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Monday, January 17, 2011

"Lips Touch Three Times"

Felt absolutely transported by this trio of stories.  The book had gotten strong reviews on goodreads, and I read it on the basis of that (and the fact that it was on the shelf at the library), but it exceeded even my raised expectations.  The stories are just so beautiful; I can't remember the last time I read something that's so beautifully written. I definitely have to read her other books.

I liked each story better than the last one. Only the first story was sort of what I expected, in that it's actually a story *about* a kiss. In the other two, a kiss has a very important role, but the stories are about much more. 
The second story is about a young English woman in India who is cursed by a demon, but the story is also about an older woman who must deliver the curse because she's the human ambassador to Hell.  (You can see how inventive the story is! In the author's note at the end, she says that she borrowed from all sorts of folktales and mythologies.)  Her description of two young people falling in love is just lovely. And the themes of sacrifice and resourcefulness are wonderfully presented.
The third story is even more compelling, about several characters - a woman who grows up as the pet of a demon, and her daughter who holds a bitter secret unknown to either of them, and about a demon who is trying to reconnect with his human soul.  It's a gorgeous and fascinating story, one I stayed up way too late finishing.
(As a side note, I must say that the "demons" in this final story put me very much in mind of the vampires in Twilight - they are immortal, they have no souls, and they are cold to the touch.  They don't drink blood, of course; in fact, they eat nothing at all.  I'm sure the overlap is completely coincidental, and I'm certainly not trying to demean Laini Taylor by the comparison.  I just couldn't help noticing the similarities, which no doubt have more to do with the similarities in mythology in general, as opposed to LT borrowing from the earlier book [Twilight predates this book by more than a year].)
A wonderful book and a wonderful reading experience.  See, it's not too much to ask to be transported by a book!



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