I read 6 titles this month and it has been tough to choose a favourite as I got lucky and they were all brilliant! In the end I think I am going to go for Lips Touch by Laini Taylor as my book of November 2015.
Not only is the cover beautiful, the three short stories contained inside are brilliant. Twisted love stories based on lore and legend, with goblins and demons galore that all pivot on single kisses that turn out to be so much more than just a touch of lips:
Goblin Fruit – This first story is inspired by Christina Rossetti’s classic poem Goblin Market and depicts how the goblins have adapted to the modern world. In the times of Goblin Market they merely had to offer young girls platters of exotic fruit to tempt them into selling their souls but the girls of modern times are much more savvy and harder to please so they have had to change their tactics…
Spicy Little Curses – In this story, the Ambassador to Hell and a particularly spiteful demon undergo a battle of wills over the fate of the soul of a beautiful English girl in India. The matter is ‘settled’ with a particularly vicious curse that relies on the willpower and faith of the girl herself. All is well until the girl falls in love and the temptation to test her curse becomes stronger and stronger.
Hatchling – Esme has lived a somewhat sheltered but very safe and happy life and she sees no reason for it to change until, six days before her fourteenth birthday, one of her eyes changes from brown to blue. Immediately her life begins to unravel – a beautiful, unearthly man seems to be chasing her and the more she learns, the less everything makes sense. What does a mysterious and dangerous race of demons want with an ordinary teenager like her?
I think my favourite story of the three was Spicy Little Curses because it was deliciously cruel and very clever but all three were brilliant stories. Laini Taylor has such a strong style and flair for writing fantasy and legend style stories, I am always sucked right in and desperate for more. Her books leave the kind of memories where I’m not sure later whether I read them or watched them as a film, so clear are the images she leaves in my mind.
The stories are perfectly complimented by Jim Di Bartolo’s illustrations – I haven’t been so charmed by the pictures in a book in a long time. Stunning black and white panels that had me in love with the stories before I had read a single word, they really captured the atmosphere of the stories and souls of the characters.
If you can get your hands on a copy of this then do – especially if you loved Laini Taylor’s other work. You won’t be disappointed by this short story collection at all.
The other books I read this month were:
Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen (Penguin Little Black Classics, 80p on Amazon)
Guinea Pigs Online: Furry Towers by Jennifer Gray & Amanda Swift (Paperback £4.99 on Amazon)
Guinea Pigs Online: Viking Victory by Jennifer Gray & Amanda Swift (Paperback £4.99 on Amazon)
Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales by Margaret Atwood (Paperback £6.29 on Amazon)
I seriously recommend the Guinea Pigs Online series to anybody who has kids who love guinea pigs (or just anybody who loves guinea pigs!) as they are so funny and great easy reads!
This takes my total of books completed in 2015 to 47/52 – I’m back on track! Yay!