooks? Comment below.

Coming Soon

The next book on my list is Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.

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