Audio Reivew: Liesl & Po

Author: Lauren Oliver
Narrator: Jim Dale
Genre: Supernatural/Middle Grade
Producer: HarperCollins Audio
Story Rating:
Audio Rating:

Story Review: To be completely honest, I was not a fan of this story. Then again, when am I ever a fan of middle grade? In this specific case, I was bothered by a number of things:

1) Everything was just too coincidental. The characters all just stumbled into their good/bad luck. I didn't feel like anyone had any drive or purpose, and it made it very hard to connect to the characters.

2) Oliver was trying too hard to be "deep." Nearly every time wind was mentioned, it smelled of "promise," "hope," or "things to come." Now... unless promise smells like ragweed, and the things to come are waffle carts, I have no idea what any of these things smell like. I was insulted that the author didn't think I was smart enough to know that things were going to get more hopeful or exciting. I'm reading the book! I'm going to figure it out!

3) The world was just plum confusing. What? The sun is missing? Liesl's just okay with being locked in an attic? Are we in the UK? Is this our world or someone elses? I'm just so lost.

And then the whole book wrapped up with a nice little bow. Blech. Is that a MG trait? If so, no wonder I never like them.

Audio Review: Dear Jim Dale, would you like to narrate my life? Seriously people, I adore Jim Dale. Actually, if it had been any other narrator I probably would have given the story even less than 2.5 flowers, but Jim Dale can do no wrong. He took these flat characters, annoying descriptions, and confusing world and turned them into something that I could have listened to for hours. Seriously. It wasn't until after I would push pause that I realized I had no idea what was going on. I wish I had enjoyed the story as much as I enjoyed his reading of the story. But no, it was not to be.

Despite the fact that I love JD, I would skip this audiobook (and book!) and go with the Harry Potter audio instead.

All review content © Enna Isilee, Squeaky Books 2007-2011


  1. Middle grade novels are tricky at least finding ones that tread the line between "for everyone" and "This is kid stuff" I recently read one that was really well done called Juniper berry
    Now as for the "Happy ending" Eh? Yes and no if it's a stand alone MG then yeah most of them have...relatively nice happy endings if its part of a series where you grow with the character.... not so much
    Percy jackson and harry potter are two such series where by the end they and you are teenagers thus it has gone into YA Territory.
    Sometime in july you should check out my Blog when I post the juniper berry review.
    oh and if you are looking for a MG with out a happy ending Lemony Sniket a series of tUnfortunate events

    I'm not trying to convince you that middle grade is the best thing ever but its just I was there I was "Omgosh I can't stand middle grade now" but then I found some that really changed my view on them

    I'm telling you The Audio book for Lemony Sniket a series of Unfortunate events is the way to go for you why? Tim Curry. I repeat Tim Curry and the story starts with "If you are intrested in books with happy endings you a better off reading some other book"

    I truly believe this is the middle grade series that will change your view on middle grade series theres bad guys, death, lost of death, mystery, disguises, hook handed men, orphans,
    please just please Try this series I guarantee lemonys melancholy is what you are looking for oh and you get a vocab lesson but in a good way melancholy as used here means depressing and sad such as the stories you are looking for

    Come on Tim Curry and a book that SAYS there is no happy endings
    and people die
    a lot
    once a book
    Try it!

  2. I didn't know Oliver wrote a Middle Grade book. I wonder if you would have liked MG books when you were younger. I LOVE Jim Dale!! He is so good at story telling!

  3. Just curious, are you a fan of the (canceled too soon) TV show "Pushing Daisies"? Jim Dale is the narrator. :)

    I want to read this book, but I haven't decided if I want to read the print copy for the illustrations or listen to the audio for Jim Dale. I love MG, so I'm not worried about being put off by the story.


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