Kiss Me First

Kiss Me First

Book rating: 05 Paperback Picador

By (author) Lottie Moggach

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  • Publisher: PICADOR
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 24mm | 280g
  • Publication date: 16 January 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1447233204
  • ISBN 13: 9781447233206
  • Sales rank: 40,228

Product description

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2013 GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD On the internet, we can be anyone we choose. No one knows who we really are. Sheltered and obsessive, Leila spends more time online than out in the real world. So she seems the ideal person to take over the virtual identity of the vivacious and fragile Tess, who wants to disappear. But even with all the facts at her fingertips, there are things that Leila can't possibly know about Tess - or herself - until it is too late . .

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Author information

Lottie Moggach lives in London. This is her first novel.

Customer reviews

By Librarian Lavender 13 Feb 2014 5

Leila agrees to become Tess for several months, so Tess can disappear. That way Tess will be able to end her life without her family and friends knowing. Of course taking over someone else's identity even if it's only online isn't as easy as it seems. I think the book is mainly about Leila's struggle to be less lonely after her mother's death. Red Pill is her first attempt to have contact with the other people. She's vulnerable and Adrian uses that by getting her into touch with Tess. Tess is a lot of things Leila is not and has done many things Leila has never experienced.
Leila thinks she's doing the right thing by giving Tess the freedom to end her life, but is she? She has her own reasons to agree to this project, but are they the right ones? Can it be done? The main theme of this novel, who people are on the internet, is an interesting one and it's what I liked most about the book. It isn't only about taking over or stealing someone's identity, but also about how easy it is to lie to a person who can't see you. Those actions still involve actual people though. Kiss me First is an interesting read with a great plot.

Review quote

This is a book for anyone who's ever spent any time online, and for anyone who feels they over-engage with social media... Kiss Me First is brilliant, one of those books you read till 3am. Not only is it acutely perceptive about the online world - all of it, not just the weirder end - but Lottie writes both Tess and Leila with a skill that borders on telepathy... Kiss Me First works as a coming-of-age story, as a mystery, as a psychological thriller, as satire - and as a fantastic read. It's about women, families relationships, intimacy and love, and it's bang on the money: Moggach has taken the online world's pulse and called it perfectly' Grazia An outstanding first novel about a young woman who, with the internet as her ally, steers another woman towards suicide. -- Books of the Year Observer 'I was gripped from the first page, moved throughout, and swallowed the book whole.' Erin Kelly, author of The Poison Tree 'Hailed as this year's Gone Girl, make room in your beach bag for this' Elle 'Unputdownable' India Knight A finger-on-the-pulse take on identity as an online life replaces the real thing... A brilliant debut that boldly heads into some very dark places... but Lottie Moggach's approach - less doom and gloom and more wit and warmth - means that her two lead characters leap off the page Marie Claire Lottie Moggach's very modern thriller takes identity fraud to the next level... Kiss Me First is a remarkably clever novel that is gripping from start to finish -- Books of the Year Stylist Could this be the first coming-of-age novel for the internet generation? ... explores the dark side of friendship Glamour A terrific success, captivating and consuming from the outset. Leila, our unreliable but compelling narrator, casts a powerful spell... This is a novel that gets darker with each turn of the page. The plot is intelligent, thought-provoking and asks questions about a huge range of pertinent topics including identity, ethics, mental health and the dangers of living a virtual reality. It's a high-speed train of a book that will have you clinging to the arm rests for the whole suspenseful, creepy jaunt... If you want a chilling thiller that is fast-paced, contemporary, intelligent and intriguing, this book is for you... a brilliantly dark look at the dangerous powers of the internet... thought-provoking and truly thrilling Stylist 'Kiss Me First has deft, expert writing, a startlingly original plot, and two central characters - cerebral, sheltered, obsessive Leila and charismatic, unstable Tess - who leap off the page. This is a dark, disturbing, needle-sharp exploration of how the internet age is transforming our idea of reality and identity.' Tana French, author of In the Woods A coolly unsettling yet humane exploration of identity, on and offline -- Books of the Year Metro 'An exceptional debut... This really is the book that everyone will be reading.' The Bookseller 'Embraces new media with a playful vehemence laid out in a clean, crisp prose style... great panache, humour and engaging insight... However, while social media might be the framework for this novel, it is not the heart. This is the story of a socially isolated young woman, still grieving for the loss of her mother, who finds meaning, hope and perhaps love in the lives of others. Kiss Me First is a refreshing, skilfully-handled novel very much of our times' Booktrust A gripping psychological thriller about a woman who takes on someone else's identity online Heat Without doubt, this is one of our favourite books of the summer... dramatic and intriguing... an absolutely unputdownable page turner... Aside from the twists and turns of an entirely unpredictable story, the arresting characters are fascinating, exploring the complexities and contradictions of human beings. When your jaw doesn't drop at the dark, desperate and often horror-inducing behaviour of others, you find yourself squinting at an unpleasant reflection of yourself, and the way we can all behave when we're hiding behind a computer screen. Kiss Me First is a sharp, insightful and engrossing commentary on how human nature is adapting to life on the internet Red 'Riveting and thought-provoking, Kiss Me First is the intelligent novel of the social media age I've been waiting for.' Emma Chapman, author of How To Be a Good Wife A wow of a debut... It's a wonderfully gripping story about the clash between virtual and actual reality Saga Unnvervingly claustrophobic and enormously moving... a metaphor for the creation of identity... Moggach has done a great job of folding these issues into a suspense novel that is classy, frightening and upsetting Guardian 'What is identity in the digital age? And how do you know anyone is who they say they are? That is the dilemma that lies at the heart of this slippery tale, featuring the most unreliable narrator this side of Gone Girl. The first thriller to truly tackle the shifting sands of a life lived online, I couldn't put it down.' Sam Baker, Harper's Bazaar An outstanding first novel about a defective young woman who, with the internet as her ally, steers another woman towards suicide -- Books of the Year Observer Cuts to the quick as it explores the power and limitations of a life lived online Observer This summer's most exciting new novel... Already dubbed this year's Gone Girl, Lottie Moggach's Kiss Me First is an electrifying story about identity from a phenomenally gifted storyteller Psychologies Moggach is fascinating on the psychology of simulated relationships; on the safety and control offered by virtual, as opposed to 'F2F', friendship. She's also good at evoking a particular kind of contemporary loneliness... A compulsive debut Economist Dazzling... A clever novel that marks the arrival of a terrific talent Woman and Home 'I tore through Lottie Moggach's Kiss Me First. Gripping, quirky, twisty - quite a ride.' Harriet Lane, author of Alys Always 'This original and unsettling psychological thriller is already one of the most talked-about debut novels of the year... Worryingly convincing, Kiss Me First is a brilliantly twisty thriller that will make you wonder how well you really know your online friends' Irish Times 'I was fascinated by Kiss Me First - its unique premise got my interest from the start and Lottie Moggach's confident and compelling writing sustained it. An impressive debut.' Jessica Ruston, author of The Darker Side of Love A dark psychological thriller about the threat social media poses to our sense of self... an engaging and suspenseful look at the subtle perils the web presents to the human condition Financial Times A fascinating, unsettling and all-too-believable thriller Easy Living 'Kiss Me First has all the hallmarks of a psychological thriller bestseller... complete with plenty of twists and turns. Disturbing and compelling in equal measures, this is a tightly plotted and irresistible debut which packs a hefty punch. One of those rare beasts: a true page-turner' Laissez-Faire magazine 'A gripping psychological thriller... Moggach's skill in plotting means readers won't anticipate the twists and turns built into the story, making for an intensely enjoyable reading experience. Memorable and fast-moving' Publisher's Weekly, starred review 'Lottie Moggach's psychologically terrifying debut thriller, Kiss Me First, will have you questioning your presence on the world wide web' Publishers Weekly 'Smart and darkly funny... a high-concept plot, a terrific narrator and plenty of big questions about human identity in an online world' Reader's Digest 'Lottie Moggach's very smart Kiss Me First is a moving coming of age story hidden within a harrowing mystery... The story's suspense will keep you reading, but it's Leila's surprisingly emotional journey toward selfhood that will stick with you long after you've finished this wonderful first novel.' Scott Smith, author of A Simple Plan 'Witty, suspenseful, satirical and bold. A Patricia Highsmith for the Facebook age.' Polly Samson, author of Perfect Lives 'Lottie Moggach enters the literary scene with a bang in this very modern thriller that takes identity fraud to the next level... a gripping debut that will have you looking over your virtual shoulder as you de-clutter your friends list' Stylist Intriguing... disturbing... you won't feel quite the same in an internet chatroom after you've finished it' Evening Standard Fascinating... a clever concept with a truly human side' Londonist Gripping... The potentialities and pitfalls of contemporary communication are brilliantly explored here. Lost souls are deftly brought together... Kiss Me First is a profound examination of the processes of storytelling itself: all characters are in some way telling fictions - to each other and to themselves. Moggach cleverly raises the question: what happens if we start believing our own fictions? ... At the core of this engrossing novel is the question 'who are you?' ... the pining for real human contact - as opposed to virtual - infuses this narrative with powerful pathos and poignancy' Metro It's only when the introverted Leila assumes a suicidal woman's online identity that she learns how to be herself. The story straddles real life and virtual existence, the right to die and the need to live Vogue As Moggach's debut chillingly demonstrates, the virtual world is scant protection from messy, utterly human emotions People Chilling... Moggach sucks us into the rabbit hole of [Leila's] dangerous obsession with deftly timed twists and memorable characters Entertainment Weekly 'A brave, poignant and humane novel about society's taboos - and the cost of breaking them. Lottie Moggach has put her finger to the pulse of our times.' Liz Jensen, author of The Rapture