Thursday, 29 October 2015

Mini Reviews: Lips Touch: Three Times and Cry Blue Murder

Today's reviews are for a couple of shorter books that I feel aren't very well known, and I think they should be!  They're both books that I picked up on a whim - one I chose whilst I was at the library picking up another book and another I picked because of Goodreads' recommendations feature, which I hardly ever use to be honest.  Anyway - ON TO THE REVIEWS!

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

I am forever amazed by Laini Taylor's gorgeous writing and hauntingly beautiful story lines.  This book contains three short stories which get increasingly longer that all lead toward an important kiss of some kind.

All the stories were accompanied by awesome illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo.  I have to say that the illustrations were a massive plus for this book and it was interesting to read the stories and see how the pictures fit in with them.

The first story was called Goblin Fruit and it was unfortunately my least favourite of the three.  Despite this, I still enjoyed it.  I connected with the main character on some levels, and I appreciated her journey throughout this tale - though in my personal opinion, I think she made some dumb choices.  The part I was most disappointed by was the ending.  I suppose it was fitting, but it was unsatisfying for me.  It felt like I had read the whole story for nothing.  If you're a big fan of open endings, I think you would like this short story more than I did.

The second tale, Spicy Little Curses, was my favourite of the bunch.  It stunned me the way that Taylor managed to establish the atmosphere for this story in such a short amount of pages, and to get me to care about the characters so much.  The story was also incredibly sad at times, especially for our elderly main character.  Most of what happened in this tale was unexpected to me, but everything fit together perfectly in the end - which I definitely appreciated after the last story!

I also really enjoyed the last story - Hatchling.  The way this story was crafted was just complete genius.  There was so much going on, not just the story of the main character, little Esme, but every single other character, which amazed me.  This tale was packed with emotion and made me feel everything along with the characters - especially Esme's poor mother.  Like with Spicy Little Curses, everything made sense in the end, but it was all the more incredible when it happened in this story because of how much more was happening.

Overall, this was a charming collection of dark short stories which I will be sure to read again someday!

Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts

This book was written by two Melbourne authors (yay for my hometown) and is composed entirely of emails and documents, like police interviews.  The story mainly follows the emails between two schoolgirls following the abduction and attempted murder of a girl for their area.

To start with I'll say that thanks to this book and Illuminae, I've come to learn that I love this formatting style, because I enjoy feeling like I'm helping to put together pieces of a puzzle, and this book definitely gave me that.  I felt like I could help the girls in the story figure out who the killer was.  It was also handy to have the police records in between long series of emails as a sort of intermission, where I could have a break and see what was going on more on the police side of things.

To be honest, I didn't really like the main two characters.  I thought they were pretty selfish.  For instance, it happened a lot that one girl would complain to the other about what was going on in their life, only for the other to reply something like "that's too bad, but my life really sucks more".  Obviously it wasn't in those exact words.  It felt at times like they were competing with each other over who's problems were more important which really put me off.  They would hardly even console one another!  I've had friendships through email in the past, and if I'd got a reply like one of theirs, I would have just stopped talking to them!

The other main issue I had with the story is that the ending wasn't much of a shock for me.  I figured out what was happening pretty early on, and so I completely saw what was coming.  I think more could have been done to disguise the truth, which makes me wonder if the reader was supposed to guess the ending... either way, it didn't work for me.  The ending was also very abrupt, and I wanted to know more about the result of what happened.  Which I can't elaborate on, especially since I'm already closely bordering spoiler territory!

Overall, this was a really fast read (225 pages or so) and I enjoyed the mystery while it lasted.  It was also a bonus for me to recognise street names and things like that - it made it all the more creepier!

Thanks for reading today's mini reviews!  Have you ever read a book set in your hometown?


  1. The only book by Laini Taylor that I've read was Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the writing style was my favourite things - alongside the world building. And I need to continue with that series. I guess if everything she writes is as beautiful, then I will get to read everything by her if she doesn't disappoint me in the future hahaha
    Regarding the narrating in Cry Blue Murder, I'm not sure how I feel about it. The only novel I've read, that I can remember now to be fair, featuring letters as a way to tell the story was Dracula and it proved to be too much. So I'm not sure this novel could be for me. But you enjoyed it which is nice :)

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, seriously one of my favourite books ever. Considering your favourite thing was the writing, I think you would enjoy Lips Touch too!
      If you're not a fan of that kind of formatting, then yeah, it might not be for you :) Yes it is nice haha!

  2. It's so good to see someone else read Lips Touch Three Times, it definitely deserves more attention in my opinion. I had to get my hands on it after reading the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy because Laini Taylor's writing is so incredible and I couldn't get enough. The first story was definitely also my least favorite, and I would have to say that I enjoyed the last one the most. I was absolutely amazed at how much world building Laini Taylor could include in a short story. I don't know how she does it but I definitely love it! :)

    1. Yes, that's what I think too!
      You know, I tried to read it right after the DOSAB trilogy too, but my library didn't have it! Luckily I spotted it on the shelf almost a year later and picked it up straight away. I agree about her writing - it's beautiful!
      The last story was definitely a close second, I think somehow I just connected with the second story a little better. The world building was incredible!
      So glad to see that you share my love of Laini Taylor's books! :)


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