Pages: 272, hardcover
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Date Released: October 1st, 2009
Genre: YA / fantasy / romance / anthology
A girl who’s always been in the shadows finds herself pursued by the unbelievably attractive new boy at school, who may or may not be the death of her. Another girl grows up mute because of a curse placed on her by a vindictive spirit, and later must decide whether to utter her first words to the boy she loves and risk killing everyone who hears her if the curse is real. And a third girl discovers that the real reason for her transient life with her mother has to do with belonging — literally belonging — to another world entirely, full of dreaded creatures who can transform into animals, and whose queen keeps little girls as personal pets until they grow to childbearing age.Buy it From: Book Depository / Amazon
From a writer of unparalleled imagination and emotional insight, three stories about the deliciousness of wanting and waiting for that moment when lips touch.
(Taken from Goodreads)
It's really hard to properly say how I feel about this book without saying something like "OMG THIS IS THE BEST BOOK EVER" or something along those lines. It would make for a very short, very awkward review.
I'd been hearing excellent things about this book and Laini Taylor's writing, so I had very high expectations. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.
Right off the bat, we are shown such beautiful images, which were done by Taylor's husband, Jim Di Bartolo. They don't really add anything to the story themselves, instead, they bring to life their own stories, like a prequel. As they say, a picture's worth a thousand words.
The writing is beautiful. It's the kind of writing that made me sigh and reread the last several pages. Laini Taylor has a way with words. She is extremely talented. There's no way to accurately describe how wonderful her words are, but I'll try. It feels as if she'd spent hours picking at each sentence, making sure that it could make a person weep, making sure that it packed punch, making sure that it flowed with magic. Each sentence is a work of art, something to be savoured.
Now, onto the stories themselves. As the title suggests, these stories are about kisses. First kisses to be exact, though not all of them are romantic. Each was better than the one before it. It started off small, with the first story being a stretched retelling of The Goblin Market. It was not a romance story. In fact, it was the complete opposite. It showed the perils of the drug that is first love. But even when you read it, knowing that the main character--Kizzy-- is being stupid, the words used, the magical, lyrical feel of them, it still grabs at your chest, making you feel as breathless and as in love as Kizzy. It doesn't matter if something bad will happen, you think that it's worth it, all for that one kiss.
The second story is a frightfully exotic and delicious tale set in a sort of Hell and India. Usually, tales set in India--or any other foreign place, for that matter--the setting is something of a novelty. As if the author is proclaiming, "Hey! Look at me! I'm writing a story in a place that isn't America/England! I'm unique!" and most of the time, they seem to get details frightfully wrong. But that wasn't the case here. Here, I could feel the hot, humid air of India, smell the lush flowers that littered the gardens, and taste the sweet juice of exotic fruits, feeling the sticky liquid run down my chin. It was so detailed, I might as well have been there. The story itself was stellar, with numerous breathless moments, and a plot that is gripping and enchanting.
Finally, there's the third story, that is something out of this world. I don't know where Taylor got her ideas from, but whatever the secret is, I want it! The final story is based on Zoroastrian folklore, and just touches on so much. The shock factor is high, the twists are as bendy as the roads in Ice Road Truckers.
This book is magic. All I can say is go read it now. Your life depends on it.
By the way, this book earns a place on the favourites shelf, so you know it's a big deal.
Cover & Art: 5
Level of Interest: 5
Total Rating: 5/5 stars