Lips Touch: Three Times, by Laini Taylor

Author: Laini Taylor
Illustrator: Jim Di Bartolo
Genre: YA Fantasy / Short stories
Call number: Y Taylor
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (really liked it)

This collection of three illustrated dark fairy tales makes for beautiful reading. All three stories — “Goblin Fruit”; “Spicy Little Curses Such as These”; and “Hatchling” — revolve around a magical, life-altering (perhaps soul-altering?) kiss, but none have the uncomplicated, “happily-ever-after” ending that I worried they might have before I opened the book.

First, let me say that it was the illustrations that drew me to this book. They are incredibly eye-catching, detailed, and delicate. I think they are a mix of pen and ink drawings with watercolor washes and possibly more media as well (it’s so hard to tell these days, and I can’t find a place where he details how he created the artwork on his web site). What I love about them are the monochromatic washes and pale colors mixed with one or two super bright images, like the red lips and ice blue eyes on the cover, for example. Each story is preceded by a set of images that intrigued me — how will these images play out in the story to follow? what do they mean? — and once I finished a story, I was inspired to pore back over the images with that knowledge. The romantic, moody artwork is a perfect compliment to the stories.

The stories themselves are written in sumptuous prose (I don’t get to say that all too often), as delicious and fulfilling as your best meal ever, prose that is elaborate when it needs to be and simple when it doesn’t. The stories have a cadence to them that I only ever associate with tales spoken aloud. They also don’t all go in the direction you initially expect, so they have some surprises.

Readers who loved The Hollow Kingdom by Clare Dunkel (and if you haven’t read that and you love strong heroines in dark fairy tales, go find it now) will be sucked into this collection, and I’m sure there are other excellent read-alike story collections, too, like Troll’s Eye View, by the estimable Datlow and Windling, a collection of fairy tale re-tellings from the POV of the villains.

No spoilers

Food for Fines May 24-June 6

Do you have fines from overdue books? Are they stopping you from using the library? You can pay them off your fines until June 6 by bringing in two non-perishable food items for every fine. Bring your food items to the circulation desk and let them know you’d like to pay off your fines. Obviously, the food items cannot be opened, outdated, or damaged in any way to be accepted.

Make Waves this Summer

The programs list for this year’s teen summer reading program, Make Waves, has been posted. Click here to see the full list! This year, we have several craft programs (learn how to make duct tape flip flops or a cool tote bag out of your old tank tops), a graffiti art program, and a henna tattoo program, as well as a movie night and a couple gaming programs.

Feel free to ask questions about the programs in the comments. Some programs have limited space and require registration, so call 303-762-2555 to register, or stop by the reference desk at the library.

New Books – April 2010

The Reckoning (Darkest Powers Book Three). Kelley Armstrong. Y Armstrong.
Fifteen-year-old Chloe, a necromancer, struggles to understand her feelings for werewolf Derek and his sorcerer brother, Simon, while seeking a way to enter the headquarters of the sinister Edison Group and rescue her aunt Lauren and friend Rachelle.

The River. Mary Jane Beaufrand. Y Beaufrand.
Teenager Ronnie’s life is transformed by the murder of a ten-year-old neighbor for whom she babysat, and who had helped Ronnie adjust to living at a country inn on the banks of the Santiam River in Hoodoo, Oregon.

The Body Finder. Kimberly Derting. Y Derting.
High school junior Violet uses her uncanny ability to sense murderers and their victims to try to stop a serial killer who is terrorizing her town, and although her best friend and would-be boyfriend Jay promises to keep her safe, she becomes a target.

Happyface. Stephen Emond. Y Emond.
After going through traumatic times, a troubled, socially awkward teenager moves to a new school where he tries to reinvent himself.

Runaway Storm. D. Knobbe. Y Knobbe.
Nate has made his kayaking dream come true as he goes to the sparsely populated islands off the coast of Vancouver. He doesn’t care that his parents don’t know where he is. But encounters with runaways, the police, a crazed drug smuggler and a Goth girl who tried to rescue him make Nate’s options not look good. Will be be able to save himself and the Goth girl?

Flash Burnout. L.K. Madigan. Y Madigan.
“Telephoto lens. Zoom. In a shutter release millisecond, Blake’s world turns upside down. The nameless woman with the snake tattoo is not just another assignment. ‘That’s my mom!’ gasps Marissa. Saturated self-portrait: Blake, nice guy, class clown, always trying to gget a laugh, not sure where to focus. Contrast. Shannon, Blake’s GF. Total. Babe. Marissa, just a friend and fellow photographer. Shannon loves him; Marissa needs him. How is he supposed to frame them both in one shot?”–dust cover flap.

Finnikin of the Rock. Melina Marchetta. Y Marchetta.
Now on the cusp of manhood, Finnikin, who was a child when the royal family of Lumatere was brutally murdered and replaced by an imposter, reluctantly joins forces with an enigmatic young novice and fellow-exile, who claims that her dark dreams will lead them to a surviving royal child and a way to regain the throne of Lumatere.

Dirty Little Secrets. C.J. Omololu. Y Omololu.
When her unstable mother dies unexpectedly, sixteen-year-old Lucy must take control and find a way to keep the long-held secret of her mother’s compulsive hoarding from being revealed to friends, neighbors, and especially the media.

Punkzilla. Adam Rapp. Y Rapp.
“Punkzilla” is on a mission to see his older brother “P”, before “P” dies of cancer. Still buzzing from his last hit of meth, he embarks on a days-long trip from Portland, Ore. to Memphis, Tenn., writing letters to his family and friends. Along the way, he sees a sketchier side of America and worries if he will make it to see his brother in time.

Shadow Souls (The Vampire Diaries, The Return: Vol. 2). L.J. Smith. Y Smith.
Eighteen-year-old Elena Gilbert journeys to the Dark Dimension with Damon and Matt in hopes of rescuing her vampire boyfriend, Stefan Salvatore, from imprisonment, and once again they face the sinister Shinichis.

Borderline. Allan Stratton. Y Stratton.
Despite the strained relationship between them, teenaged Sami Sabiri risks his life to uncover the truth when his father is implicated in a terrorist plot.

A Conspiracy of Kings (Queen’s Thief series, Book Four). Megan Whalen Turner. Y Turner.
Kidnapped and sold into slavery, Sophos, an unwilling prince, tries to save his country from being destroyed by rebellion and exploited by the conniving Mede empire.

Voices of Dragons. Carrie Vaughn. Y Vaughn.
In a parallel world where humans and dragons live in a state of cold war, seventeen-year-old Kay and her dragon friend, Artegal, struggle to find a way to show that dragons and humans can co-exist.

May Gaming Program Cancelled

The Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament we were planning for this Thursday, May 13, has been cancelled. Poor timing with school functions has made this month a bad one for our gaming program. Please pass the word!

Our next gaming event will be June 10 during our teen summer reading program. More details on this and other summer reading programs will be posted online shortly.

Manga Drawing Workshop Books and Links

We had a great turn-out for the manga drawing workshop on Saturday, May 1, and everyone in attendance got lots of advice and drawing practice. David Sullivan, our wonderful instructor, mentioned several books, products, and web sites he uses in his own work, and here’s the list of his recommendations.

Books
Comics and Sequential Art, by Will Eisner
Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery,  by Burne Hogarth (and Hogarth’s entire dynamic drawing series)
Books by Klaus Janson, like The DC Comics Guide to Pencilling Comics

Software/Products for Digital Drawing
Manga Studio Debut Four
Pencil (a traditional 2D animation software for Macs)
a graphics tablet

Web sites
Pose Maniacs – for help with drawing bodies in every pose imaginable

Finally, here are some books on manga drawing and manga history we have available in the library.

Click here to see the list