Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Review: Lips Touch, Three Times

Author: Laini Taylor
Illustrator: Jim Di Bartolo
Release Date: Already out, buy a copy!
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Add it: Goodreads
A girl who’s always been in the shadows finds herself pursued by the unbelievably attractive new boy at school, who may or may not be the death of her. Another girl grows up mute because of a curse placed on her by a vindictive spirit, and later must decide whether to utter her first words to the boy she loves and risk killing everyone who hears her if the curse is real. And a third girl discovers that the real reason for her transient life with her mother has to do with belonging — literally belonging — to another world entirely, full of dreaded creatures who can transform into animals, and whose queen keeps little girls as personal pets until they grow to childbearing age.

From a writer of unparalleled imagination and emotional insight, three stories about the deliciousness of wanting and waiting for that moment when lips touch.
There was no doubt in my mind that I would enjoy reading this after the highly intimate love affair I shared with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Laini Taylor has been blessed with an otherworldly mind. It's her breathtaking ability to make writing an art - she's not just telling a story, she's creating a masterpiece. She can turn the most mundane of words into something rare and precious. It's not just her prose that I have come to adore, but also her imagination. I don't think I've quite read anything like the mythology she weaves into her stories. From Smoke and Bone to the awe-inspiring Hatchling, I am blown away by the depth and sheer creativity

Three stories. Three different meanings behind three kinds of kisses. Three times your heart will fall in love, despair and conflict.

Goblin Fruit: Kizzy has spent her entire life watching from the sidelines, yearning for something more to fill her. It's the power of wanting so bad that the consequences don't matter anymore. Would you give into the temptation of something you have ached for your entire life, just for that one moment of utter joy and happiness, even if meant your death? This was the shortest of all, but perhaps the one with the most humour, as each story grows progressively more darker. Oh, don't despair. There is plenty of dark here among the soul-snatching goblins and the lure of forbidden fruit, but the interactions between Kizzy and her friends had me laughing many times!

Spicy Little Curses Such as These: Oh, how I would have loved to see this turned into a novel-length story. Laini executed it perfectly, but I wanted more. I was so taken by Estella's story and the weighted decisions she must make on a daily basis - all while sipping tea with a sadistic demon in the pits of Hell. She was forced to place a curse on Anamique when she was just a baby. If the girl murmurs a sound, it will kill anyone in the near vicinity. But while her voice may curse those around her, the silence has cursed her own life as she's grown into womanhood. Forcing her to withdraw into herself, hide in the shadows while those around her mock and jeer the 'dumb mute'. Until. A young soldier finds her diary and discovers the beautiful, intelligent girl hiding within and so begins a romance that will capture your heart in it's honesty, it's sweetness. And it's tragedy. This is a story of first loves and the lengths you'll go to save those loves. And it's a story of consequence. For every action, there is a reaction, a give and a take.

Hatchling: This one stole my breath away. This is the longest and by far, the most richly explored and darkest of all three stories. The mythology is nothing short of amazing. The world of the Druj and what poor, helplessly human Mab endured as a small child at the hands of the Queen were shocking and brutal. Your heart has no choice but to reach out to the victims of this cruel and downright creepy world. We witness Mab's heartbreaking story and how she escaped their clutches with a baby in tow. We journey along with her daughter, Esme, who's changing in terrifying ways and may be snatched back to the horrific world her mother has so longed for her to never witness. And we delve into the fascinating and scary history of the Druj, where Laini decides to twist everything you thought you felt and craft such an emotionally complicated story. She makes you feel an understanding for the 'villains' and - perhaps - a twinge of sympathy for their own plight. Just... WOW. Nothing is ever as it seems when it comes to this author, she keeps adding layer upon layer and then digs 20ft underground to find more hidden layers to shock you with.

Running through each story is a fragile thread of hope. Hope of being someone else, having something more. Hope of emerging from the shadows and showing your true potential to the world. Hope of protecting those you love from the horrors you faced yourself. Hope of finding your humanity.

Laini Taylor and Jim Bartolo. Author and Illustrator. Wife and husband. The ultimate dream team. The accompanying art by Jim for each story is absolutely beautiful. The art doesn't spoil the story, rather tempts and captivates your mind and doesn't fully make sense until you've finished reading. Her words, his art - they make for a truly magical use of ink and paper that demands a special place in your bookshelf.

Lips Touch transports you to a magical world where live goblins and temptation, love and curses, demons and stolen children and the scary power of longing for something you're not fully aware of.

Rating: 5/5 Golden Apples!


  1. Great review yet again. This book looks good. I've been meaning to read it . . . will soon.

  2. Great review! I'm halfway through Hatchling at the moment and loving it! Laini Taylor is definitely a new favourite author of mine.

  3. WANT WANT WANT WANT. Eeeeep I NEED TO GET A COPY. pining like crazy right now! You rocked out that review girl <3

  4. 'Lips touch' is on my wishlist and I'm thrilled to hear that it is a great read. I'm so glad there is more to read by Laini while we wait for the second installment of DOSAB :)

  5. This sounds so amazing! I didn't know what it was about until I read your review, but now I really want it

    The Cait Files

  6. Gah, yes. I simply adored this book and I think Little Curses was my favorite of the three...I think it's because of the hopeless romantic in me, lol.

    Laini Taylor is a genius and I need her to write us her perfect books forever.

  7. This sounds really amazing! I am a huge fan of Daughter of Smoke and Bone so I am going to check this out as soon as I can.

    Awesome review!

  8. Goblins? This is just the second time that I will be reading anything goblin-related. (The first was Tyger, tyger) and oh Laini Taylor has earned my top storyteller award with DOSAB so I'll definitely check this out. Great review!


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