Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Other Side of Life

I was lucky to read a galley copy of Lauren Oliver's forthcoming MG (middle grade) novel Liesl and Po. Since I seem hooked on mash-ups lately, I would say this book is The Graveyard Book meets The Little Princess with a dash of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. And since I loved all those books, I loved this one as well.

I am not sure how to summarize the book without giving too much away, so a description of the characters will have to suffice. Liesl is the beloved daughter of a man who died, now locked in the attic by her greedy step-mother. Po is a child from the Other Side who finds Liesl in her attic and asks her to draw him a picture. (Po has a pet named Bundle. Bundle is probably not really a main character its only dialogue is "mwark," but Bundle is adorable and brings comfort to children. I like Bundle very much.) And Will, who is an orphaned alchemist's apprentice and very much an important part of the story.

There are other characters, adults, and who cares about adults? (I do like Mo. He's an adult, but I care about him. You will, too.) The ending is vaguely predictable, but not in any way that detracts from the story. In fact, knowing what would inevitably happen, I found myself reading faster so I could see it unfold!

You'll have to wait until October to read this book, but it's worth the made me smile.

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