Monday, May 24, 2010

Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

Published 2009.

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 stores about the deliciousness of wanting and waiting for that moment when lips touch.
(book flap blurb)

This book had my jaw dropping. Now, I'm not a big romance person. It's not something I seek out. But the twisted parts behind these stories had me intrigued, plus all of the reviews I read were really good. Really, the elements have to be just right for me to pick up a book that, at first glance, was labeled as a romance.

But I don't see these stories as being romantic. At least not two out of the three. The first story, Goblin Fruit, had me stumbling an extra page because I wasn't expecting it to end so abruptly. When I realized there wasn't any more except the next unrelated story, I went nooooooooooooooo! The build-up was so sizzling and filled with teenage angst. You know what's going to happen and you don't. You expect one thing and you get another. You can feel the tension riling and rising and it hits the climax and you don't even get to come down from the high. It just ends. I wanted more.

Spicy Little Curses Such as These was actually my least favorite out of the three. Not that is wasn't good. I just didn't feel the same pull with this one as the other two. Once the boy comes into play, the rest of the story hinges on whether or not the girl will speak. Again, you expect one thing and get another. It's a retelling of the story of Orpheus but without the d'oh! ending. I think this one ended too nicely for me. That just shows how demented I am. I don't want love in a love story, dammit! They have to work for it! Not like they didn't. Not at all, actually. But, meh. It just didn't catch me like the other two.

Hatchling I loved because the world Taylor drew felt so real. I honestly thought she was drawing from some Middle Eastern mythology while I was reading it. I was wrong and for the most part, it came solely from her imagination, with some guidance, of course. That's what had me reading more than the kiss-themed part, which really wasn't a huge part of the story. Not for the main girl involved, anyway. It kept hopping around time-wise and it was kind of hard to keep track of where in the story I was reading but it settled out. But the mythical mythology was what really held my attention. It felt like something you could draw on, something people could believe in. I want to read it again just to soak in more of that world. Even the hideous creatures under the bridge and the nuances of the soulless shapeshifters had me feigning for more. I loved it.

The drawings at the beginning of each story were amazing as well. They give you just enough of the story to get a grasp of what's to come but not enough to spoil anything. The gray and red that were drawn in gave them a rustic, almost grungy type of feel but they complimented each story nicely.

This one's a must read for anyone that like writing. Really, even if you're not a romance fan you're going to like this. In all honesty, it's not about romance, or even love. It's about passion and fire and longing, something I think far more people feel than the other two. The writing sucks you in and holds onto you until the very end. And by then you're the one longing for a kiss. Let's just hope it turn out better for you than it did for these characters.


Jacqueline C. said...

I thought this book was amazing! I hope that she does more like this sometime soon.

Marce said...

I have had this one for awhile, I really need to read it. Great review.

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