Saturday, December 5, 2009

Book Review: Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor

What happens when a first kiss becomes something... more? More magical, more forbidden, more deadly? In this stunner of a book, three kisses do just that.

Goblin Fruit
What if goblins were real? And not just real, but living among us, craving a certain kind of girl? A girl who's never been kissed? All her life, Kizzy has heard the tale of how her grandmother, with only her knife and the strength of her will, won her sister back from the goblins when she was young. But now her grandmother is gone, and there's a new boy at school. A gorgeous, too-good-to-be-true boy, who makes her head spin, her blood fizz, her heart sing. A boy who isn't quite... human. What will happen if, when, he kisses Kizzy? Will it be her first kiss? Or her last?

Spicy Little Curses Such as These
At her christening party, Anamique was cursed with the most beautiful voice to ever pass human lips - a voice that will kill anyone who hears it. For almost 18 years, Anamique has remained silent and soundless, pouring her thoughts out into only her diary. Until James, a soldier, discovers the diary, lost between the seats in a train car, and falls in love with the girl whose words he reads. And when he meets Anamique at a party, purely by chance, he finds himself even more in love.

James does not believe in the curse, and at every opportunity, he whispers in her ear, imploring her to speak to him. With each day that passes, Anamique can feel her voice inside her, struggling to get out. Will Anamique be able to remain silent? Is the curse real? What will happen if she allows her voice to escape? And could a kiss be enough to stop its deadly power?

When Esme wakes at dawn to the sound of wolves howling, her left eye ed from warm brown to a clear ice blue, everything is different. She has memories that she is sure aren't hers, memories of a beautiful man she's never seen before, and a kiss that tastes like a frozen river. And when her mother, Mab, tells her the wolves are hunters, demon Druj without souls, tracking them from another world, her life is turned upside down.

Mihai has been watching Esme and Mab since they first left his world to escape to ours. When he hears the wolves at dawn, he knows it's time. A solitary, exhiled Druj, he has been waiting for the right moment. When Mihai suddenly appears, taking Esme with him, back to his world, Mab realizes that it isn't her the Druj have been tracking for the last 14 years, but her daughter, and what lies hidden within her, waiting to hatch. A creature that only Mihai can release.

Nominated for the 2009 National Book Award, these three tales of supernatural kisses are some of the best fantasy fiction I've read all year. With a series of gorgeous illustrations introducing each story, the tension builds toward three sweet, spicy, and altogether delicious kisses, each one delivered with a twist. Lyrical, lush, and darkly romantic, Lips Touch is not to be missed by fans of Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Melissa Marr.

(now savoring Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Maragaret Stohl, one of the Morris nominees!)

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