- Publisher: PICADOR
- Format: Paperback | 256 pages
- Dimensions: 110mm x 178mm x 26mm | 200g
- Publication date: 2 January 2014
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1447262514
- ISBN 13: 9781447262510
- Edition statement: Airside & Open Market ed
- Sales rank: 353,729
This title was longlisted for the 2013 Guardian First Book Award. Leila has never met Tess, but she now knows more about Tess than anyone in the world. She's read all of her emails, researched her past and asked Tess for every detail about her friends and family. Tess has never met Leila. But if she wants to slip away from the world unnoticed, she needs to trust Leila with her life. At first, Leila finds it easy to assume Tess' identity, and no one has any reason to distrust her. But as Leila is soon to discover, there is much more to a person than the facts and there are things about life you can learn only by living it...Original, haunting and utterly gripping, Kiss Me First is an electrifying debut from a phenomenally gifted storyteller.
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Lottie Moggach lives in London. This is her first novel.
By Ryann Dannelly 26 Apr 2014
This book is about Leila, a solitary young computer geek who is hired to take over the online life of Tess, a depressed woman who wants to kill herself. Leila agrees to impersonate Tess and keep all of her social media sites going and stay in contact with her friends and family so that they donÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢t find out that she has committed suicide. Leila takes this job seriously, becoming utterly entangled in this womanÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢s life until the line between who Leila is impersonating by night and who she really is becomes blurred.
Lottie MoggachÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢s debut novel does not disappoint. The premise is fresh and relatable for everyone with a finger dipped into the online world, which is most people. ItÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢s a detailed character-driven story that pulls you in. The slow pacing allows for the relationship of the two main characters, Leila and Tess, to be fully fleshed out.
I loved the various concepts explored in this book, particularly the consequences of how relationships and people online are just simulations of reality. Nothing online has to be truthful. A person can reinvent themselves or take on an entirely different persona if they want, and as fun as that can be, it can also be dangerous to others who believe your persona to be truthful.
Lottie Moggach takes this idea and runs with it so successfully, keeping the reader turning the pages to try and uncover the truth. Moggach exploits how in an online world, everyone becomes unreliable through the development of her four main characters.
Their transformations fit in with the larger theme that nothing online has to be truthful. It keeps the reader in suspense, because the truth of a character in one chapter will suddenly change three chapters later.
ItÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢s so easy to fib or even omit the truth, which is something that LeilaÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢??and the readerÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢??learn over the course of the book.
Moggach also doesnÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢t shy away from the consequences of LeilaÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢s actions at the end of the book, but rather allows everything to pan out in a realistic and fulfilling way for the reader.
I havenÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢t really heard many people talking about this book in the book blogging sphere or seen many people reading it. That might be because it only came out in July 2013. You should definitely check out this book if you enjoy contemporary stories surrounding the online world like Reconstructing Amelia or WhereÃ??Ã?Â¢Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¬Ã?Â¢?Ã?Â¢d You Go Bernadette.
You can check out my full review here: http://ryanndannelly.blogspot.com/2014/04/kiss-me-first-by-lottie-moggach-review.html
"'Brilliant, one of those books you read till 3am. A coming-of-age story, a mystery, a psychological thriller, a satire - and a fantastic read.' (Grazia)"