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Lizreader's Blog

Also known as Liz on GR. I am here, but really just planting the seed. I am a student who likes all kinds of books, and I'll be honest about what I think about them.

Currently reading

The Mists of Avalon
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Lips Touch: Three Times - Jim Di Bartolo, Laini Taylor First off all, I'll admit I can see why Laini Taylor gets a lot of hoopla and that this is going to be a long review.Now, my first encounter with Ms. Taylor's work was Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which to be perfectly honest did not live up to the hype. The writing could be off at times, a little too purple prosy, and her metaphors sometimes didn't make a wink of sense. Her plotting was off, and the characterization rather poor. However, this book Lips Touch Three Times is completely different.Also, it was kind of hard to give this a star rating because the stories differed in quality. Overall, it's a four but I'll give the stories each an individual rating. However, her writing is gorgeous and in some places just absolutely breathtaking. Where to begin?This isn't technically a full fledged novel but a collection of three short stories that only intertwine because of...a kiss. Oh boy, right?WRONGThis collection of short stories isn't what one would expect at first glance. I'm going to break my review down into the three stories and what I thought about each one.Goblin FruitStar Rating: 3The collection starts off with solid story about a girl in modern times and how she runs into a new boy at school, who isn't what he seems to be. He's a goblin, and her grandmother has warned her about them. The story is about wanting. About wanting to be loved, kissed, cared for, and how those wants could ultimately lead to our demise in our own choices. What I liked? The character of Kizzy, and what she ultimately decided to do in the end. It might not have been right, but at least she was flawed. Her family was also intriguing as well since they came from the old country and their traditions were a bit peculiar. The mythology. If there is one thing I do like about Laini is her take on mythology and diving into different genres, which ultimately make this collection of short stories nothing short of amazing (in some aspects, but in others not so much).What I didn't like? Besides being too short for my own liking, nothing. Spicy Little Curses Such as TheseStar Rating: 2.5It's about an old Bitch, a demon, a young girl who is cursed and her love who she kills with her voice. What I liked:The Old Bitch was an interesting character as well as how she could make shadows disconnect from their owners. That's a bit creepy if you ask me. The mythology of hell and why the Old Bitch goes down into hell to save children is fairly interesting. What I didn't like:This story in the collection was the weakest in my mind. It suffered from a bad case of "insta-love." In the first story, you know that Kizzy wants to be wanted and that would lead her to cling to whoever at least shows a bit of interest in her. That makes sense, but a man who falls in love with a woman from just looking at her journal? Really? Doesn't work that way in my books. I also wanted the world building to be explained a bit more in depth. It wouldn't have taken a lot more time. I didn't feel as compelled with the characters, except the Old Bitch. She was interesting and my favorite character in the entire story. The setting in India didn't really flourish in my mind, which is surprising since the writing is rather prosaic. Still, the characterization felt rather shallow for me between the two love interests who do share a kiss.HatchlingStar Rating: 5 STARS!Esme wakes up one day to find that she has one brown eye and one blue, when the other day it was brown. This leads to some rather unexpected discoveries of her mother, her origins, and a strange young man with black hair and fang like teeth. What I liked:THIS IS THE BEST STORY I HAVE EVER READ BY LAINI TAYLOR! If she could write more stories just like this one then I will be completely on board with her and buy every book she ever writes if they are like this one. Oh Lord, where to begin? The characters are nicely sketched and flawed. I think because this story was longer than the other two there was time for more development. The mythology was breathtaking and the writing just seemed even more top notch than the other two stories. I would read this story over and over again. I also loved the themes in this story. They were the strongest themes of finding humanity, love, and what is in ourselves. Best of all, it's not forced on you at all! You can discern it for yourself. The ultimate "show, don't tell," which Laini does seem to have a good knack at. I liked her portrayal of magic and of the mythology surrounding the druj. It's fabulous and amazing. This is what I believe people see and her, and I honestly love it. AH! I'm jealous now. What I didn't like?This story doesn't have anything I dislike, but for scaring me for a moment! Overall ThoughtsI can see why people like Laini Taylor, but she's too uneven for me at times. Her last story was amazing, the first story good, and the second story was just okay for me. I know in short story collections the stories will vary in quality. It's just...I wish she wasn't so uneven with her storytelling capabilities. She's obliviously a talented writer when it comes to the craft. She does invoke a lot of sensory images that are compelling and fresh, which most writers should do. She has a good handle on integrating themes into her work for the most part. It's just her characterization is a bit spotty. Anyways, I can see why people are fangirling over Laini, but I definitely think Lips Touch Three Times is SO MUCH BETTER THAN DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE.Also, the illustrations are gorgeous with a capital G! They add another dimension to each story. What I also will say about this book in my concluding comments is that I like how Laini Taylor hearkens back to a more fairy-telling approach, but with not the outright "Once upon a time..." approach. She's a modern storyteller that I believe has the ability to be a female Neil Gaiman, but she's not there yet in my opinion. She could be though, she very well could be. Give me more stories like "Hatchling" and I'll be on board one hundred percent.Maybe I'll read her faerie books...and wait till she's done with Daughter of Smoke and Bone to return back to her. In the meantime, I'll just read Hatchling over and over again. *Sigh*