Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publishing Date: October 2009
Genre: fantasy, young adult
A couple of days back I had discovered Laini Taylor through Goodreads recommendation. Her book Daughter of Smoke & Bone had popped up as one of the suggestions. So I had glanced at her Goodreads page to check out the reviews about her work. Reading through one of those pages I came across the review page of this book and I should say had it not been for two things I would have avoided this one like the plague.
We often hear never judge a book by its cover but this book has got one seriously tacky cover. Honestly it’s doing more damage to the book than good however what it damages the illustrations more than make up for. What I wonder is – how can a book with such a pathetic cover have such mesmerizing illustrations to go along ?!
Anyways coming to the point I noticed the positive reviews and the illustrations posted by some other members and they were GORGEOUS! Just WOW!!! How can anyone resist something as striking ? So I decided to ignore the cover and just see the beauty that these illustrations are in all their glory and not be satisfied with just the examples I saw. And get to know the stories behind them too. Hence here I am.
Lips touch: three times by Taylor is a collection of 3 short stories and the. consequences of a kiss in each of these that for better or worse changes the course of the lives of their protagonists. Without going into much detail I would just like to say – I wish the book had a better title and cover and perhaps a different first story as well.
Contrary to most reviews here I wasn’t much impressed with Kizzy’ tale – the first one in the book called ‘Goblin Fruit’. It simply dint work for me. The whole point of Kizzy gushing about Jack Husk and his beauty reminded me so much of Bella it induced a headache. The characters were so one-dimensional I dint find myself feeling anything other than relief at the end of this first tale.
The second story called ‘Spicy Little Curses’ is about Ana. A cursed British girl raised in colonial India. It was OK too but it dint give me the chills or raise goose bumps in any way as the third one did. Somehow Ana and James dint have any profound impression on me whatsoever as well. Nor did the fact that certain elements of Hindu mythology were twisted poorly here, though Taylor does make a note at the end she doesn’t have much idea about the culture or its beliefs. But that doesn’t cut it really. In that sense the story is a letdown too. It neither moves nor touches you.
The last tale of the book ‘Hatchling’ gets my vote for sure. And that’s not just because it has a happy ending. Nope. It’s truly the most creepy and in its own way the darkest of the lot. Also the longest of the three. Based on Zoroastrian mythology ( I’ve no idea of its accuracy or anything really, haven’t read up anything similar) with creatures called ‘Druj’. The body-snatching part is really disturbing to me, there is something about this one that can send a shiver up your spine. And yet its the one you wanna read about the most.
Taylor has a way with words. There is something about her prose that is so captivating it draws you in, but alas like her last two books this one too left a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. Taylor dint flesh out her characters a bit more, let the plot thicken a bit in the first two tales. If she had I would have rated this book a complete 5 stars. Sadly it’s not the case. Hence my rating for the book is solely based on the last tale that was spooky in all its glory and of course for the brilliant illustrations by Taylor’ husband – Jim Di Bartolo, who is a genius.