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Lips Touch: Three Times

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  13,112 ratings  ·  2,208 reviews
Three tales of supernatural love, each pivoting on a kiss that is no mere kiss, but an action with profound consequences for the kissers' souls:

Goblin Fruit
In Victorian times, goblin men had only to offer young girls sumptuous fruits to tempt them to sell their souls. But what does it take to tempt today's savvy girls?

Spicy Little Curses
A demon and the ambassador to Hell
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Sigour It's about unusual human beings, tangled in the folk and myths Old Worlders grew up being told. There are short stories, beautifully written and fille…moreIt's about unusual human beings, tangled in the folk and myths Old Worlders grew up being told. There are short stories, beautifully written and filled very unique characters (the friends and the foes as well). This stories are worth more time than the amount of it that it would take you to read them.(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,112 ratings  ·  2,208 reviews

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Emily May
Mar 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who miss the days when authors wanted to be artists, not millionaires
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana

Beautiful words, beautiful stories, beautiful characters... you know, this is just one damn beautiful book. I am in awe of it. Can you fall in love with a book? If so, I'm guilty. I don't mean to sound condescending to young adult readers (I am one) but this book simply does not deserve the readership that thought Twilight was the best book ever written.

Everything about the marketing and presentation of this book does not convey how truly wonderful it is. Firstly, though the cover illustrat
Jan 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who love fairy tales and gorgeous writing
Recommended to Tatiana by: ALA's 10 Best for 2010
Update 4/23/2017. "Hatchling" might be the best work of Taylor's to date.

I am familiar with YA literature enough to know how horribly, horribly wrong a collection of short stories about kissing can go (see, for example, The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire and Kisses from Hell). Let me tell you, "Lips Touch" is not that kind of book. This book is simply magical.

Laini Taylor grabs your attention with the first lines:

There is a certain kind of girl the goblins crave. You could wa
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
i was not expecting to five-star this. i must confess - i hate the title and i hate the cover art (although i love the internal illustrations)

aren't those much better?? something about the color palette on the cover is upsetting, the covergirl looks vapid and whorish, and the title makes it seem like some teen heartthrob novel, which is it not. what it is is a sequence of three fairy tale-ish stories.

the first one is my favorite, and this one is a first-love story, so what? a frustrated girl fr
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Nectar and spice, goblins and demons, memories and sorcery abound in three tales of supernatural love that hinge on a kiss that’s unlike any other kiss.

Readers who’ve only just begun to explore and fall head-over-heels for Laini Taylor’s recently released books will be equally enchanted by Lips Touch Three Times. Taylor employs an imaginative approach to writing that’s uniquely her own and, despite being
This can also be seen at The Book Eater

I truly feel like anything I say couldn't do this book justice.
So, in my endeavor to describe my *cough* "feelings", I made a pie chart (I love pie charts).

This book was was amazing. Well-written. Gorgeous, gorgeous writing. Touching characters. I just... I loved it. Every story was better than the last. Enchanting, horrifying, beautiful and captivating. The way Taylor writes... Again, I don't know what to say. She pulls you into the universe she create
Kat Kennedy
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone with the capacity for beauty and romance, pain and loss.
To those of you who haven't read this book, what are you doing right now? If your answer is anything other than "Purchasing this book and getting ready to read it" then I'm afraid that you and I might just have to come to some kind of disagreement.

There is something enchantingly, alluringly fantastic about this book. From it's beautifully written stories to the amazing drawings and the characters within. This book is like a beautiful, wild romani woman with her ankle bracelets, bare feet and twi
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always

Laini Taylor is a master of crafting darkly gorgeous and deliciously unique tales with all sorts of unearthly creatures. Each story featured strong heroines with very different personalities, and the same goes for the men they touch lips with.

As usual, it was hard to get into her very flowery and descriptive writing, but nevertheless I enjoyed Lips Touch: Three Times as a whole.

Goblin Fruit: (4 stars)

Laini Taylor works magic with this story. I mean, who else can create such beautiful, ee
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Boy howdy! Where did this goddess of words with the pink hair come from? I am not usually a big fan of the short story, but I do declare, I will read anything this literary seductress writes, even her stroked out grocery list, so send them on down, and I will eat them up.

Why oh why, would I, with my meagre abilities, even try, to persuade you to read these stories, each of which involve a kiss, when Laini herself awards us a brief glimpse of what is to come.

Goblin Fruit (my favourite)

There is a
Meredith Holley
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Linda
Recommended to Meredith by: Thomas Tomato
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 t ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
This is a story collection that I have very mixed feelings on, so I'll be color-coding my thoughts. ♔ will be for praise, ♚ will be for criticism.


The writing is luscious and beautiful, with great atmosphere and tone. Maybe not quite as spectacular as her later writing, but she's definitely showing a great beginning here. And I love the addition of artwork!! I mean, just look at this.


♚ In general, this is a really great piece of 2000s YA. Unfortunately... it is also
Victoria Schwab
Laini Taylor has a gift.
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Hubby... just put the NFL network on, he'll forget I'm alive.
Kids.... they can fend for themselves.
laundry, soaking wet in the washing machine... I'll wash it twice, no one will ever know.
Dishes.... that is what paper plates are for.

I initially read around 35 pages and knew I had something special. I planned on finishing story #1 and that was it. Like a magic spell, I picked up the book and not only finished the other stories but did not move my ass at all from my little corner on the coach. My
Aug 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: lib-read
Three stories. Three girls. One thing in common: each lady has not been kissed. And their first taste of that special time when lips touch won't come without a price . . .

The wife and husband team of Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo sure do make for a sumptuous collection of stories. I'd be hard-pressed to choose which is more beautiful: Taylor's writing or Di Bartolo's illustrations.

Let me give you samples of each:

"With a deep, visceral ache, she wished her true form might prove to be a sleek an
Mar 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody!
Recommended to Vinaya by: Tatiana
I read the first story in Lips Touch about two months ago. It was... interesting. The writing was great, very picturesque, but the story per se didn't meet the expectations I had set for it after reading all the rave reviews on Goodreads. So I put the book aside for a while and finally picked it up yesterday when I was sitting in my new workplace with nothing else to do. I was Blown. Away.

Reading Lips Touch is like peeling an orange. At first, you break the skin, and you can feel the soft pulp u
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Look at this quote:

“Kizzy wanted to be a woman who would dive off the prow of a sailboat into the sea, who would fall back in a tangle of sheets, laughing, and who could dance a tango, lazily stroke a leopard with her bare foot, freeze an enemy's blood with her eyes, make promises she couldn't possibly keep, and then shift the world to keep them. She wanted to write memoirs and autograph them at a tiny bookshop in Rome, with a line of admirers snaking down a pink-lit alley. She wanted to make lo
Steph Sinclair

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I've been hearing lots of awesome things about Lips Touch: Three Times. And while it did not overly blow me away, it did not disappoint me either. There is something magical about the way Laini Taylor weaves her words into these three short stories. No doubt about that. Lips Touch: Three Times can best be described as a 3 course meal. Goblin Fruit can be likened to an appetizer: small and simple. It's not enough to calm your hunger, but enough to pique your interest for t
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
The term this book brings to mind is "wickedly delicious."

It is the literary embodiment of my body's reaction to this gif:


I originally put this off because I didn't feel like reading short stories that didn't have enough time to build a love for the characters or plot.

Oh how wrong I was. This was absolutely extraordinary. Laini Taylor is a mind-blowingly good writer with an insanely fantastic imagination. Each story (there are three as you may have guessed from the title) are vivid cr
Aug 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More of my reviews can be found at Flipping Through the Pages!

After picking up the little pieces of my brain and putting it back together after the masterpiece that was Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I thought I'd give my brain a little time to get working again before reading anything else by Laini Taylor. Lips Touch is wonderful. Just plain wonderful. It's a collection of three short stories that has kissing, magic, fantasy creatures and that beautiful, beautiful thing that is Laini Taylor's pros

Laini Taylor can string words together like pearls, her paragraphs glittering like diamonds on black velvet. She builds landscapes out of the ether and births characters of blood and solidity. When I read her I am a woman possessed -- consumed, enchanted and enthralled. I am a child, gripped by a child's wonder and insatiable hunger for stories. I am in love with this woman and her pink hair and beautiful, crazy mind (where I would live if it were only possible).

What kills me is that some of th
Lips Touch is a series of three short stories that centre around goblins, fairies and romance. My favourite of the three was the third tale, which is slightly longer than the rest. It follows Mab and daughter Esme, who are fleeing the pursuit of demons. What follows is a vividly retold tale about souls, rebirth and love. The world building for such a short piece was great and I actually craved more interaction between these wonderfully descriptive characters. I particularly liked the backstory f ...more
Sarah DiMento
Goblin Fruit-3.5/5 stars. I enjoyed it because of course it was beautifully written and magical, but nothing here felt special.

Spicy Little Curses Such As These- 5/5 stars. This story grabbed me from the beginning and had a fairy tale aura. Felt rather tragic.

Hatchling- 5/5 stars. This one could be a book of its own. Such an imaginative, dark, intriguing story.

For the record, I'm not a huge fan of short stories. But I'm thinking Laini Taylor can do no wrong.

Also, gorgeous artwork.

Basically, any
Oct 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: I don't want to live like this
Recommended to Mariel by: Jareth in his tights said it would be fun
I read the horoscope. It said that you would meet a tall and handsome stranger. Avoid all yellow fruits and scarves are for nooses to hang in an ever after. Lips should be colored artificially. Don't get red lips from kissing lots of the wrong boys and blue lips from the cold. It's l-o-v-e red. Maybelline makes it. She's born with it, of course. Don't look in the mirror. You might not be drop dead gorgeous and have to go on living. No invitations to the ballet in the mail this week... I'm a libr ...more
Mar 07, 2010 rated it did not like it
I only read the first of the 3 supernatural tales in this book--"Goblin Fruit." (And I apologize to those who enjoyed it!)

The mood is heavy with superstition, slaughter and blood and flesh and titillation. In case grandma's trusty knife isn't enough, the element of danger is further highlighted by several appearances of the word rape, unsubtly used, for example, when peacocks in the farmyard don't screech or caw--they scream "rape."

The story is driven by the theme of lust despite (or heightene
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing

"The wicked in this part of the world endured rueful decades of early death, and the Fire burned hot and bright and remade them all, and they were all in their turn born back into the world as carp and macaques and salamanders and mosquitoes with no recollection of their human lives or the Fire that followed, but only faint memories of music, like wisps of a dream, from their last glimmering moments in Hell."


Well, Laini Taylor is a goddess. And this book and Strange the Dreamer are proof.
Vanessa J.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a beautiful surprise. Everything was beautiful in it. Writing, characters, plot... everything. All three stories—Goblin Fruit, Spicy Little Curses Such As These and Hatchling—in this pretty book were wonderful. I'm in love with it.

The three stories involved a kiss—hence the title—that would mean something important (in a soul level) to the kisser.

The first one—Goblin Fruit—is the shortest of the three. It's about how Goblin men lure young girls. A long time ago, they did it by offe
Here’s a little synopsis of my thoughts as I listened to the first story:

…Remembering that fairy tales weren’t always about feisty princesses living happily ever after….

…Remembering that half of the time what they were about is “encouraging” teenage girls to keep it in their pants OR ELSE. Boo. On second thought, I want the princesses back.

…Hoping that this is heading in a different direction….

…Damn. If that’s all this is about then why am I reading it? Sure it’s gorgeous, but I could just be re
Lips Touch could have been close to 4 stars, but the last story was unfortunately a shape-shifter/ werewolf story, and my hate specifically for werewolfs made me dislike the story. I tried. But I'm incapable of erasing my deep distaste when it comes to people turning into scary dogs. I ended up skimming the last story when I failed to get into it. The other two stories were very captivating and the writing is wonderful.
I would definitely recommend Lips Touch.
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goblin Fruit

3/5 stars

Kizzy wanted it all so bad her soul leaned half out of her body hungering after it, and that was what drove the goblins wild, her soul hanging out there like an untucked shirt.

Kizzy is 16 years old, smart but unenthusiastic, dreaming of other people's better, normal lives, and wishing for other girls' beauty. Kizzy's fierce with wanting and it makes her the perfect target for goblins. She has been warned of the danger of hungry souls yearning for forbidden things but th
Laura Lulu
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful, beautiful book. It's a collection of 3 novellas, about girls mixing with goblins, demons, fae. The writing was just so lovely, Laini Taylor has such a (did I already say "beautiful"? Sorry. I need to get out my thesaurus--hold on...) such an exquisite way with words. It was just enchanting.

Here's the first page, just to give you a little idea:

There is a certain kind of girl goblins crave. You could walk across a high school campus and point them out: not her, not her, her. The
Nina (Every Word A Doorway)
Goblins luring girls with sweet fruit. Silencing curses delivered from the gates of Hell. Shape-shifting demons on the search for souls.

All I really want to do is take a plunge into Taylor's imagination, because I cannot get enough of her literary sweets. And she makes other authors' kissing scenes look pale in comparison.

An excerpt from the author's note:
My fascination with the British Raj, other cultures' concepts of Hell, and the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism were seeds of in
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Hi! I write fantasy books. My latest is STRANGE THE DREAMER, about a young librarian, a mythic lost city, and the half-human children of murdered gods. Check it out :-) Before that I wrote the DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE trilogy, which has been translated into 32 languages. It's about a blue-haired art student raised by monsters, a broken angel, and a war that has raged for 1000 years in another worl ...more

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“Kizzy wanted to be a woman who would dive off the prow of a sailboat into the sea, who would fall back in a tangle of sheets, laughing, and who could dance a tango, lazily stroke a leopard with her bare foot, freeze an enemy's blood with her eyes, make promises she couldn't possibly keep, and then shift the world to keep them. She wanted to write memoirs and autograph them at a tiny bookshop in Rome, with a line of admirers snaking down a pink-lit alley. She wanted to make love on a balcony, ruin someone, trade in esoteric knowledge, watch strangers as coolly as a cat. She wanted to be inscrutable, have a drink named after her, a love song written for her, and a handsome adventurer's small airplane, champagne-christened Kizzy, which would vanish one day in a windstorm in Arabia so that she would have to mount a rescue operation involving camels, and wear an indigo veil against the stinging sand, just like the nomads.
Kizzy wanted.”
“There are other ways of showing someone you love them, such as fetching them out of Hell.” 136 likes
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