Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor (with illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo)

Synopsis:

A girl who's always lived in the shadows finds herself pursued by the unbelievably attractive new boy at school, who may or may not be the death of her. Another girl grows up mute because of a curse placed on her by a vindictive spirit, and later must decide whether to utter her first words to the boy she loves and risk killing everyone who hears her if the curse is real. And a third girl discovers that the real reason for her transient life with her mother has to do with belonging--literally belonging--to another world entirely, full of dreaded creatures who can transform into animals, and whose queen keeps little girls as personal pets until they grow to childbearing age.

Rating:

Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 8/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 10/10
Setting: 7/10
Recommendation: 8/10
Total Score: 60/70

Grade: A (but very, veerrrryyy close to an A+!)

Age Appropriate? (Rated R)

Cussing: Part One: Quite a bit in parts, but not consistent throughout and not very bad words. Parts Two and Three: None.
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: Part One: Teen smoking. Parts Two and Three: None.
Sexual Content: Part One: Some crude narration. Part Two: One kinda-sorta scene, but it wasn't at all explicit. Part Three: BEWARE - some very disturbing things in this area - forced child "breeding" and then your average discussion/speculation/etc
Disturbing Content: Part One: a few bloody or gory images. Part Two: War-time images, but not too bad. Part Three: child pregnancy and abuse and some other unexplainable things...but watch out in this story.

Review:

What a ride! Lips Touch Three Times is a collection of three topsy-turvy tales that will leave your head spinning! Laini Taylor deserves a round of applause for this strange book, with such imagination and smooth writing. With three seemingly unrelated stories (are they unrelated...? Hmmm) she weaves a bizarrely touching novel that will at once delight, horrify, and confuse you, but will be impossible to put down!

As each story is punctuated by beautiful, mysterious drawings that tell a story of their own, it is hard not to be intrigued from the very start. The medley of superstitions, historical fact, religious belief, and ancient language present throughout the novel add an element of mystique, of curiousity. The variation in characters and the plots of the individual stories was fascinating--you will never ceased to be surprised!

Now, Part One: This one was probably my least favorite of the three. Set in modern times, the main character is an annoying girl with a miserable life. However, the build-up to the end, and the twist, is wonderfully executed.

Part Two: I think this one was my favorite. Set in the World War II era, Ana was my favorite of the heroines. Her plight was just fascinating, and the added ingredients of India and an Indian Hell that was unlike anything I'd ever heard of--well, it made for a fantastic story. The most awe-inspiring part of this particular tale, though, was the intense detail involved in characterizing Ana. How easy can it be to create a character who is silent all her life because of the deadly power of her beautiful voice? What motivates such a character? Well, today, I found out. Taylor captured her perfectly, and it was so believable as to be almost scary.

Part Three: Wow. An intense concluding story. This one is much more mature than the others, and it has a darker, more serious feel to it. We come to know a greater variety of the characters on a much deeper level here than we did in any of the other parts. One of the main differences here is that the story hardly forcuses on the heroine at all--it's mostly about everyone involved, from the girl to her mother to the Queen and Mihai. It's a love story on so many levels, but it's also a strange fairy-tale that is so far from being fairy-tale-ish that it's almost wrong to call it that. The story line is definitely its strong point, and believe me, it was spellbinding. Wow. Shiver, shiver, shiver!!!

Overall, it was quite an incredible journey. The themes and thin threads that brought the three stories together in a beautiful, complimentary way were certainly an integral part of it. Each story is so distant from the others, so unique, yet they fit comfortably together between in the pages of the same book. If you're looking for some classic romance here--look again. If you want some not-too-pretty trippiness with a strange mixture of elements, well then, this is your book!

3 comments:

  1. Great review! I've had this book in my wishlist for so long that I didn't even realize it was out already. :(

    Thanks for reviewing. I can't wait to read it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. While I'm not sure it's my thing I thank you for your review. Best one I've seen of this book. You always rock. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. You have an award! Come get!

    http://litbites.blogspot.com/2009/10/awards-catch-up.html

    ReplyDelete

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