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 un-tucked shirt.
Beware of souls that want too much.
Kizzy's family are from the Old Country. They cut the heads off chickens, have anvils in their yard and sing songs in a language that her teachers have never heard of. They believe in talking foxes, witch soldiers and goblins who crave the souls of a particular type of girl. Girls who wish they were prettier, had normal relatives and, most of all, were noticed by the boy they have fallen for at school.
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 world. I also wrote LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES, which was a National Book Award finalist, and the DREAMDARK books. As well as various short stories and novellas.
I don't really know where to start with this story (novella? Not really sure what to call it). I came across it after reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Days of Blood and Starlight, both of which I adored. The first thing to say is that Goblin Fruit is the only thing I have read on my kindle that I have actually highlighted parts of, so that I can go back and read them instantly whenever I want. I read a lot, and often don't take the time to appreciate the craft thats gone into creating a story, but with Goblin Fruit I savoured every word. Laini Taylor's writing actually has a physical effect on me, like being kicked in the stomach (but in a pleasurable way, if that makes sense?) and I can't tell you how rare that is for me. Her use of description is just beautiful, and I am in awe of her talent. Off to read everything I can of hers now!
Kizzy's family lives outside of a town and they are from the old country and they are set in their ways which Kizzy doesn't like. Kizzy wants more and when she starts going to a local school and falls for a guy there, she feels like all her wishes are about to come true, or are they?
This is a mysterious little story that is written beautifully. This was the first book that I read by Laini Taylor and I loved it and this prompted me to read more of her work. Although I didn't much like her other work that I have read, this story is something that has stayed with me. There is something so magical about this that I have read it over and over again.
I wonder why I haven't read this earlier! I am in awe of Laini Taylor. Again! Beautiful words, gorgeous writing, enchanting, alluring, slightly disturbing, but wonderful story.
Dark and dazzling, it reaches out and yanks us into its world from the very beginning. It's about a girl named Kizzy. And a kiss. Her first kiss! Kizzy is a frustrated girl who doesn't fit into high school with its beautiful normal people. But then a handsome stranger appears. He could change everything in a heartbeat. He could make Kizzy see "her own weird beauty". Because:
... she was certainly blind to her own weird beauty: her heavy, spell-casting eyes, too-wide mouth, wild hair, and hips that could be wild too, if they learned how. No one else in town looked anything like her, and if she lived to womanhood, she was the one artists would want to draw, not the Sarahs and Jennys. She was the one who would some day know a dozen ways to wear a silk scarf, how to read the sky for rain and coax feral animals near, how to purr throaty love songs in Portuguese and Basque, how to lay a vampire to rest, how to light a cigar, how to light a man's imagination on fire.
If she lived to womanhood.
How to resist reading this?
This short story is not about love. It's about devil kisses, temptation and strength.
I'm not giving it 5 stars because of its length and bittersweet ending.
I'm currently reading Lips Touch were all three short stories are together but I want to rate them by themselves. 3.5 Stars This one pretty good but it lacked something which I can't put my name on it. The writing was gorgeous and it was funny. .
"A Goblin Had Her Soul On The End Of A Fishing Line, Ready To Reel It In."
A dark, treacherous story I absolutely should have read in the daylight. Laini Taylor does it again with her twisted, eerie story lines which make all your hairs stand on end on the back of your neck; as if the ghosts are whispering in your ear about the monsters in your vicinity waiting to creep up on you.
This short story tells the tale of how one kiss from a Goblin could be your last. I love the explanation of how Goblins choose their prey - aiming for those looking to be more than they are, in order to make them easier to lure in. The way this part is woven together is just brilliant; a little sprinkling of fairy tale myth or legend always appeals to me!
I'm always surprised with the way Taylor's stories unfold - I always think I know what's going to happen and then suddenly she ends the book, or there is an unexpected fork in the road. This is no exception, and is in fact as creepy and chilling an ending as ever!
Definitely worth a read (perhaps in the daylight!) and can also be found in the Lips Touch anthology (so don't make the same mistake I did and purchase both!).
My favourite story of the three re-told fairytales in .
I simply adore Laini Taylor's writing and savor her words, kinda like eating the best chocolate in the world. Speaking of chocolate here's an excerpt: "It was so dark, it was almost black and it melted on her tongue into an ancient flavor of seed pod, earth, shade, and sunlight, its bitterness casting just a shadow of sweet. It tasted ... fine, so subtle and strange it made her feel like a novitiate into some arcanum of spice."
I found Lips Touch at a crazy cheap price and jumped on the short story collection, desperate to get my fill of Laini Taylor’s beautiful work. Goblin Fruit is the first short story of the three in the collection, and if I’m honest it’s my favourite of the three even if it’s the shortest.
As you would expect from Laini Taylor, even though it’s a short story, we’re quickly thrown into some wonderful world building with her lyrical prose bringing her amazing imagination to life in no time at all. I’d been fearful we would not get the full works because it is such a short story but I couldn’t have been any further from the truth. So much happens in so few pages. We’re given an entire story, we’re given characters we can love, we’re given mythology, we’re given emotion – in short, we’re given it all.
The only downside for me, preventing it from being a five star short story (hell, that’s a massive achievement as I have yet to find a short story worthy of five stars in my personal opinion) was that I wanted more from the ending. I loved the way it ended, I understood why it ended where it did, yet I couldn’t help but want more details about what came next.
A wonderful read and I’d be more than happy if we were given a full-length novel based upon this notion.
I feel kind of bad for only giving this two stars because it wasn't that I disliked it, but it didn't leave me thinking "WOW!". When I read a short story I want it to hit me in the face. I want to really be left thinking about it for hours. You know what I mean? I want it to be memorable. And this one just didn't do it for me. I liked it, but it felt flat. There was no climax.
I still love Laini Taylor's writing though and will definitely continue reading the rest of the novellas in this collection... I just really hope I enjoy them a little more.
Synopsis: 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 un-tucked shirt. Beware of souls that want too much. Kizzy's family are from the Old Country. They cut the heads off chickens, have anvils in their yard and sing songs in a language that her teachers have never heard of. They believe in talking foxes, witch soldiers and goblins who crave the souls of a particular type of girl. Girls who wish they were prettier, had normal relatives and, most of all, were noticed by the boy they have fallen for at school. Girls like Kizzy...
What I liked: Laini was able to paint such a vivid picture of Kizzy's eccentric family: "There were a lot of hairy, blue-eyed uncles strumming old, beautiful guitars, and stout aunts who dried flowers to smoke in their pipes. Cousins were numerous. Small and swift, they were always aswirl in the women's skirts or dodging the goat like wee shrill Matadors. Kizzy's mother wore a kerchief like she was some peasant in a foreign film, and her father had lost two fingers to a wolf back in the old country. He'd killed it to get his fingers back and he kept the little bones in a pouch around his neck, along with the teeth of the very same wolf who'd swallowed them."
The grandmother was my favorite, though, and I think that this quote perfectly captures her personality and character: "She had never stopped coveting it with its sweet mother-of-pearl handle, and her grandmother must have known because on her deathbed she'd motioned Kizzy close and whispered, 'Remember my knife, Sunshine?' Kizzy had thought she was going to give it to her and she'd nodded, smiling. But the old lady had whispered, 'Don't you dare steal it out of my coffin,' and then she'd died."
I also liked the descriptions of Kizzy's ideal self, like this one: "Kizzy wanted to be a woman who would dive off the prow of a sailboat into the sea, who would fall back into 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."
I envy Laini's ability to put these beautiful pictures in my mind and create such interesting characters with so little words. I have absolutely no complaints about the writing <3
What I didn't like: As is the side effect for all short stories, I felt really underwhelmed after I read Goblin Fruit. I couldn't connect very well with Kizzy and her friends and I thought the ending was really abrupt. I also wish that I could know more about the story of Kizzy's grandmother and great-aunt, because that was more interesting to me than what was going on with Kizzy in the present.
I think that I might give up on reading anything by Laini Taylor all together. With almost every single one of her books or short stories I've read so far, the beginning is always great, but the entire story is ruined as soon as the male character steps into the story (who tends to be a rather obvious love interest).
In this short story, we're introduced to the character and we're given a pretty extensive background on her, a bunch of flashbacks, ect., which needless to say, is boring. We get it. Kizzy is a weird girl. Hadn't there been paragraphs of descriptions and backstory jammed into a story that is meant to be short and straight to the point, I would have appreciated this character more. She's not you traditional Mary Sue.
So after the boring back story and back flashes and info on goblins and her grandmother, the male character enters the story in the most stereotypical way. Ever. Just like Edward (Twilight) and Stefan Salvatore (Vampire Diaries), he walks down the school hall, with all girls staring at him lustfully. And who's the lucky girl to be on the receiving end of his attention and endless stares? Kizzy of course!
The same way DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE was ruined by Akiva's entry into the story and the instant love connection he shares with the protagonist, is almost exactly what happens in GOBLIN FRUIT. Such a strong beginning, likable - no, almost admirable protagonist, until the stupid, extremely glamorized male character enters. The conversations in both the book and this short story feel very superficial between the two characters and their "connection" and interest in each other feels forced.
Loved the grandmother, and if I could rate her on her own I'd give her a solid 5*. Everything else was a bit meh, sadly, and a little problematic at times. I have heard this is the weakest of the short stories though, and perhaps part of my disappointment comes from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series setting the bar so high. Laini Taylor's beautiful writing style was as on point as usual however!
What a beautifully written story! When I finished the last page, I just had to sit back and think “Wow, what did I just read?”. The writing and the dialogue was funny, sometimes I’m surprising ways. Everything felt so natural, but so beautifully described. Little things like how one of the characters spoke, with a bit of slang and not picture perfect sentences, or random pieces of scenic information really made the short story a stunning read.
-“Hell’s he wearing?” Cactus asked, breaking into Kizzy’s romantic reverie. -I bequeath you my axe.” “Thank you. I accept your offer of weaponry,” Cactus said formally. -“That boy could wear a banana leaf and a propeller beanie and look beautiful.” -A gutsy little bird chased a crow out of a tree, and a squirrel miscalculated his leap and fell stunned into a pile of rotting leaves. It was autumn.
And the tiny tiny hints and missteps the new boy made when he spoke, just barely pointing towards the idea that he might not be human. You spend the entire book knowing exactly what’s going on, and crossing your fingers that Kizzy, the main character might notice, and see what’s happening.
Laini builds up Kizzy’s potential while keeping her as a young and somewhat foolish girl. And every descriptive sentence is just.. wow. -“she was certainly blind to her own weird beauty: her heavy, spell-casting eyes, too-wide mouth, wild hair, and hips that could be wild too, if they learned how.” -“She was the one who would some day know a dozen ways to wear a silk scarf, how to read the sky for rain and coax feral animals near, how to purr throaty love songs in Portuguese and Basque, how to lay a vampire to rest, how to light a cigar, how to light a man’s imagination on fire. If she lived to womanhood.”
My favorite parts were the humorously clever bits, I’m always a sucker for those. -“Well, the secret ingredient is supposed to be love. But I substitute scorn. Just a pinch. A little goes a long way.” -“Well, freshman year, before I learned not to participate in class discussions...”
-On Monday, there was a new boy at Kizzy’s school. “Yum,” said Evie weakly. “Be praised, O lords of boy flesh. We thank thee for thy bounty,” whispered Cactus. “Amen,” said Kizzy, staring.
One star for the humor and another for Taylor's writing style which was really effective in compelling me to read more even if Kizzy's character didn't impress me that much. But since she's a dreamer with so much want, I think I can forgive her (a little) for going out with someone she just met. *sigh* She's just not my kind of heroine.
Currently reading: Lips Touch: Three Times, rating this as a standalone.
Why to read? - Because it's Laini Taylor. - There are some good things in the book. It's written well, the characters are OK
Why not to read? - I think that what bothered me in this story is that it is too simple, too straightforward. There's nothing interesting in the story telling, as well as nothing interesting at the characters. - The story is not bad - but not very good.
*2,5 stars* This short-story was okay, I guess I just wasn't the target audience. Which was a bit disappointing, considering that the dark ending was right up my alley.
Nevertheless, the "Goblin Fruit" is beautifully written, despite not being the best I've read by the author. The characters were also quite fun and I liked the way the friendships were written. I also loved the banter. I don't really like reading teen romances, so that may explain my disinterest in this story.
I’m reading this as part of Lips Touch, but wanted to add individual ratings. I love Laini Taylor’s prose so much. She must be like a walking thesaurus - I learn the coolest new words from her. Her prose is like reading art, and Jim Di Bartolo’s illustrations are icing on the cake.