Lips Touch: Three Times
by Taylor, Laini
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Book list *Starred Review* Look beyond the title and cover art: Taylor's three novellas form a triptych of beautiful fantasy writing reminiscent of Charles de Lint and Neil Gaiman. Kisses are the unifying theme, with each story offering a different sort of locking lips, from giddy seduction to harsh power play. In Goblin Fruit, misfit Kizzy meets a fascinating new student, an unbelievably gorgeous young man who ignores the popular girls to seek her out. Taylor tantalizingly foreshadows the ambiguous ending, teasing and enticing the reader much as Jack Husk entices Kizzy. Spicy Little Curses Such as These is set in India and offers intriguing and culturally respectful glimpses of both Indian religion and British colonialism. Hatchling reveals a fully realized world of sometimes malevolent immortals who steal and raise human babies as their pets. Present-day teen sensibilities blend with artful allusions to mythology and magic, pulling the reader into rich fantasy realms. The cover's close-up of a lovely woman's red lips, with red-orange flames licking at the superimposed title, lacks the powerful, delicately structured, and subtle poetry of Taylor's stories. But Di Bartolo, Taylor's husband, provides skillfully detailed pen-and-ink illustrations that are a fine match for the lyrical, romantic text.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Drawing inspiration from Christina Rossetti's "The Goblin Market," the era of the British Raj, and mythology associated with Zarathustra, Taylor has created three novellas in which a kiss precipitates major life-altering, but not necessarily happy, events for the story's heroine. The lurid cover, featuring a young woman whose full red lips may have just a tiny hint of blood at their corners, is sure to attract teens who can't get enough stories featuring vampires or other supernatural creatures. "Goblin Fruit" shares with Rossetti's poem the theme of a young girl saving her sister from a goblin's alluring unseasonal fruit. "Spicy Little Curses Such as These" tells of an English widow in Jaipur whose bargain with the devil at the time of her young husband's death required her to lay a curse of silence on an English baby. When the child grows up, she falls in love with a soldier who has survived the horrors of World War I and is determined not to lose his newfound love to her belief in folk superstition. "Hatchling" tells of the involvement of Esme's mother, Mab, with the shape-changing Druj. Mab, who was kept by their queen as a personal pet until she reached childbearing age, believes she has managed to protect her daughter from the same fate until Esme wakes on the morning of her 14th birthday to the howling of wolves in London. This book will find an audience with fans of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series and of graphic novels.-Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Taylor offers a powerful trio of tales, each founded upon the consequences of a kiss. She explores the potentially awkward conceit in three dramatically different fantasies, each featuring a young female protagonist out of place in the world she inhabits: contemporary Kizzy, who so yearns to be a normal, popular teenager that she forgets the rules of her Old Country upbringing and is seduced by a goblin in disguise; Anamique, living in British colonial India, silenced forever due to a spell cast upon her at birth; and Esme, who at 14 discovers she is host to another-nonhuman-being. The stories build in complexity and intensity, culminating in the breathtaking "Hatchling," which opens with a spectacularly gripping prologue ("Esme swayed on her feet. These weren't her memories. This wasn't her eye"). Each is, in vividly distinctive fashion, a mesmerizing love story that comes to a satisfying but never predictable conclusion. Di Bartolo's illustrations provide tantalizing visual preludes to each tale, which are revealed as the stories unfold. Even nonfantasy lovers will find themselves absorbed by Taylor's masterful, elegant work. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved