Sparrow's Reviews > Lips Touch: Three Times

Lips Touch by Laini Taylor
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May 23, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: girls-rule, classic-young-adult, romantic, young-adult, reviewed, pacific-northwest-glory, chosen-girls, monsters
Recommended to Sparrow by: Thomas Tomato
Recommended for: Linda
Read from July 24 to 27, 2011

When you want to take a story that someone else has told and make it your own, do it like this. If you want to write a story, recognize your own magic, your own style, and add it to the story you want to steal. If you want to write a story, do what Laini Taylor did, and absorb the story, wait until it has seeped into the interstitial places of your writing, and give it back to your reader. Make it beautiful and true. And the only way you can do that is by figuring out what to you is beauty and truth. So many writers try to figure out what made something beautiful to someone else. They try to say, what made the Trojan war beautiful to Homer? What made Harry Potter beautiful to J.K. Rowling? And they try to imitate that. They don’t say, "What makes this story beautiful to me?" Well, Laini Taylor told us what makes these stories beautiful to her.

So, I’m a little expansive tonight. I’m a little drunk. I’m not usually one of those drunks who goes around telling everyone she loves them. In fact, I’ve been told I can recite a pretty good story while drunk, even if I don’t remember it a few months later. I usually don’t remember who I told stories to anyway, drunk or not drunk, no offense. Anyway, I just want to give this book a hug and tell it I love it. I love you, book. Like, in the full, Wayne’s World sense of the word. I love you, book. Damn, every time I write “book,” I spell it “bood.” Sorry.

I love this book in a drunk, college-high-school kind of way. I love this book like, “Wait a second, what have we all be doing, standing around fighting over whether vampires are sparkly or not?” So, it turns out there are people out there writing real love stories and fairy tales. There are people reading great writing like Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, getting inspired by them, and then writing these wonderful tributes to them.

I think, when anyone writes anything great, their ultimate hope has to be in some kind of legacy. They have to hope that their great writing will inspire something beautiful in the future, some kind of strength and inspiration. I think it is a tribute to the traditions that Rossetti, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism created that Taylor could create something as beautiful as this book. And then, hopefully her writings will inspire someone else, and the stories of goblins, hell, and eternal life will continue. It is like how Shakespeare reminded us that 13-year-olds falling in love doesn’t always end for the best. And, look, that story has continued in tradition because of him. Hopefully we will all, likewise, remember not to eat goblin fruit because of Taylor, not to doubt our own curses or our own mortality.

I had intended to talk about how some authors are natural with language, and how some authors know how to integrate a magical, traditional feeling with really modern writing. I don’t really feel like talking about that now that I am writing this. Maybe I will have more to say about that in the morning. Anyway, it’s not like Taylor tried to add a bunch of ‘ye’s to her writing, or like she tried to end everything with “e” like, unfortunately, some authors do, to give a sense of ye olde timmes. Taylor shows everything beautifully, and in doing so she shows how “modern times” are not removed from tradition and magick(e).

I like how this book is not about kisses, is not about love. When I first picked it up I thought it would be an emo version of Gossip Girl, but it is not that. It is about evil kisses, lips shutting in silence, and kisses that are sense memory. I like how this book is about loyalty and strength. I like how it is about curses. This book is beautiful, and in true, drunken or non-drunken spirit, I love it.
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04/26/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-23)




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Sparrow true true!


Kat Kennedy That tomato rocks my world.


Tatiana Excellent review, Meredith. I've read Laini's blog a little and it is amazing how much her writing is an extension of her personality. You are the first reviewer here who articulated it so well.


Sparrow Thanks, Tatiana! I think that's so important in probably all writing. It's like with clothes - you can't design clothes for other people without first knowing the kind of clothes you like to wear. Or, that's what I think from watching Project Runway. ;)


Kelly I think you've hit the nail on the head with this:

"So many writers try to figure out what made something beautiful to someone else. They try to say, what made the Trojan war beautiful to Homer? What made Harry Potter beautiful to J.K. Rawling? And they try to imitate that. They don’t say, "What makes this story beautiful to me?" Well, Laini Taylor told us what makes these stories beautiful to her."

It's why one writer can write a beautiful quest fantasy and another author is writing a bad Tolkien rip-off, even if the essential plotlines are similar, and so on.


Sparrow Thanks, Kelly! Exactly.


message 17: by Simcsa (new)

Simcsa This review is amazing! I hope the book will live up to my expectations.


Sparrow Thank you! I hope so too! High expectations are trouble.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Awww, and a DBR! I love you, Meredith.


Sparrow "Thank you"
- Garth

But, no, for reals, I love you, too!


message 13: by willaful (new)

willaful Fasincating review. You made me think of a song by Richard Shindell, about which he wrote: ""When I finished, I went on a two-week Beatles listening binge, during which it occurred to me that I wanted to write an update to 'She's Leaving Home.'" The resulting song, "Bye Bye," is less of a sequel and more of a meditation on the act of songwriting and a song's ability to connect with people over time. "Once I got into it," Shindell continues, "I came to the conclusion that providing that story with a resounding conclusion would be false and graceless.""


message 12: by Sparrow (last edited Jul 31, 2011 11:30AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sparrow Yes! So pretty. (I mean, I don't know the song, but the description of the process is pretty.)


Sparrow Thanks, Jillian!


Sparrow I think you'll really like it, Abigail! It's super cool and has a real, modern-fairy-tale vibe that I'd be interested to hear your take on.


Sparrow I know! Regular life, why do you take so much time?!


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Amazing review Meredith! It gave me shivers...


Sparrow Thanks Leanne! Have you read it yet? It's so amazing.


Sparrow I fixed it! I don't know if that's allowed with drunk reviews, but I fixed it just for you.


message 5: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 09, 2011 03:24PM) (new)

I checked the by-laws, and it's allowed in cases where you misspell a name but it doesn't have a comic effect. If, however, you had misspelled my name as Cterdjiwen, then you couldn't change it.


Sparrow hahaha. It's okay. I am a terrible speller, though! I hope I don't get an F for this one like I did for the Help review.


Sparrow Ceridwen wrote: "I checked the by-laws, and it's allowed in cases where you misspell a name but it doesn't have a comic effect. If, however, you had misspelled my name as Cterdjiwen, then you couldn't change it."

Yes, that must stay like that forever. Best. Spelling. Ever.


message 2: by Gea (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gea Sparrow, this is a wonderful review. Thank you.


Sparrow Thank you!


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