grrlpup, March 25, 2012 (view all comments by grrlpup)
(I listened to the audiobook version of Lips Touch Three Times, so haven't seen the drawings that are in the print version.)
Of the three stories, only the third and longest one felt to me like an original and fully realized work. "Hatchling" kept me intrigued as it moved back and forth in time, with each twist revealing more about what I had just heard. My sympathy expanded to characters I'd thought were flat evil, and I loved the fantastical winter landscapes.
The first and second stories seemed trapped in stereotyped versions of Romani and colonized Indian cultures, which made me uncomfortable (the overdone Indian accent the narrator put on for the audio version didn't help). The first story, especially given its contemporary setting, seemed overwritten. I wanted the author to stop with the evocative language and description and get on with it; it was as though she'd been told to Use All Five Senses in her writing and was cramming them all in long after we'd gotten the point. I enjoyed the fairy-tale rhythm of the second story more, but it didn't expand or examine anything beyond its stock fairy-tale outline.
In conclusion, if you start this book and it's not clicking for you, don't give up before trying the third story.
viv, March 4, 2012 (view all comments by viv)
This book is compiled of three riveting tales of the paranormal. From the first story of goblins who pray on girls with little or no self love, to the very last word I was hooked.
Yeah, it's one of those books. I read more than half of it at Powell's yesterday, having become oblivious to any other book after picking it up. Then I read half the night, and slept tangled in dreams that left shivery footprints which evaporated when I opened my eyes to see where the blood was. I finished it this morning while my coffee cooled on the nightstand, unheeded. And I'm not all the way back yet because I'm sure that somewhere behind me, somewhere very near there's something not quite safe. And I like it.
Lovely prose, bewitching fairy-tales, beautiful illustrations. One for the permanent collection.
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Carol Ellison, January 3, 2011 (view all comments by Carol Ellison)
This is a beautiful and technically inspiring book. Taylor's style is as rich as her settings yet readable and fluid. Her words fit to the stories, they with heavy spice to match the musky age of Kizzie's vintage velvet scarf.
Arthur A. Levine Books -
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by 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 Esm, 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 ('Esm 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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Kirkus Reviews,
"In the midst of these goblins, fiery gods and demons, Taylor reminds readers what makes them human. Holly Black and Melissa Marr fans will find this collection ripe for the tasting."
"Taylor's three novellas form a triptych of beautiful fantasy writing reminiscent of Charles de Lint and Neil Gaiman."
by Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books,
"Taylor balances the sweeping, headlong romantic desires of her three female protagonists with hints of foreboding, caution, and resistance in the characters that surround them."
From a writer of unparalleled imagination and emotional insight come three stories of supernatural love — tales about the deliciousness of wanting and waiting for that moment when lips touch. Illustrations.
In the style of Stephenie Meyer, three tales of supernatural love that all hinge on a life-changing kiss.
Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:
Goblin Fruit: In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?
Spicy Little Curses: A demon and the ambassador to Hell tussle over the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. Matters become complicated when she falls in love and decides to test her curse.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.