Lips like strawberries by Michael Stephenson

Rating : 3/5 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

“Lips like strawberries” is an unusual story of an unusual imaginary world. By the time I finished reading, I was in awe of the author’s creativity to have woven such a plot. Undoubtedly, it is an innovative and great story, yet the slow pace and too many details have ruined the flow.

It revolves around two main characters Ara and her best friend Latre. Ara has agoraphobia, a psychological disease making her afraid to step out to the outer world and stay completely isolated and shut inside. To balance this out, she is granted a superpower to sense the world using other person’s senses. Interestingly it is different every time. She sometimes gets hearing senses while other times taste, touching, or feeling.

One day she gets the tasting sense from a woman and tastes the juicy, soft, strawberry-like lips of a man. From this point, her life got drift. She wants to go out and find the man, but the only barrier is her phobia. Here, Latre – the best friend, comes to the rescue and designs an extraordinary mask for her. It gave her an illusion of being inside her house even if she is outside, and every other strange face gets morphed to that of Latre so that she is comfortable talking to them. And then her hunt begins.

Her struggle to adjust with the mask and be comfortable in usage raises some light moments of humor. The author has tried hard to keep it a balanced mixture of romance and humor, which it fails to achieve.

There is absolutely no need to give a detailed description of flooring and positioning of furniture of every place Ara steps into. Also, most of the chapters are filled with conversations between Latre and Ara. Whenever there is a bell ringing, obviously it is Latre coming, and then both of them will get lost in insipid dialogues about a plethora of topics, and the story doesn’t move a bit. However, the ending is solid and satisfying.

It is a book with huge potential but fails to entertain due to unnecessary writing.