Title: Lips Touch: Three Times
Author: Laini Taylor (illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo)
Release Date: October 1, 2009
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic imprint)
Darkly and sweetly magical, Laini Taylor has given us three eye-opening tales of the hopes and dreams and dangers of kissing, because what could be so wrong about kissing? It's kissing. We love watching it in movies and we flip straight to it in books, waiting for the one single perfect romantic moment where everything seems to click for an instant.
Twelve hours after finishing it, I was still thinking in terms of pinks and reds and gorgeous illustrations and lots of romance and kissing.
The worlds Laini Taylor creates in the three short stories are nothing short of lush and magical. Her writing style appears effortless, weaving around your mind, creeping in, soaking into your soul until you wish you were Kizzy, or Anamique, or Esmé.
For me, especially Esmé. My favourite of the three stories was "Hatchling." It wasn't just the kissing this time around, it was more of the questions on the soul, on what makes a soul. On the magic of life. On fear and fire. On the past and the future. On the human spirit.
And again, because it has to be said and because they mean as much as Laini's stories, I love the illustrations. So beautiful. As I read I would always go back to look at them. You're a genius, Jim Di Bartolo.
I'm not sure what else I can add without spoiling all the fun. Perhaps that these might not be your mother's fairy tales. A little creepy, a little different, but still packed with magic and myth and creatures from legends lost.
If you're looking to get completely swept away by magic and compelling characters and kissing (always with the kissing), throw yourself head first into Lips Touch. I'm not surprised at the National Book Award nomination. Not at all. ;)