(Hardcover, Scholastic, October 2009)
"Kissing can ruin lives. Lips touch, sometimes teeth clash. New hunger is born with a throb and caution falls away."
Lips Touch offers a trio of fairy-tale-esque stories, centered around the power of a kiss. In "Goblin Fruit," beautifully different Kizzy is tempted by a boy who is not all he seems and whose kiss could mean her ruin. Anamique's voice can kill humans or sway devils in "Spicy Little Curses Such as These." In "Hatchling," Esme's eyes change colors and, all of sudden, she has memories of kissing a fanged hunter.
Reading Lips Touch is like slipping into a dark fantasy, one where the lines between truth and fiction blur and magic taints every breath. Whereas Laini's first novel Blackbringer was for a middle grade audience, this collection is geared towards a teen audience. Temptation, lust, and love seep into each story, and it's easy to imagine yourself as one of the main characters...ordinary girls who are faced with extraordinary circumstances. Each of the three stories are short enough to read in one sitting; although, I would recommend rereading each one because of all the rich details. It's very hard to pick a favorite story of the three. Currently, I'm leaning towards "Spicy Little Curses Such As These" because the mythology of India fascinates me. All three stories could easily be spun into their own novels but I enjoyed the short story form used. It leaves the endings (and even some beginnings) open to the imagination which makes the stories all the more interesting.
p.s. The book that I read is an ARC and doesn't have the final artwork on the inside pages. However, Jim Di Bartolo's sketch art looks amazing and I can't wait to see it in its final color form!
p.s.s. Laini is expecting a baby girl any day now! Go visit her blog to see all her cute baby clothes and toys, and make sure to say hi while you're there!