In Laini Taylor’s world the kiss is the most dangerous weapon. The kiss will betray you and the kiss will kill you. The kiss will take you to places you don’t want to go.
Taylor’s latest book Lips Touch Three Times is the story of three unusual teenage girls trying to make their way in the “real world”. The book is divided into three stories with illustrations by Taylor’s husband Jim Di Bartolo serving as a prelude for each one.
In Goblin Fruit we meet Kizzy. Kizzy comes from a family that keeps anvils in the yard and buries Grandma in the backyard with a knife and a swan wing. They prefer sitting in the yard singing songs from the Old Country to watching TV. People go out of their way not to pass by the house. Kizzy attends St Pock Mark’s Finishing School for Cannibals (as she calls it) and yearns to be popular and fit in with the girls with boyfriends and “normal” families. Life changes when she meets a new boy at school who looks like he walked out of a Renaissance painting and makes Kizzy swoon. She ignores all the warnings from her Old Country upbringing and has a dangerous picnic in the cemetery with this boy.
Spicy Little Curses takes the reader to India and the story unfolds first in Hell where we meet Estella. She is bargaining with the devil to save the lives of twenty-two children. In exchange she agrees to curse an English girl named Anamique with a beautiful voice she’s unable to use for fear of causing anyone who hears her to die. Ana grows up aware of the curse and pours her heart out into a diary which she leaves on a train. The diary is found wedged between the seats by a soldier named James who falls in love with her. The story twists and turns as the two fall in love and contemplate fate and the true nature of Ana’s curse.
Hatchling is the story of Eseme’ who wakes up one day with one blue eye and one brown eye. Eseme’ and her mother Mab live a transient life and are constantly on the run from wolves. The story takes the reader to other worlds where a queen keeps girls as pets until they are of child bearing age.
Laini Taylor writes about the worlds in which we all dream. Magical worlds of goblins, wolves and evil queens. We are taken to places where true love prevails and destroys. Lips Touch Three Times is a book for teens and adults who are too smart for the ‘Twilight’ series but want to lose themselves in forbidden romances and the magical world.
I have enjoyed Laini’s work since my husband and I bought our first print from her at the Portland Saturday Market. This book did not disappoint.
Information on Jim Di Bartolo can be found at jimdibartolo.com