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"There is a certain kind of girl the goblins crave ..."

Kizzy is in some ways, a typical awkward American teenager who cannot see her own appeal: she hates her hair, her too-lush hips, and her "peasant" ankles. She is "deeply susceptible to mortification" and feels like a freak.

Like many teens, she hates being seen in public with any member of her family. Only her family is not typical--they are Romani from "the old country" and believe in the old superstitions: the evil eye, curses, witches, ghosts, and--of course--goblins.

Unlike other kids in her town, her chores include rendering lard, killing chickens, and even beheading a swan and cutting off its wing which was placed in late grandmother's coffin so her soul could fly away. Instead of watching television, her family plays haunting music and tells stories about the old country, such as the one her grandmother used to tell about how she had saved her own sister's soul from being stolen away by the goblins.

Kizzy desperately craves to be different than she is. She yearns to be like the popular girls in school; to be desired by Mick Crespin, the leader of the favored clique.

Then a new, beautiful boy arrives at school and notices Kizzy's unique charms ...


Goblins Fruit is the first of three short stories in Laini Taylor's Lips Touch Three Times, an ebook first published in 2009 and later published in both hardcover and paperback.

It is recommended for ages 12 and up, so I suppose is probably considered Young Adult fiction, but I feel this story has appeal for readers of all ages.

Ms. Taylor's supernatural tale lyrically evokes the hunger for love and acceptance that is universal, however some readers at the end of Kizzy's story may be reminded more of the stories by Charles Perrault or the Brothers Grimm than those of Mother Goose.