Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Lips Touch: Three Times

Lips Touch: Three Times - Also appears on The Screaming Nitpicker.Lips Touch: Three Times is made up of three short stories. In the first, Kizzy comes from an odd family that believes in all sorts of strange things and she desperately wants to be more than just the plain girl from the strange family. Her want is so strong that it attracts evil to her and it just might be the death of her. In the second, Anamique was cursed with a beautiful voice at birth, but anyone that hears it will die. After finding love with a soldier who knows the real her and that believes her corse is a load of bull, she debates whether or not to take the risk and see if her voice can kill. In the third, Esme and her mother are forced to go on the run when the beings they've been on the run from for much of their lives catch up to them. But is that all there is to it?This is of little importance and you can skip this whole paragraph if you want to, but I've looking for a copy of this book everywhere for months now. The local big bookstore never had one and I was about to give up and order it online. (Don't ask me why I didn't do that in the first place because I have no clue.) Then I went to a used bookstore with my best friend and finally found a copy. The way I screamed "Jackpot!" and basically spazzed about it was truly a sight. The effort and stressing was worth it. Taylor's stories are amazing.Di Bartolo's illustrations are beautiful, muted in their coloring except for shades of one specific color. They're unclear at first, but readers will understand them and what's going on in them once they've finished the related story. Maybe it would be better to show you some of these illustrations instead of trying to tell you about them:(Sorry for the blur, but my camera and I don't get along.)Each of the stories, as different as they are from one another in subject, all have in common how the explore strong want or desire. Kizzy desperate desire to be extraordinary and more than the average girl from the freaky family (and she is the character I related most to; it's funny how I can relate more to Kizzy in fifty pages that I can to heroines in books upward of three-hundred pages), Anamique's wish to speak to her loved ones and tempt her curse, and... I can't even begin to approach the third story and talk about that. It's complicated.The writing is beautiful in almost every way it's possible to be. The closest comparison I can make is to a fairy tale, though these stories are a bit more twisted than most fairy tales. I could flip the book open to a random page and find a poetic turn of phrase. Actually, let's do that so you can see what I mean:"Drinking in his first close sight of her, James already knew her better than any of those others did. He knew from her diary that if she was biting her lip, it meant she was having one of her bad days."He had imagined himself, fancifully, to be half in love with the writer of the mysterious diary, but now, seeing her, that vague fancy was swept away by the exhilaration of actually falling in love with her, not by halves, but fully and profoundly. His heartbeat pulsed in his hands with the desire to reach out and touch her ( "Spicy Little Curses Such as These," Lips Touch: Three Times p. 89)."The stories fly by quickly and before I knew it, the book was over. I won't be forgetting them anytime soon because there was something about all three that made them memorable: "Goblin Fruit" has Kizzy as a character that I greatly connected to, "Spicy Little Curses Such as These" had its mythology and Anamique's strength, and "Hatchling" had its nightmare fuel factor. Not kidding. "Hatchling" was terrifying for so many reasons, especially the Druj and what Mab was forced to go through. You know those stories that are the kind of scary that make you want to wrap up in your childhood/favorite blanket because you hope it will make it less scary? That's what it was for me.Taylor has a young adult novel called Daughter of Smoke and Bone coming out September 27 and all the pre-publication reviews I've seen for it so far from those who received ARCs (jealousy levels: off the charts) say it's absolutely fantastic (and ARC excerpts promise the same beautiful writing). Lips Touch only made me want the book more because it shows me she has true talent as an author. I beg you to give this book a try.