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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Lips Touch
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 15 December 2013
I found this book as little confusing and didn't realize until about half way through it was a collection of different stories as none of them seemed to conclude one way or another. However i am a great fan of Laini Taylor's work and can't wait for the conclusion to her smoke and bone tril ogy
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on 29 October 2017
Great story , arrived quickly good price and as usual boxed to keep condition good
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on 12 October 2017
Beautifully written, whitty, mystical, loved it
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on 11 April 2017
I've wanted to read Lips Touch by Laini Taylor for such a long time, but I didn't actually realise it was available in the UK as a collection; I thought each of the stories were only available individually as eBooks. So you can imagine my delight when looking for the eBooks, I discovered that we could get hold of the collection! And I'm so glad, because these stories are just incredible.

Each of these stories is either inspired by or a reimagining of something else, as Taylor tells us in her Author's Note. Goblin Fruit is inspired by Christina Rossetti's poem Goblin Market; Spicy Little Curses Such as These is set during the British Raj, and is a reimagining of Hindu beliefs regarding Heaven and Hell, and the story also mentions similarities between it and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice; and Hatchling takes inspiration from the Zoroastrian faith. It made these stories feel a little more special, knowing they didn't entirely come from Taylor's mind, that there was a tiny seed that sparked the ideas. The collection is called Lips Touch as kissing is the thread that ties these three stories together, how a kiss, in each of these stories, changes everything.

Each story is also accompanied by illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo, Taylor's husband. The illustrations are absolutely breathtaking. So incredibly beautiful! I wish they were in colour, but the lack of colour doesn't take away from just how gorgeous they are. Each story has a moment where history is revealed; in Goblin Fruit, Kizzy remembers her granfmother telling her about how she had to save her sister after eating goblin fruit; in Spicy Little Curses Such as These, we're hear how Estella became the ambassador to Hell; and in Hatchling, we hear about Mab's childhood at Tajbel. In each case, bar Hatchling, the history is very short - less than a page, maybe more than a paragraph. But it's these moments that are illustrated, the small histories of the characters that, in the first two stories, we don't get as much detail about, but the detail is given in the illustrations that prelude them. As I recognised in the story what the illustrations were showing, I would flip back and forth, from reading to looking at the illustrations, now I understood the story the illustrations were telling. They were such a wonderful addition to the collection!

I'm going to talk a little bit about each story individually.

Goblin Fruit:
This story follows Kizzy, a teenager from a strange family with strange beliefs and a different way of living. They, especially her grandmother, believe goblins exist, that they once tried to take her sister's soul, but her grandmother had to save her. Kizzy isn't sure she believes in any of this, it's just the eccentricities of her family. But the goblin's are real, and they have their sights set on Kizzy.

This is a pretty short story, heavily influenced by Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. This story, like others, makes Goblin Mark a myth or a history, something that's known and from which they base their own stories. In a way, it kind of reminds me of how Isaac Assimov wrote The Three Laws of Robotics in his stories, and other authors since have taken on those laws into their own stories with their own robots. Something fictional has become a foundation on which other stories build upon.

It was really interesting to see how this story brought goblins into the present day, and how they would lore in and tempt today's modern teenagers. It was fascinating, but also kind of scary. As a reader, you know what's happening, though Kizzy doesn't, and there's this creepy, sinister feeling that bubbles underneath the surface. For a short that doesn't have a huge amount happen in it, it was pretty atmospheric.

Spicy Little Curses Such as These:
This short story was just so good! A demon who makes a deal with the ambassador to Hell that she can save the souls of the children who died in an earthquake, but only if she takes a curse of his to the Political Agent's baby daughter, in which whenever she utters a single sound, those who hear it will die. This story completely captivated me. How do you get around such a curse? And I just loved the idea of someone who barters for the souls of innocents with a greedy demon who relishes in the pain of others. Such a great little story, and I loved the ending!

This was my favourite of them all. This is more a novella than a short story, and is full of such wonderful world building. As I said above, the illustrations accompanying the stories are of a history, but there are so many histories in this book; Mab's childhood, Mihai's past, what Mihai did with the Queen, the history of the Druj. There are so many layers to this story, so many! And it was all so fascinating! This is the story I wanted to be a full length novel; though the story concludes, the ending is kind of the beginning of something else, and I want that story, too! It was SO good! It felt a lot like Taylor's other stories, filling me with awe and wonder. But it's also a pretty dark story, too. It was just completely wonderful.

This story collection is a definite must have for all Taylor fans. If you haven't read it yet, make doing so a priority. You won't regret it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 6 December 2017
Three stories of treacherous monsters, all linked by a similar theme - a darkly, deceptive kiss.

Goblin Fruit: This was the shortest of the three stories, but for me was the most enjoyable. A young girl is selected by a Goblin in disguise to be his next victim; but she is well versed in the Goblin's true nature and might just figure out the trap in time. I absolutely love the decision she ultimately makes, and that alone was enough for the book to be excellent. A really chilling, addictive short story which I absolutely devoured.

Spicy Little Curses: A young girl in India is cursed to never speak, lest her voice murder all of those who hear her. A demon of the underworld and his ambassador to Hell are responsible but a handsome soldier does not believe in demons, and so tempts her to use her voice on him. I thought the world building for this story was incredible. Set in beautiful India, the flowery purple prose was just perfect for this story.

Hatchling: This is the longest of the three stories and perhaps the most complex. Evil Queen's are stealing eyes to use for spying, and Esme's eye has just turned from brown to blue - coincidence? I think not! So unfolds a complex story of past and present as we unfold what Esme's role in all of this is, and why a handsome shape shifter might be helping her.

Each of the stories has the classic dark and slightly chilling appeal of Taylor's writing style with unexpected twists and that creepy feeling of your grandma telling you one of her nasty superstitions during a dark night; you won't want to read these books alone in the dark!
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on 8 April 2012
Boy, is Laini Taylor's writing gorgeous. Each of the three short stories in Lips Touch: Three Times had something for me to like - either characters, romance or mythology - but what I loved was the beautiful prose throughout.

The first of the three stories, Goblin Fruit, is also the shortest. It has this wonderful opening where Taylor describes the loneliness and longing of the main character, Kizzy and the words quickly enveloped me into the story. It's a compliment to Taylor's storytelling that I wanted more.

The other two stories are longer and feel complete. It's tough to choose between them, but I think Spicy Little Curses Such as These is my favourite. It's set in India and is a twisted version of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale - a baby girl, Anamique, is cursed with a beautiful voice, that will kill anybody who hears it. Spicy Little Curses has a great cast of characters; with Anamique and her love interest, James (I loved their courtship by letter - so romantic!); the 'Old Bitch' and the demon, Vasudev; and even the god of Hell himself.

The final story is Hatchling and this is where Taylor surpasses herself with her world-building. Her depiction of the Druj - a vampire-like race who kidnap children and keep them as pets - is detailed, strange, atmospheric, terrifying. I was both spellbound and seriously creeped out, much like their child victims.

Lips Touch: Three Times is an absolute treat. You need to have this on your bookshelf.
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on 24 September 2017
I picked up this book as I read Strange the Dreamer at earlier this year by Laini Taylor and absolutely loved the style of writing. I also loved that before each story there are illustrations that show the story. Laini Taylor has a distinctive writing style and it keeps me hooked from the get go.

I really enjoyed this book especially the second and third story. Laini Taylor takes you back in the fantasy realm of goblins and demons. Her writing style is superb and it gets you hooked form the very beginning.

Story 1 Goblin Fruit : This is about the Goblins and how they steal the soul of young females. This story was my least favourite out of the three, I felt that it ended abruptly but it was enjoyable and has a moral to the story.

Story 2 Spicy Little Curses: This takes you to the world of a lady known as "the old bitch" she is an ambassador in Hell for those innocent souls. She deals with a demon and has to make deals on a daily basis for the souls of the innocent until she has to curse a young female. You watch how the curse manifests with an ending that I was happy with. I enjoyed this story.

Story 3 Hatchling: This story was my favourite out of all three. It had me hooked from the first chapter. You meet the Druj in this story and you learn about how they came about and how they can become human again.
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on 26 November 2017
"This is the story of the curse and the kiss, the demon and the girl. It's a love story with dancing and death in it, and singing and souls and shadows reeled out on kite strings."

An amazing collection of short stories. Usually I'm not such a fan of short stories, but this book had
-fairytale references
-mean spirited demons and stubborn old ladies
-picnics in graveyards
-and other magical cities

In order of preference for me it has to go

1.Spicy Little Curses
Set in Colonial India (at least i think it was colonial?) and it gave me slight Sleeping Beauty Vibes. Was I the only one?

2. Goblin Fruit
Kizzy was such a strongly developed character within the short span of the story and it was just so gloriously weird

I still loved it, just not quite as much as the others. The whole memory thing reminded me a lot of the author's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series but in a good way!

Reading another of Laini Taylor's books also makes me so excited for The Muse of Nightmares!!!!!!!! IF ONLY THE RELEASE DATE COULD BE SOONER. I'm just off to have a quiet sob
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on 16 July 2011
Beautiful words, beautiful stories, beautiful characters... you know, this is just one damn beautiful book. I am in awe of it. Can you fall in love with a book? If so, I'm guilty. I don't mean to sound condescending to young adult readers (I am one) but this book simply does not deserve the readership that thought Twilight was the best book ever written.

Everything about the marketing and presentation of this book does not convey how truly wonderful it is. Firstly, though the cover illustration is a stunning work of art, I think it tends to immediately appeal to younger readers and rule out an older audience. It's pretty... but it looks like a children's book. Same with the title... it's cute, very cute and it's quite a subtle representation of what the book is about... but again, it sounds like a cutesy Twilight-style romance. Another thing it has in common with the saga is the genre it is categorised in: paranormal romance.

But to say that Twilight and Lips Touch: Three Times are both paranormal romances is like saying tin and platinum are both metals. It's in an entirely different league. And I almost didn't read this because I saw reviews saying the first story was just like Twilight. No, no, no. The very main difference between the two is that Laini Taylor remembers the basic principle of quality writing.

Let's look at Bella Swan for a second... after four books what do we know about her?

1) She's that girl who's in love with a vampire
2) She's that girl who's in love with Edward Cullen
3) She's that girl... um, that's about it.

In one paragraph of that first story called 'Goblin Fruit', that according to some is "just like Twilight", this is Kizzy:

"Kizzy wanted to be a woman who would dive off the prow of a sailboat into the sea, who would fall back in a tangle of sheets, laughing, and who could dance a tango, lazily stroke a leopard with her bare foot, freeze an enemy's blood with her eyes, make promises she couldn't possibly keep, and then shift the world to keep them. She wanted to write memoirs and autograph them at a tiny bookshop in Rome, with a line of admirers snaking down a pink-lit alley. She wanted to make love on a balcony, ruin someone, trade in esoteric knowledge, watch strangers as coolly as a cat. She wanted to be inscrutable, have a drink named after her, a love song written for her, and a handsome adventurer's small airplane, champagne-christened Kizzy, which would vanish one day in a windstorm in Arabia so that she would have to mount a rescue operation involving camels, and wear an indigo veil against the stinging sand, just like the nomads. Kizzy wanted."

YES. In just one paragraph, Laini Taylor has created a far more complex character than Stephenie Meyer ever managed. And let me just say, this book is hard to quote from because the entire thing is a quotable masterpiece, you can find something beautiful in every single paragraph on every single page. I actually took longer than it would normally take me to finish a 250 page young adult novel, and not because it was hard work, but because I would read a few sentences, think "wow", and go back and read it again. And again. My only fault with it is that I finished the last story and wanted to cry because there wasn't any more.

Who is this Laini Taylor who seems to have appeared out of nowhere all of a sudden with her extraordinary writing and her pink hair? I don't know but I do know I'll be getting my hands on her future work if I have to sell my soul in exchange (yeah, that was a bit melodramatic but I haven't come out of fairyland yet). Read this, spread the word. 'tis fantastic!
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Though I have only read the first book of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, I've been a fan of Laini Taylor's writing from the very first chapter of that book. She seems to have this flare for creating a creepy but beautiful story, and with her Lips Touch short stories book, I must admit, to start off with I was a little unsure. I've known about it for a few years now and had it on my TBR on goodreads for a while but when I saw it on BookBridgr, I knew I had to at least try to request it.

This books is made up of 3 short stories, Goblin Fruit, Spicy Little Curses Such As These and Hatchling. All from a young girl's point of view but each completely different. Goblin Fruit fallows a girl with a strange family, someone who has been told to stay away from ever eating out of season fruit, but when a mysterious new boy turns up at her school she begins to struggle between what she's been told all her life and what she wants.

Spicy Little Curses Such As These is about a girl who was blessed as baby with an amazing singing voice, but cursed with the power to kill using said voice. She has been silent all her life, finding other ways to communicate, but when she is face with what could be true love she is desperate to utter some words, if only once. And then with have Hatchling, a story about a seemingly ordinary girl who's eye's change just before her 14th birthday and she soon learns that there are horrible things hidden behind eye sight.

Though I really liked all of the stories, I think for me my favourite had to be Spicy Little Curses Such As These. I absolutely loved the idea behind the story and I would kill for a full length book of this. It did however work perfectly as a short story, because everything flowed really well and if she can do that in such short amount of pages I can imagine my mind would be full on blown away with more.

If I had to sum each of the stories up with one work I think Goblin Fruit would be lust, Spicy Little Curses Such As These would be love and Hatchling would be dark. The reason for this would be because the first story I found to be a little bit too much instant love, don't get me wrong I know it was a short story and Laini wouldn't have had a lot of time to get the feelings across, but it all happened a little too quick. Spicy Little Curses was all set around love, in a romance sense and just a love of other human beings. And Hatchling, well that was the darkest of them all and it was brilliant.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading it, every story left you wanting more and I will admit that I would probably read anything she has wrote, I'm not a fan of short stories but even though I knew they would last more than 50-100 pages, I was so engrossed with what was going on that I was surprised it was finished.
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