Lips Touch, Three Times by Laini Taylor

Lips Touch: Three Time
Author: Laini Taylor
Publication Date: 10/1/09
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Bought it dudes. At the UBS. And it’s kinda not in good condition so I may actually have to be getting another copy. Because this book? Keeper shelf.

Okay, y’all. Seriously. I have a new favorite author. Her name is Laini Taylor. I have now read two of her books and it is definite.

She. Is. Teh. Awesome.

That said, I don’t know why it took me so long to read Lips Touch! As soon as I opened this beautiful, BEAUTIFUL book and sighed over the beautiful, BEAUTIFUL illustrations, I hugged the book. Then I started kicking my own butt, which is NOT easy. Because I should not have waited to read this book, I should have snatched it up as soon as I walked into my house with it and I should have devoured it.

Oh well, at least I devoured it during the Read-A-Thon. Better late than never.

So, what is Lips Touch, Three Times about? Kissing! What? I had no idea either! Should have, but I didn’t get “Most Naive” in high school for nothing. There are three stories, all having to something to do with a kiss. And not just any kisses; these are those defining kisses, that changes lives. Or possibly end them.

The first story is a take on Christina Rossetti’s poem “Goblin Market” which is one of the few poems I have read and actually enjoyed. (Not much of a poetry person, sad to say.) Goblin Market is about goblins, obviously, and set in Victorian times. The goblins offer delectable fruits to young ladies in an attempt to buy their souls. This fruit is so delicious, so mind-bendingly delicious, that girls will waste away for wanting it. Goblin Fruit, the short story here, assumes these goblins still exist, still want girls’ souls, so, how do they adapt? How do they tempt the much more savvy girls of today? How do you win the soul of a girl from the 21st century? And, if you are the girl, what do you do? Especially if you’re the lonely, awkward kind of girl? What indeed….

There is a certain kind of girl the goblins crave. You could walk across a high school campus and point them out: not her, not her, her. The pert, lovely ones with butterfly tattoos in secret places, sitting on their boyfriends’ laps? No, not them. The girls watching the lovely ones sitting on their boyfriends’ laps? Yes.


The goblins want girls who dream so hard about being pretty their yearning leaves a palpable trail, a scent goblin can follow like sharks on a soft bloom of blood. The girls with hungry eyes who pray each night to wake up as someone else. Urgent, unkissed, wishful girls.

Like Kizzy.

The second story is Spicy Little Curses. I loved this story. It’s about this girl, who is cursed from with birth with a beautiful voice. Only problem is, if she lets her voice out, as in speaks, sings, moans, people. will. die. And she has a GORGEOUS voice. So, obviously, she’s mute. Never speaks a word. So then, a handsome man comes into her life and, despite her never saying a word to him, they fall in love. There is also this widow lady who has tea with a demon and barters for souls. How these two tie together is nothing short of brilliant. Because the widow? She is getting old y’all and the girl? You just KNOW she’s going to unleash that voice, right? Uh huh. And it’s awesome. Best short story EVER.

Kissing can ruin lives. Lips touch sometimes teeth clash. New hunger is born with a throb and caution falls away. A cursed girl with lips still moist from her first kiss might feel suddenly wild like a little monsoon. She might forget her curse just long enough to get careless and let it come true. She might kill everyone she loves…

The last story is called Hatchling. And for the life of me, I cannot remember this story. Oh, wait, yes I can. It just came to me. Duh. Don’t let this make you think this wasn’t a great story, it totally was. In FACT, it reminded me a LOT of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I also loved. Anyway, Hatchling is about a young girl named Esme. Her mother is a total paranoid. Constantly on the move, overprotective as hell, and loving. So, when one of Esme’s eyes turns from brown to icy blue (6 days before her 14th birthday), she freaks the heck out. Esme barely has time to breathe before her mother grabs her and skips town. Understandably, Esme freaks out too. Her small world turns upside down. So when the beautiful man grabs her from her mother, with apologies, and, like, jumps worlds, she freaks out even more. And how will a kiss fix this mess? How will everything ever be okay again?

Staring at her face, she began to fancy her outer layer had begun to melt away while she wasn’t paying attention, and something — some new skeleton — was emerging from beneath the softness of her accustomed self. With a deep, visceral ache, she wished her true form might prove to be a sleek and shining one, like a stiletto blade slicing free of an ungainly sheath. Like a bird of prey losing its hatchling fluff to hunt in cold, magnificent skies. That she might become something glittering, something startling, something dangerous.

I don’t know if it comes across, but I completely and totally adored each story in this collection and has quickly earned a spot on my favorites shelf. I will be rereading this collection for years to come and I wait with baited breath for more from the brilliant Ms. Taylor. Her writing is gorgeous, her characters strong, and her, just, her ideas enthrall me. She’s a modern day fairy tale writer if I ever saw one. And these are her OWN ideas, she’s not reworking someone else’s stuff. It just feel so original! So hurry up please! I NEED MORE.

ACK. OMG I almost forgot to tell you how gorgeous this book is. Because it is stinking gorgeous. Laini Taylor’s husband illustrated the book. Each story has it’s own beautiful pictures, seriously fairytale beautiful and they really enhance the experience of this book. See?

So, uh, yeah. Recommended. Because this book is magic.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

“Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.”

Hi there. So. Here we are again. You wondering what I think of a book. Me, tongue-tied, totally not knowing how to convey just how much I adore a book. Thank you for trusting me to tell you this.

Same story, different book. And oh, what a book.

Karou is seventeen, living by herself in the city of Prague. She goes to school, she’s an artist, and she collects teeth. Yes. Teeth. Not for herself, but for her foster “father” Brimstone. What Brimstone does with the teeth she doesn’t know and really doesn’t seem to care. She does it for the wishes. Small things, these wishes, powerful enough to color her hair to blue, turn the beautiful-yet-horrible girl in her class into a wooly eyebrowed thing,

I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t go down easily. I’ve read quite a bit of YA in the past few years and, like most genres that become super popular, formulas begin to pop up. There is the beautiful, unattainable yet totally attainable guy. Self-conscious, unbecoming-feeling, but totally capable girl (with the exception of Bella) who is actually quite beautiful, smart, etc. She just. doesn’t. know. it. She needs HIM to tell her. There is always some sort of paranormal element. And (all together now) it’s LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. And Daughter of Smoke & Bone, when starting out? Feels a LOT like this.


But then. Oh, then. It comes down to character for me. In particular, Karou. I just love this quirky, blue-haired, artist of a girl. This orphaned girl raised by monsters, who moves seamlessly between worlds. Who knows how to defend herself against, well, almost anything. Who would burn a wish on something as vindictive as turning a beautiful but horrible girls eyebrows into wooly worms (oh come on, you know you’d do it if you could) yet supports her best friend in the wild endeavor of a street performance as a puppet ballerina.

I know I’m making this sound strange, it is strange, but in Laini Taylor’s hands, it doesn’t feel at all strange. It feels right. It feels beautiful. Her writing. It’s like…reading velvet. That sounds corny. Very corny. Here. I mean, listen, lines like this?

Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.

And this?

Karou wished she could be the kind of girl who was complete unto herself, comfortable in solitude, serene. But she wasn’t. She was lonely, and she feared the missingness within her as if it might expand and…cancel her. She craved a presence beside her, solid. Fingertips light at the nape of her neck and a voice meeting hers in the dark. Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.


More? Okay. I have lots.

It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.

The streets of Prague were a fantasia scarcely touched by the twenty-first century—or the twentieth or nineteenth, for that matter. It was a city of alchemists and dreamers, its medieval cobbles once trod by golems, mystics, invading armies. Tall houses glowed goldenrod and carmine and eggshell blue, embellished with Rococo plasterwork and capped in roofs of uniform red. Baroque cupolas were the soft green of antique copper, and Gothic steeples stood ready to impale fallen angels. The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks. Thugs wore Motzart wigs and pushed chamber music on street corners, and marionettes hung in windows, making the whole city seem like a theater with unseen puppeteers crouched behind velvet.

Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort. It was all those things, intertwined with the heat and the thrill, and it was as bright within her as a swallowed star.

See? See what I mean? I. Love. Her. Writing. I’m so glad I have Lips Touch, Three Times. I will be reading it very, very soon. Last one, I swear:

Until a few days ago, humans had been little more than legend to him, and now here he was in their world. It was like stepping into the pages of a book — a book alive with color and fragrance, filth and chaos — and the blue-haired girl moved through it all like a fairy through a story, the light treating her differently than it did others, the air seemed to gather around her like held breath. As if this whole place was a story about her.

Okay, I lied. Last one. I can’t help it, I wrote down so many!

She had a sadness that was so deep, but it still could turn to light in a second,and when I saw her smile I wondered what it would be like to make her smile. I thought…I thought it would be like the discovery of smiling.

It comes down to this. Daughter of Smoke & Bone is different. It’s unique. It’s worth your time. Come meet Karou. Come meet her maker, Laini Taylor. I promise, you will not regret it.

iconDaughter of Smoke & Bone

By Laini Taylor
ISBN-13: 9780316134026
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Publication date: 9/27/2011
Pages: 432

Source? Barnes and Noble dudes. That cover grabbed me as I walked by the display.

They did it better:

Bookalicious  | The Book Bind | Bewitched Bookworms | A Novel Source