If you liked Disney, but feel a little old for it these days (except when you don't—don't worry, your secret's safe with us), then get excited. Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor—the author of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series—is like Disney fairy tales all grown up. We're talking soul-sucking first kisses, accidentally killing more than sixty people on your birthday, and discovering you've been playing hostess to a demon queen for your entire life. Yikes.
Perhaps even cooler, though, is that this book is actually three short stories, each about a teenage girl on the cusp of coming into her own. So as much as they're full of intrigue and dark magic, there's also a whole lot of untapped desire in these pages. And it gets messy fast.
Published in 2009, the stories of burgeoning desire, risk-taking, and plain old adolescent angst that comprise Lips Touch: Three Times are accompanied by vivid illustrations done by Taylor's husband, Jim Di Bartolo. Rendered in shades of black, white, and red, the moody drawings capture the dark and luscious world of these three stories. But just because there are pictures, don't get confused: This is decidedly not a children's book.
Are you intrigued? Ready to suspend reality and dive into three twisted magical worlds? Yeah, we thought so. Now pick up Lips Touch: Three Times and start reading.
Ever spent time with a Druj? How about hopped down to Hell for a little visit? Is smooching goblins your thing?
Okay, so we're guessing (let's just go ahead and make that hoping) the answer to each of those questions is no. We're also guessing you might not even know what the heck a Druj is. But now try to answer these questions:
If you didn't say yes to at least one of those questions, um, you might want to check your pulse. You know, to make sure you're really alive. Because those things—family weirdness and social longing and all that jazz—are classic coming of age problems. No one escapes these suckers. And underneath the fantastical elements of Lips Touch: Three Times, this is the stuff our three leading ladies are really struggling with.
So fasten your seatbelts, Shmoopers, because it's going to be a bumpy ride. It's just how it goes with growing up, no matter how much magic surrounds you.
A Personal Touch
You can learn all about Lips Touch: Three Times author Laini Taylor's new books and tidbits from her personal life by visiting her blog.
The Visual Side
Can't get enough of the cool illustrations in Lips Touch: Three Times? Well just check out Jim Di Bartolo's website for more.
Take a #Shelfie
Add to your Instagram photos of your impressive bookshelf by picking up your very own copy of Lips Touch: Three Times.
Finding Light in Darkness
Taylor totally knows that her writing can be a bit dark for younger audiences, but she says that she actively tries "to find beauty and fascination, even in the midst of the darkness."
Want to hear a bit of Lips Touch: Three Times before you commit to the book? Watch Taylor read an excerpt from the story "Goblin Fruit."
Meet and Greet
Get to know author Taylor in this candid interview in which you'll hear about how she used to sell her paintings underneath a bridge like a troll in one of her stories.
If you'd rather listen to dark fairy tales than read them, you can spend around eight hours immersed in the world of Lips Touch: Three Times.
Ice and Fire
The cover of Lips Touch: Three Times certainly hints at the otherworldly nature of the stories within.
Beware the Goblins
One of the lovely illustrations in Lips Touch: Three Times shows exactly what happens to a young lady when the goblins get to her. It isn't pretty.
The goblins are really bringing their fruit game in this illustration. Human girls better stay far away while they hawk their fares.
Behind the Magic
Taylor has the kind of bright neon hair that makes her look like one of the magical creatures she's always writing about.