Lips Touch: Three Times

( 27 )

Overview


A National Book Award Finalist, now in paperback!

Everyone dreams of getting the kiss of a lifetime... but what if that kiss carried some unexpected consequences? 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 ...

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Lips Touch: Three Times

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Overview


A National Book Award Finalist, now in paperback!

Everyone dreams of getting the kiss of a lifetime... but what if that kiss carried some unexpected consequences? 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 anther world entirely, full of dreaded creatures who can transform into animals, and whose queen keeps little girls as personal pets until they grow to child-bearing age.

From a writer of unparalleled imagination and emotional insight, three stories about the deliciousness of wanting and waiting for that moment when lips touch.

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Editorial Reviews

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 Esmé, 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 (“Esmé 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.)
VOYA - Rebecca C. Moore
Three kisses. Three stories—entangled with the old things of the earth. In Goblin Fruit, outsider Kizzy is perfect prey; her yearning for beauty leaves "a scent goblins can follow like sharks on a soft bloom of blood." To ensnare her, the goblins offer everything she wants in the shape of one beautiful boy—and one delicious kiss. In Spicy Little Curses, a demon curses Anamique with a voice transcendent enough to kill anyone who hears it . . . so she remains mute until love stirs her doubts and tempts her to break her silence. In Hatchling, brown-eyed Esme wakes with one blue eye and memories of a life she never lived—and a kiss she never gave. Soon she plunges into a nightmare adventure whose roots stretch back thousands of years through the existence of the cruel and soulless Druj, immortal shape-shifters greedy for the human warmth they can never truly possess. Or can they? In sensuous, entwining prose, Taylor weaves elements of English, Indian, and Zoroastrian mythology into tales to entrap even the most cautious of readers. Although the themes are familiar—the longing of demons for life, lust, fecundity—Taylor's lyrical phrases sing them into compelling new shapes, flavors, colors, and scents. Her characters ache with ancient hungers that consume their common sense, keeping them and the reader always on edge. Di Bartolo's haunting illustrations, depicting the prequels to each tale, contribute to the dark, dream-twisted atmosphere. Recommend this National Book Award finalist to fans of Margo Lanagan and Robin McKinley. Reviewer: Rebecca C. Moore
VOYA - Alisa Billig
Lips Touch: Three Times is an absolutely wonderful book that is both beautiful and eloquent. I truly enjoyed it. It manages to convey the emotions of a teen without overplaying it or making a drama out of nothing, and also features beautiful pictures without seeming like a picture book. The world could use more books like this one! Reviewer: Alisa Billig, Teen Reviewer
Children's Literature - Lisette Baez
Love of a supernatural kind is the recurring theme that drives this collection of short stories. The selections uniquely capture the stories of three very different girls with one thing in common: the process of kissing has great consequences for each girl's soul. The first story, "Goblin Fruit," takes the reader into the secret world of goblins and their prey, young, innocent girls who wish to be popular and pretty. Kizzy fits this description well and quickly becomes a target for the goblins. Always been behind the scenes socially, she has recently found herself the center of attention from one of the cutest boys in school. This leads Kizzy into a life-or-death situation. The second story, "Spicy Little Curses Such as These," follows Estella, a girl who is plagued by a revengeful curse that causes her to be mute. She is then faced with the dreaded decision of talking and revealing her feelings to the boy she loves or risking the lives of many if she speaks. The last story, "Hatchling," takes the reader on a journey with Esme, who finds she has been living a life that really isn't her own. Her mother has kept her past from her, and this life-changing secret is revealed. She does not belong to the world she knows but to a world of demons and unthinkable creatures. Her life begins to unravel, and she is faced with the mystery of her fate n this new world. The beautiful illustrations give the stories a comic book feel, evoking emotion and providing insight into the characters and their stories. Reviewer: Lisette Baez
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Three exquisitely crafted short stories (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009) by Laini Taylor, National Book Award finalist and author of the Dreamdark books, are brought vividly to life by Cassandra Campbell in this excellent recording. Each of these dark, delicious tales resonates with the incontrovertible longing for connection. In "Goblin Fruit," Kizzy desperately wants to be noticed by a boy and is found, instead, by a goblin. Estella struggles with a demon over the value of souls in "Spicy Little Curses Such as These," and Anamique pays the price. In "The Hatchling," an immortal queen who no longer eats or has use for an innocent touch of lips keeps a human pet for reasons she has long forgotten. Campbell conveys an astonishing depth and complexity of character by employing accents and inflections that showcase these bittersweet supernatural tales.—Charli Osborne, Oxford Public Library, MI
Kirkus Reviews
In this illustrated collection of two short stories and one novella, which borrow elements of folklore, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, a life-altering kiss steers the lives of three teenage girls. Embarrassed by her Old World parents, high-school junior Kizzy knows all the tricks the goblins use to steal girls' souls. But can she resist the charm of handsome new student Jack Husk when she's never been kissed? During the British Empire in India, Anamique, cursed into silence by the Ambassador to Hell, yearns for love-but at what cost? The delectable language of these stories cannot save the sluggish pacing of the final novella, in which Esme wakes to find that one of her dark eyes has turned blue. As she discovers the cause, she also learns her connection to her mother's tortuous past and the forest demons called the Druj. 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. Di Bartolo's illustrations not seen. (author's note) (Supernatural short stories. 13 & up)
From the Publisher

"Even nonfantasy lovers will find themselves absorbed by Taylor's masterful, elegant work." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Taylor’s three novellas form a triptych of beautiful fantasy writing reminiscent of Charles de Lint and Neil Gaiman." -- Booklist, starred review

A National Book Award Finalist
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009
A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545055857
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 211,116
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 990L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Laini Taylor
Laini Taylor is the author of the Dreamdark books: Blackbringer, which Kirkus said "belongs at the top of everyone's fantasy must-read list", and its sequel, Silksinger. She is also the creator of the Laini's Ladies line of gifts and stationery.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Mistical

    I absolutly loved reading this book. It makes you remeber and think about all the little tales and stories that are told about creatures. I woukd reccomend this book to anybody who lives with a pure imagination of anything that could happen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Lips Touch Three Times: A wonderfully unique and marvelous read!

    Lips Touch Three Times is a collection of three short stories which all revolve around the bond two people share, and wish to share; the wish for 'lips touch'. Despite the shorter length of the book as a whole, I found it a most remarkable read. The author Laini Taylor has taken the concept of romance into a whole new spectrum with marvelous new stories and settings, characters and creatures, which are both familiar and at the same time widely unknown, giving her stories an air of refreshing mystery. Her love of fairy tales, dead languages, weird folk beliefs, fascinating languages and much more, have been spun together to create a most wonderful and engaging work for this open-minded and inspiring author, and I personally look forward to any more stories she wishes to share with the world. A must read work for anyone who wishes to taste a new and mysterious fruit which now grows in the garden of literature and storytelling. A truly wonderful fruit indeed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Leaves you wanting more ¿

    I only heard of Laini Taylor this year, and the first book I read was Daughter of Smoke and Bones - which I loved. When I saw Lips Touch in the bookstore I thought I¿d give it a try. I¿m so happy I did!

    Written in usual Laini style, Lips Touch Three Times is an anthology of three short stories, all dealing with that scary yet wonderful thing - the first kiss. Each story is completely different from the next. Each story takes you to a different part of the world, to a different time and to a different myth.

    The first story is about Kizzy, a girl whose loneliness seeps through the pages and makes you feel sadness for her, a girl whose longing attracts the worse kind of fae. While this one was my least favourite - I didn¿t like the abrupt ending - Laini¿s descriptive writing allows the reader to feel all that Kizzy feels and, in a way, understand why she does the things she does.

    The second takes the reader to India and the underworld and introduces an Englishwoman, Estelle, who is working with a demon - bartering for the souls of children. This short story has complex, three dimensional characters and was intriguing from the beginning - when Estelle delivers a curse on a baby - to the end - when that baby, now a young girl, wonders if she should push the limits of the curse. In my opinion, the ending was wonderfully thought out and executed.

    The final story - and my personal favourite - introduces you to the dark world of the Druj, where human feelings are longed for, but never understood. This is the longest story in the collection; it is also the darkest. Mab, a prisoner of the Druj from childhood, manages to escape with her daughter and has been hiding from the Druj since. When a Druj she trusted enters her life again and tries to take her daughter away, the reason isn¿t what Mab - or the reader - expects.

    Lips Touch Three Times is just a sampling of Laini¿s beautiful writing and promises to leave the reader wanting more.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    loved it

    this book was another in between series type book, it has three different stories but they are all really good somtimes i got kinda lost but i came to understand whats going on. the art work in this book was amazing i loved it so much, and just so everyone knows it shows the pictures first and in the story after they show them at some point they ikinda explain them so you have to remember them and know where they are coming from...sorry if thats confusing. great read tough lol

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  • Posted November 2, 2010

    3 delicious stories

    I really liked this book. It had lovely illustrations (even on Nook). The stories were very different from one another but equally delightful.
    Tales of love and kisses intertwined with myths, legends, curses, and fairy tales.

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  • Posted June 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com

    Do you remember your first kiss?

    Three supernatural tales of first love (or lust) and that first kiss that can change you or overpower you. In "Goblin Fruit" goblins prey on young girls - and not the pretty popular ones - the ones that want to be them. In "Spicy Little Curses" a young woman is cursed with a voice that will kill anyone who is nearby to hear it. Can she risk telling her love the one thing he wants to hear? In "Hatchling" a young girl finds her fate intertwined with demons and secrets kept by her mother.

    Dark, dangerous, and delicious! This collection is an amazing work of fiction - and it's addicting. You won't want to put this one down! I don't always enjoy short stories, but this collection blew me away.

    Each story is wonderfully written and the characters are well-developed. I was transported to each new world and it's hard for me to pick which one I enjoyed the best - they were all fantastic. The artwork by Jim Di Bartolo is gorgeous - I would love to have prints of these pictures framed. (And the red dress in the first picture for "Spicy Little Curses" - I want that dress!)

    Even if you typically shy away from fantasy or paranormal romances, give this one a try. It's compulsively readable and the fantasy elements are weaved in to the stories in such a way that you won't even realize you're reading fantasy. (And I mean that in a good way.) These are stunning stories that will stick with you long after you finish reading.

    Laini Taylor is an author to watch for. I will be picking up her DREAMDARK series after reading LIPS TOUCH. I need more of her storytelling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    Amazing!

    I am not usually a fantasy reader but I absolutely loved this book!

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  • Posted November 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Three Stories Where One Kiss Changes Everything

    While this is not my typical fodder, I was glad that Lips Touch Three Times was recommended to me. Three characters, three styles and three very different backgrounds that cover everything from urban fantasy with a twisted sense of humor, British Colonial India and Zoroastrian demonology. Now that sounds like a handful but Laini's style is easily transferrable across all of these with both humor, grace and poignancy. In addition each story is lead off with a series of beautiful illustrations. When you are looking for something unique to enjoy or gift- choose Lips Touch Three Times.

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  • Posted November 19, 2009

    Not like other teen books

    Lips Touch Three Times is not anything like I expected it to be. It is three short stories that are wonderfully written, and end in the exact opposite way you thought it would. Also, the pictures before each short story are wonderful. Each picture has a meaning and tells a story in itself.

    Very good book if you are looking for something different.

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    Posted July 27, 2011

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    Posted June 29, 2011

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    Posted December 10, 2009

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    Posted December 27, 2009

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    Posted February 3, 2011

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    Posted April 7, 2010

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    Posted July 8, 2010

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    Posted November 2, 2009

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    Posted March 6, 2012

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    Posted October 25, 2009

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    Posted May 23, 2013

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