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The Spindlers

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  1,897 ratings  ·  468 reviews
Evocative of Alice in Wonderland, this novel from New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver is a bewitching story about the reaches of loyalty and the enduring power of hope.

Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite diffe
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by HarperCollins (first published September 13th 2012)
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Middle Grade Novels of 2012
63rd out of 346 books — 607 voters
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Community Reviews

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Hayden Casey
Jul 13, 2012 Hayden Casey marked it as to-read-via-netgalley-and-edelweiss

The Holy Terror
I absolutely loved Liesl and Po, which was also written by Oliver and is middle grade fantasy as well. It was one of my favorite books from last year and one I highly recommend. I unfortunately can't say the same about "The Spindlers."

There were some highly quotable passages from this book that I truly loved, but I just didn't find that level of emotion sustained throughout. It felt like Oliver was trying to create the sort of charming creepiness that authors like Roald Dahl are known for, but
Adam Silvera
WOO! Another awesome MG from Lauren Oliver, this one with an adventure more action-packed than her lyrical (and my favorite) "Liesl and Po". I'll be writing up a full review for it in the fall, but for anyone wondering whether or not "The Spindlers" is worth piling on top of their already mountainous TBR piles, I've got a list of selling points for you. (Gotta love lists!)

You will LOVE "The Spindlers" if you love...:

-Alice and Wonderland, The Redwall series, Roald Dahl (particularly "The Witche
Wendy Darling
I'm so, so happy Lauren Oliver has written another middle grade novel. Can't wait!
Jan 30, 2012 Olivia marked it as to-read
Excuse me Goodreads, but you seem to have neglected to have a description for this book, and don't tell me "there wasn't one to put" because, FYI :

When Liza's younger brother Patrick's soul is stolen by the evil Spindlers, spider-like creatures who live underground, she knows she must set out on a heroic quest to the world Below to rescue it.

Taken from Lauren Oliver's own website.

Lauren Oliver fan :)
Crystal (Kris)
I'm in love with Lauren Oliver's writing all over again. Before I Fall and Delirium showed us that she can write emotional, heartwrenching novels. I haven't read Liesl & Po yet (where have I been?), but Spindlers has shown me that she can write magical fantasies that will capture the heart and inner child of middle-grade readers everywhere.

As I've mentioned in some past reviews, I'm an older sister myself, and I can easily relate to Liza. Yes, siblings get in fights, but they're your best fr
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Lauren Oliver is a truly talented writer, be it in the young-adult field, or when writing for a younger audience, like here in The Spindlers. I was impressed with Before I Fall, and I am even more so after reading this richly imaginative, darkly creepy, and thoroughly lovely middle-grade novel. I'm in my twenties and I loved every page - I can't imagine what this book would have meant to me had I read it when I was at the age of the intended audienc
To read my reviews sooner/see more of my reviews (I wrote this review about two weeks ago . . . and am just posting it now because I'm lazy like that) please check out ze blog, Living Is Reading!

I guess it’s safe to say that I’m a pretty big fan of Lauren Oliver. I have yet to read a book by her that I don’t like at least a little bit. Delirium wasn’t quite her best, and as time has gone by I’m not quite on the bandwagon for Liesel & Po (yet it was still satisfying), but I loved Before I F
Mar 05, 2012 Sonia marked it as to-read

Ms. Library
I really wanted to like this because I LOVED Leisl and Po, but it just didn't have that special something. The best way I can describe is that at several points I was reminded of other works, and I kind of wished I was reading them instead. Throughout I was reminded of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland, and I wished for the same sense of magic and charm. At another point I was reminded of the Hobbit, and I wanted to be reading about Bilbo and the dwarves. At points I was even reminded of Le ...more
I like to think of myself as a diverse reader - I'll pick up pretty much anything that catches my interest, no matter what age group it's meant for. The only thing I tend to avoid like the plague is nonfiction. I'd like for that to change, but honestly it probably never will. I always tell myself that I want to read middle grade books more, but for some reason they're always the first stories to get put on the back burner, to read "later" (which is code for never). Probably the only real reason ...more
Miss Bookiverse
Eine unterirdische Welt mit der Hauptfarbe Lila? Vogelartige Schmetterlingswesen, die Träume bringen und Seelen beschützen? Troglogs, die genau die Socken und Schlüssel auf ihrem Markt verkaufen, die immer spurlos verschwinden? Na dann ab nach "Below". Denn dort fühlt man sich erinnert an Alices Wunderland, Neil Gaimans neverwhere'sche Unterwelt und Coralines "other family". Drollige und gruselige Wesen tummeln sich hinter jeder Ecke. Lebensgroße Ratten versuchen sich wie Frauen zu schminken und ...more
The Spindlers tells the story of Liza, who wakes up one morning to find her brother Patrick has changed. In fact the opening line goes like this from Goodreads: "One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake-loving younger brother, who irritated and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not. In fact, he was quite, quite different." Liza tries to test this new Patrick by asking him questions but when he ultimately fails her t ...more
Lisbeth Avery {Domus Libri}
I haven't read Middle Grade books for years yet a middle school book by Lauren Oliver I had to read and I'm glad I did. This book was original and cute. I really loved it and didn't want to write a review but since it's a ARC, I haz to. Be warned, I'm not really sure how to review this. It's probably going to be a very short review.

If you loved Alice in Wonderful, Coraline, or maybe the Redwall series, you'll love this one too. Even though it's not exactly YA, it's still a cute book to read. Let
Despair Speaking
This is 2.5, not 3!!!

The good:
- The nocturni. I love the idea of black as shadow-like hummingbirds that are your invisible companions for life! Wait, make that most of the strange beings mentioned in the story!
- The world Below. The setting was amazing and the places breathtaking!
- The fact that it's not always our fault things go missing. Those little guys take them and sell them in the market! (I wonder if I'll find my missing ring, no, not from my boyfriend, there!)

The bad:
- It was predictabl
This book has been compared to the Wonderland books and the Gregor the Overlander titles, but it doesn't measure up to either of these great series about worlds below ground. What Oliver does deliver is a likeable, stand-alone book with themes of perseverence, hope, love and friendship, and that is enough. I have grown a little tired of trilogies and lengthy series, so it's refreshing to find a good read that doesn't go on and on ad infinitum. And make no mistake, this is a good read even though ...more
I started this one by reading an advanced copy, but I finished it up via the audiobook version through the Overdrive library system. This was an interesting read and one I plan to keep on the shelves. I also plan to watch for more stories from Lauren Oliver in the future. The Spindlers is the adventure of one girl named Liza who is searching for her real brother's soul and she believes he has been replaced by evil spider-like beings that suck out his soul. As she sets off to find Patrick she com ...more
"Evocative of Alice in Wonderland?" Well, only if you haven't read Coraline or Gregor the Overlander! Also had a bit of a Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH vibe going. Very fun for middle grade readers.

Whenever I hear something compared to Alice in Wonderland, I think, Is it full of biting political commentary on the state of the Empire under Victoria? No? THEN DON'T COMPARE IT TO ALICE.

Okay, rant aside. This is a fun, creepy little book about a girl going in search of her brother's soul, which h
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: Very cute middle-grade fantasy with a fun story, good adventure and interesting characters.

Opening Sentence: One night when Liza went to bed, Patrick was her chubby, stubby, candy-grubbing and pancake- loving younger brother, who irritated her and amused her both, and the next morning, when she woke up, he was not.

The Review:

Liza loves her younger brother Patrick even though most of the time he is a pain. He is her playmate and best friend
Kat Heckenbach
This is exactly the kind of book I would have loved when I was around nine or ten. Quirky characters, lots of adventure and peril. Mean baddies. A subterranean world with magic and mysterious happenings.

The plot was very straight-forward through most of the book--a quest to rescue Liza's brother's soul as she travels through strange and dangerous places "Below" with a talking and oddly-dressed rat--but there were a few surprising and clever twists. I found the climax particularly well-written fo
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Lauren Oliver debuted in 2010 with Before I Fall, and The Spindlers is her fifth published work, not counting novellas. Her sixth, Requiem, the conclusion to the Delirium trilogy comes out early next year. Simply put, she has blasted into popularity, prolific and talented, to become one of the most loved and admired YA/MG authors. Of the three books of hers I've read, The Spindlers was my least favorite, but still contained some of the wonderful bits that make Oliver's work such a joy to devour. ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Spindlers is yet another beautifully written book from Lauren Oliver. A kind of Alice in Wonderland tale, The Spindlers follows Liza in her search for her little brother's soul in the dark underground world of Below. She meets a rat named Mirabella, troglods, nids, nocturni, and many other magical and mysterious creatures in her quest. In the end she must face the Spindlers' nests and the horrible Queen on her own, but discovers too that even in the darkest places you will find hope and help ...more
One night when Liza goes to sleep, Patrick is the same brother she has known her whole life, but the next morning he’s a completely different person. Liza knows all about the spindlers and how they have taken Patrick’s soul and left an imposter is his place. Armed with a broom, Liza embarks into her basement to enter the world below, where she befriends a rat and sets out to save her brother by defeating the spindlers. The world below is peculiar and even has some answers about Liza’s world abov ...more
Rachael Stein
Liza wakes up one morning to discover that her little brother has been stolen away and replaced by a sinister, dead-eyed clone. Naturally, her parents, preoccupied with matters financial, notice nothing. It's up to Liza to go Below and rescue Patrick from the Spindlers, a race of awesomely creepy spider-like beings, before they devour his soul. Along the way, she is helped and hindered by various bizarre beasties.

Sound familiar? Yeah, it's basically Coraline in the Labyrinth Wonderland. The "goi
When I finished this book, I had a look through a few reviews on Goodreads to get some second opinions. I found that, like me, most people had compared to it other things they had seen or read! Whilst I read it I was reminded of Coraline by Neil Gaiman, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, The Borrowers by Mary Norton, The Tale of Mrs Tittlemouse by Beatrix Potter and Peter Pan by J.M Barrie. It also reminded me of the Studio Ghibli animated film Spirited Away. ...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
I am a Lauren Oliver super fan. Delirium and Before I Fall are two of my favourite young adult novels, and Liesl & Po was one of the first children's novels I read as a book blogger. I adored them all - they were like nothing I had read before. Lauren Oliver has a genuine talent for writing beautifully and poetically. I reread her enchanting passages just to experience them again. I stop reading just to share a quote or make a note of it. It's always vivid, colourful, and empathic. It makes ...more
Katy Jane
1. I loved all of the magical creatures and how they fit into the underworld and how they related to the world above. The explanation of the lumpen was so neat and original. They are geniuses but they just can't talk to share the information. I also loved the nocturni and the troglods.
2. This book reminds of a small scale Lord of the Rings adventure. The character goes from one mishap after another always just missing disaster. Magical creatures help them along the way in both books.
3. This bo
Wandering Librarians
Liza wakes up one more and realizes her little brother, Patrick, has been taken by the Spindlers. Her parents think Patrick is the same as he always way, but Liza knows that his soul has been taken away. Liza must journey under the ground and confront the Spindlers to try and win back Patrick's soul.

It fell flat. I could definitely feel the Coraline vibe going on. I could tell that's what the intention was. The world of adults doesn't understand Liza. They are disconnected from the real world an
Book Twirps
Liza knows that her brother, Patrick, isn’t really her brother. One night they went to bed, and the next morning when she woke up, she noticed something was off. He was acting a little too perfect, and his eyes looked vacant. Liza knows that the Spindlers have taken his soul, and if she doesn’t get it back, she may lose him forever.

One night after her parents have gone to bed, Liza ventures down to the basement, through a hole in the wall and tumbles into a mysterious land filled with large rats
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Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader.

She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After colleg
More about Lauren Oliver...
Delirium (Delirium, #1) Before I Fall Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) Requiem (Delirium, #3) Panic

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“That was what her parents did not understand—and had never understood—about stories. Liza told herself storied as though she was weaving and knotting an endless rope. Then, no matter how dark or terrible the pit she found herself in, she could pull herself out, inch by inch and hand over hand, on the long rope of stories.” 7 likes
“There is a nocturna for every single person in the world! And each night the nocturni sip dreams from the River of Knowledge, and fly out into the world, and deliver them to their humans.” 5 likes
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