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Kiss Me First Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 9, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Moggach’s taut psychological thriller opens with a video conversation between Leila, a socially isolated twentysomething, and Tess, glamorous and pushing 40. As the pages fly by, Moggach reveals that Leila has been recruited by Aiden, the mysterious owner of a website that focuses on philosophical discussion, to impersonate Tess online so that Tess can commit suicide without her friends and family being any wiser. Leila finds Tess to be quite different from her. She’s impulsive, worldly, more than a bit flighty, and genuinely determined to end her own life. After months of communication, Tess hands the reins to her online life over to Leila, and Leila crafts a fictional new chapter for Tess, thousands of miles away on a remote Canadian island. She also communicates with Tess’ friends via e-mail, but when an old boyfriend, Connor, makes contact to try to resume his relationship with Tess, Leila finds their correspondence chipping away at her impartiality with the most unexpected result: she’s falling in love with him. Moggach’s debut is a compulsively readable, complex character study. --Kristine Huntley
"The first great internet novel . . . More than just a book about an early 21st-century lifestyle . . . Lottie Moggach’s mordantly well-observed debut, Kiss Me First . . . could be the first great novel about the way the internet has become a part of our lives, what it means, and how it has fundamentally altered the way we get along with each other . . . A gripping psychological novel." —Daily Beast
"A young rationalist named Leila narrates Lottie Moggach’s smart, absorbing debut Kiss Me First, which explores the nature of real and virtual relationships . . Kiss Me First will attract readers with its up-to-the-minute Internet plot, but will keep them through its character-driven focus, psychological depth and fresh narrator. Moggach burrows into these characters’ heads so thoroughly that if anyone could pull off an online impersonation, she could." —Dallas News
“It’s the story’s everyday believability that makes Kiss Me First so chilling . . . As Leila becomes more and more fixated on her Internet persona, Moggach sucks us into the rabbit hole of her dangerous obsession with deftly timed twists and memorable characters.” —Entertainment Weekly, A-
“As Moggach’s debut chillingly demonstrates, the virtual world is scant protection from messy, utterly human emotions.” —People
“Moggach’s debut draws the reader into a . . . bizarre game of chance and deceit. . . . Moggach has drawn a young woman who is convincingly naïve in the ways of the world and incapable of making good decisions. The story crackles with tension . . . A sexy psychological thriller.” —Kirkus
“Moggach’s impressive debut, a gripping psychological thriller, is all the more disturbing for its plausibility. . . . 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.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Fast-paced . . . a thriller that cuts to the quick as it explores the seductive power and limitations of a life lived online.
—Gemma Kappala-Ramsamy, The Observer
“You can't exactly call Lottie Moggach's debut, Kiss Me First, a high-tech thriller. The mousy protagonist, Leila, isn't the hacker Lisbeth Salander is — she does most of her damage via Facebook and email. But it's the story's everyday believability that makes Kiss Me First so chilling. Leila, who's recently lost her only friend — her mother — is thrilled when a charismatic Web guru taps her to carry out an odd task: becoming the online presence of Tess, an alluring, disturbed real woman who wants to kill herself without her friends and family knowing. As Leila becomes more and more fixated on her Internet persona, Moggach sucks us into the rabbit hole of her dangerous obsession with deftly timed twists and memorable characters. A-”
—Stephan Lee, Entertainment Weekly
“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 and Broken Harbor
“Lottie Moggach’s very smart Kiss Me First is a moving coming of age story hidden within a harrowing mystery. Moggach explores a lot of dark territory—suicide, alienation, innocence betrayed—yet somehow she’s managed to write an unexpectedly warm-hearted novel. The book is narrated by Leila, a modern-day feral child, raised not by wolves or bears but the Internet. We watch as she makes her way in from her personal wilderness and teaches herself how to be human—how to know what love is, for instance, without first needing to Google it. 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 and The Ruins
“With Leila, Lottie Moggach walks a wonderful line between sympathy and horror. 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
“Witty, suspenseful, satirical and bold. A Patricia Highsmith for the Facebook age.” —Polly Samson, author of Perfect Lives
“Unputdownable. A brilliant thriller.” —India Knight, author of Comfort and Joy
“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
“I tore through Lottie Moggach’s Kiss Me First. Gripping, quirky, twisty—quite a ride.” —Harriet Lane, author of Alys, Always
“A high-concept novel that really convinces and delivers. I was gripped from the first page, moved throughout, and swallowed the book whole.” —Erin Kelly, author of The Poison Tree and The Burning Air
Top customer reviews
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Also, the other problem with the book was that the narrator wasn't a particularly interesting character. Tess was interesting. I would have loved to understand more about her. Instead, we got far more about the narrator, and she never got my attention fully.
I definitely hope to read more from this author in the future. This is her first novel, and I like her ambition and her ideas. I just wanted it to be done better, and that's what second novels are for!
Most recent customer reviews
Socially awkward, Leila moves away from her family home after her mother (and her only friend) dies from complications of MS.Read more