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The Spindlers

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  3,286 ratings  ·  620 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. Perfect for fans of the author’s other middle grade novels: Liesl & Po and the Curiosity House series.

Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over h
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by HarperCollins (first published September 13th 2012)
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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
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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!
Aug 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-books
This gave me Coraline, Arthur and the Invisibles and The Labyrinth vibes. It was an odd mixture of things but predictable because of its associations in my mind.
Evelyn (devours and digests words)
Liza found out one day that her baby brother is not truly her real brother. She is convinced that he was stolen into the night by creatures called The Spindlers. She decides to bring him back, with the aid of a talking rat, by venturing down where magic, and mystical creatures of the Below collide with each other.

For such a promising storyline. This was super...... unimpressive.

The Spindlers reads more and more like a mash up of Coraline and Alice in Wonderland. So yeah, this is not very or
Jan 30, 2012 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 :)
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
loved the whole under world. Liza has to save the soul of her little brother Patrick. Mirabella and all the other creatures are so cool
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 audience. I
Crystal ✬ Lost in Storyland
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 friend
May 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, middle-grade
"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
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
I tried really hard not to draw comparisons between Oliver and Neil Gaiman but I couldn’t help it. There was just such a heavy hand of Coraline in THE SPINDLERS that is was hard not to. I mean, it wasn’t a bad book by any stretch of the word. THE SPINDLERS was whimsical and dark and full of adventure. But it lacked that lyrical quality that Gaiman’s work ultimately has. It was a good book, but it wasn’t great.

There was also a bit of Labyrinth in there as well, as the older sister travels into th
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 Fall
Mar 05, 2012 marked it as to-read

Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I picked this one up because I loved "Liesl and Po" so very very much, but I cannot say I loved "The Spindlers". I keep bouncing between two stars or three because it wasn't terrible, just . . . meh. This book was briefly and very occasionally delightful, but aside from a few quirky, quotable passages, the book as a whole was nothing more than adequate and Liza never had my sympathies or even my full attention.

Liza dives into her epic adventure Down Below unceremoniously and I felt like very li
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
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
C.G. Drews
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's not the most original fantastical underground adventure I've ever read, but this is still ten buckets of adorable magicalness! It reminded me of Alice in Wonderland with a dash of Narnia and (I haven't read it yet) but the premise rings Gregor the Overlander tunes. It's a pretty cute tale of 12 year old Liza going to rescue her brother's soul from Below. Siblings are CUTE. I love sibling stories.

Things I liked:
- Siblingness (duh)
- The writing style. It's nearly old fashioned, kind of in a q
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
Stacey (prettybooks)
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Coraline
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 you ...more
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
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
Margaret Chind
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
Kat Heckenbach
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Sonja P.
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
Despair Speaking
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
Can we just take a moment to apprieciate how beautiful the cover of this book is. It is stunning. Not only that the inside pages are stunning. Each chapter is decorated with a character from the story, each are beautiful.

Anyway back to the story. This story was magical, when i was reading it i was transported below with Liza and was with her as she battled the nids, scwags and the spindlers. I would reccomend every one to read this. It was such a good read and i loved every moment of it.

This is
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great read aloud! The beautiful, rich description really brought the magical setting to life. My students loved the action and suspense and hung on every word.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mary Ellen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlotte Holmans
I first found this book in the library and I fell in love with it. The idea that an entire world lives under our one. A cross between the borrowers and Harry Potter. I found the book in a bookshop six months after I got it from the library for only one pound and it remains one of the best buys in books I have made.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was very much just a standard plot of sister loses brother and then must rescue him from terrible danger, but the author put in so many sweet and wholesome messages that I found myself smiling and getting warm fuzzies. Loved it!
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Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the president of production. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica ...more

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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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