Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lips Touch: Three Times, by Laini Taylor

Lips Touch: Three Times, by Laini Taylor, illustrated by Jim di Bartolo. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009. ISBN-10: 0545055857; ISBN-13: 978-0545055857. 272p.

Plot Summary

A collection of three short stories about kissing, with elements of the supernatural playing a role. In "Goblin Fruit," goblins crave the souls of young girls who dream endlessly of being pretty and of waking up as someone else. Kizzy, from an active gypsy family, wishes her family could just be normal; the goblin's want her soul more than anyone's. Was the handsome new boy in school sent by them? In "Spicy Little Curses Such as These," a child is cursed that her voice will kill anyone who hears it. She has been silent since the curse was placed. Now that she is in love, can she continue to hold her tongue? In "Hatchling," another girls discovers that she and her mother lead a transient life because she belongs to another world entirely. What will happen when she goes back?

Critical Evaluation 

Laini Taylor's tales are evocative of the hidden magics and terrible curses of the fairy tales of the Grimm Brothers. Her stories effectively draw the reader in, and, though the stories are short, she is able to create finely-drawn characters with believable motivations and histories. This book was a Cybil nominee in 2009, and the award was richly deserved. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award and a YALSA Top Ten Book for Young Adults pick. I loved this book.

Reader’s Annotation

This collection of stories about first kisses blends fairy tales and supernatural themes with real characters--a girl living in the shadows, who is suddenly being pursued by the handsome new boy. A girl who can't speak, being loved for who she is anyway. And a girl who learns her mom hasn't been entirely honest with her. 

Author Information 

Laini Taylor graduated from U.C. Berkeley and also attended the California College of Art. She has written three young adult novels that have earned starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Publisher's Weekly. She spends her time making stuff (including products for her gift and stationary collection) and making stuff up (stories). She lives with her husband, artist Jim di Bartolo, in Portland, Oregon. She blogs regularly at


Curriculum Ties 

English: Fairy Tale Tropes

Booktalking Ideas

-the magic of first kisses
-read passage from "Goblin Fruit" describing how Kizzy feels when she's with the new boy 

Reading Level/Interest Age

Grades 9-12

Challenge Issues 



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