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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lips Touch: Three Times

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor, art by Jim Di Bartolo

Laini Taylor is such a wordsmith.  That's why she can write three short stories that each contain a complete world of their own.  And that's how she can manage to toss in things like swan wings and indigo veils and tiny bottles of mysterious potions.  Terribly romantic, that's what I call that.

Each story is a bit longer than the one before it.  (This is especially true of the first story, which is by default infinitely longer than the one before it.) The first deals with forbidden fruit and goblins, and contains my favorite character -- one feisty grandma.  The second is a lovely fairy tale (sans fairies) and the story of a catch 22 curse.  The third story is something of a musing on the definition of "human" and is definitely the creepiest of the three.  I didn't have any nightmares, though.

And the artwork!  Jim has really outdone himself.  I suppose it helps that he and Laini (who are married) collaborate on things all the time.  But the illustrations perfectly compliment the stories.  They come before each one and intrigue you without spoiling things at all.  And then, if you're like me, you can't help but flip back to them when you figure out just what it was the pictures were representing and portraying.

I feel duty-bound to say that there is a moderate amount of swearing in the book, and obviously kisses take place.  The book was a finalist for the National Book Award, just recently, and is on the Cybils YA Fantasy shortlist as well.  In fact, our own Ashley has read it but she is strictly forbidden from reviewing contestants until Cybils announcements on Valentine's Day.  Good luck, Lips Touch!

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