The National Book Award committee has chosen a brilliant, amazing, beautiful book as one of its Young People's Literature finalists.
Laini has a talent for turning the English language into something that has passed through markets in Morocco, simmered in Indian chai, and braved the icy drafts of the Russian steppes. The stories in LIPS TOUCH don't all take place there, but as you read, you know that the words have come together after traveling every alley, every leaf, and every cooking pot in the world.
Jim Di Bartolo, the illustrator, has an equally amazing gift. His drawings are real, and yet ethereal. At the very least, they're gorgeous. And the colors! Wow! To see a book put together like this is a prize, and I truly hope it wins the award.
Now, go read it!
(I started reading it last night, coincidentally, so was pleased to hear the news. Goblin Fruit, the first story in LIPS TOUCH, haunted my dreams all night, and I woke up hungering for apricot toast.)