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Kiss Me First

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  5,045 ratings  ·  766 reviews
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 kn ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published January 16th 2014 by Picador (first published February 1st 2007)
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Sieanne Pilling Yes, lonely, bored and strange, a social misfit but a good person at heart. Just thinks outside the box.
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Average rating 3.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,045 ratings  ·  766 reviews

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Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-audible
I loved this creepy, compelling, atypical suspense novel! I was engrossed in the story from beginning to end.

Leila is extremely bright but a most unreliable narrator as she is sorely unperceptive and socially inept. She has led a private existence with few (if any) close friends. Her only intimate relationship was with her mother (with MS) and she has died as the novel begins. So, Adrian, a menacing but charismatic computer chat room founder, easily targets and then grooms Leila to impersonate a
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The idea, in a nutshell, was this: The woman—Tess—would inform her family and friends that she intended to move abroad to start a new life in some distant, inaccessible place. She would hand over to me all the information I would need to convincingly impersonate her online, from passwords to biographical information. Then, on the day of her “flight,” she would disappear somewhere and dispose of herself in a discreet manner, handing the reins of her life over to me. From then on I would assume he ...more
TOO HOT TO WRITE PROPER REVIEWS... But I have to write something down about this book, because I loved it and if I wait much longer I'm going to forget everything I enjoyed about it.

Leila is a young woman in her early twenties who has led something of a sheltered life, devoted to caring for her beloved mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Shortly after the two of them buy a (rather disgusting and run-down) flat as an investment for Leila's future, her mother passes away, and Leila retrea
Really, really liked the idea and the first 8/10ths of this book. I love the idea of unreliable narrators, and this narrator was pitch-perfect. As a reader, I didn't like her but I was interested in her, which I find a necessity when the protagonist is pretty much unlikeable. I think that the idea of getting sucked in to someone else's life via the internet is plausible and all too real, and most of the book I found absolutely chilling.

However, the ending almost completely ruined the book for me
Dee Arr
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It would be impossible to go into great detail about this book, or even try to explain why I liked it so much without revealing major aspects of the story. It is better, perhaps, if I offer reasons why you should read it:

The story crackles with a low tension, seething underneath. You know sooner or later sometimes going to come undone and release that tension in all its ferocity. You just don’t know when.

It’s been a long time since I read a book that takes place over a short period of time (mont
Imagine this. You are approached by someone you trust to take on the identity of a person who is going to take their own life. This is the moral dilemma that Leila faces. She prefers deep intellectual conversations and after the death of her parents thinks she has found a home in the website Red Pill. This is a place that encourages intelligent discussions and after establishing herself makes her way into the inner circle.

It is there she is propositioned by the sites administrator Adrian. As som
Jul 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every so often a book comes along that hooks you from the very first page. This one was an extremely accomplished first novel that I read in one enjoyable sitting, mesmerised by the turns and twists in the story and absolute fascination with the character of Leila. “Unputdownable” is an overused expression – but this book really is!

Leila is the narrator, telling the story after it happened. She is a solitary individual, having worked from home in IT testing while looking after her dying mother.
I'm not really sure how to rate this book, mostly because I know people will instantly judge me for hating it. I'll start off by saying, I went into this book knowing that the author had intentionally made the main character unlikeable. And that's not what I hated. Not at all. To be honest, having Leila unlikeable would have made this book very interesting, BUT none of the other characters were likeable either.

Tess was a party animal who "lived too much" and although we can all relate to her on
KISS ME FIRST is so accomplished and affecting it's hard to believe it's a debut. Most simply put, it's a literary thriller about a suicide cult and identity theft, which makes this book sound rather cheesy, a gimmick propelled by cyberparanoia. It's not, and I say this as someone whose eyes glaze over at the mention of cyberpunk. At the center of the story is a deliciously unreliable narrator named Leila, a loner who spends a lot time online. Moggach is too sophisticated of a writer to give her ...more
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting new writer! I will read whatever she writes next.
This book's plot is unusual (the narrator/main character is an intelligent but naive and socially isolated misfit - Leila - who is persuaded to assist a psychopath who runs a suicide-assistance cult - by pretending to "be" the online persona of Tess, who he is persuading to commit suicide, in order to create the illusion that Tess is still alive after her death.)
I really enjoyed the unfolding of Leila's character and how the
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Party girl wants to commit suicide and hires geek girl to impersonate her online afterwards. Expect a few twists and impending disaster. Hidden inside the thriller is a commentary-lite on (post-modern?) identity, suicide, euthanasia, free will, and responsibility. So we have a highish-brow thriller. The author tries hard to leave a lot of ambiguity in the plot, but, I feel, brought it to slightly tidier an ending than it wanted. Debut-author insecurity or editorial pressure? Anyway, it is a page ...more
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars Fascinating, and not what I expected, both good and bad. I have no problems at all with the "unlikeability" of the narrator, and while the dispassionate writing style isn't my favorite, it could be a deliberate choice given the subject of the novel. It does lag a bit here and there, and I think it could have used more tension and emotional stakes. And smoothing out if some of those loose ends, even if they're not neatly clipped. But ultimately, this kept my interest and is worth checki ...more
We've all seen or heard those commercials warning us about predators just waiting and luring on-line to steal our identity.

But what if instead of stealing your identity, you wanted someone else to assume your identity to protect your family and friends from the truth that you'd decided to shuffle off this mortal coil?

That's the premise of Lottie Moggach's fascinating novel Kiss Me First. An avid World of Warcraft fan, Leila is used to the idea of on-line role playing. After discovering the philo
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someone gave me an ARC of this, which comes out in July. I don't usually get into reading stuff long before it is out, because I'm such a whore for book reviews. How will I know a book is worth my time without Publisher's Weekly telling me so? But one of the blurbs called it something like Patricia Highsmith for the Facebook age, so I decided to live dangerously. While the blurb may have been a bit over-the-top, this was a really original page-turner that gets under your skin. I could see this b ...more
2.5 stars - It was alright, an average book.

It would seem that the folks that are shelving this one as a mystery/thriller have not yet read it. In actuality it is a slow moving philosophical character study. This one could possibly make for interesting discussion in a book club, but it is a bit too strange and far fetched to be a pleasurable read.
First Sentence: It was a Friday night, about nine weeks into the project.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book and when I say I couldn't put it down , I literally mean I couldn't put it down !.It tells you a lot about social media and just the exact amount of personal information people talk about / put. It is for me rather touching and even though I struggled the understand the main characters perspective , I still found her to be interesting and strong.She kept to her views and I respect that. ...more
Jenny Shank
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

(Note: don't judge this book by its cover. The cover is stupid, and after reading it, I don't have the vaguest idea how the cover image relates to the book itself.)

By JENNY SHANK Special Contributor, Dallas Morning News
Published: 13 July 2013 03:08 PM

A young rationalist named Leila narrates Lottie Moggach’s smart, absorbing debut Kiss Me First, which explores the nature of real and virtual relationships. Leila details her unusual relationship with Tess, wh
Leila spends most of her life on the Internet, one day she finds a forum called Red Pill, which discusses philosophical ideas. She feels at home on this site and becomes a regular contributor. One day the creator of the site approaches her with a secret project. Tess is looking for a way to end her life without hurting her friends and family. She asks Leila to continue her online life for her so she can slip away from the world unnoticed.

This will be a hard book to review and I will try not to g
Mar 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although a fairly short novel at just under 300 pages (in the proof copy), it took me longer than usual to read. There is an intensity about the story, the characters and the writing that at times felt almost suffocating. The reader is thrust into the isolated, fairly strange world of Leila. Leila is our narrator and although she does realise that there is more than one side to every story, we readers only hear her side to this particular tale.

Growing up the only child of a single mother, Leila
First off, I don't know what the cover artist for the above was smoking, but disregard with extreme prejudice. Weirdly enough, this is not a story about a lipstick-wearing femme fatale who ate your bees, it’s about sad sack Leila, a young woman who lives alone after a lifetime spent caring for her infirm mother (now deceased). It’s never explicitly stated if Leila is just a bit of a shut in or has an undiagnosed developmental/social disorder, but she spends most of her time interacting with peop ...more
Katey Lovell
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lottie Moggach, daughter of author Deborah Moggach of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel fame, really is an exciting prospect. Her debut novel Kiss Me First is original and fresh, with an unsettling and thought provoking plot.

Leila lives in a poky London flat where she is detached from society. She spends most of her time on a philosophy debating website called 'Red Pill', the one place where she feels she is respected and valued. Through the website Leila is put in touch with Tess. Tess wants to co
I reread this in anticipation of Moggach's second novel, Under The Sun. I remembered reading it the first time and being appalled by how little happened and the extreme fizzle of the plot, and finding it distinctly mediocre in the middle of a lot of hype. However, I was in the middle of an intense depressive episode at the time, so I wasn't really thinking about very much. All this considered, I decided that I owed Moggach a reread, especially as it was still on my kindle.

On reread, I can happil
MarciaB - Book Muster Down Under
This brilliantly original debut by Lottie Moggach, is a timely novel with two current issues at its heart. The first, the fact that we live in a digital age where social media has become a means of networking with individuals we have never met, thus begging the question “Do you really know who you are interacting with online” and the second, a sensitive subject for many and one which has garnered countless moral, religious, legal and human rights debates the world over – voluntary euthanasia!

Grace Jolliffe
Kiss Me First is a first book from Lottie Moggach. I note that she is a daughter of Deborah Moggach whose books I enjoy. However, that is not the reason I bought this book. I bought this book because of the premise.
What is really striking about the book is that it is narrated by an ‘unlikeable’ female character.

I didn’t find her unlikeable, In fact I quite enjoyed reading about her logical way of perceiving the world and the way she noticed how ‘likeable’ people in her world value hypocrisy and
Nov 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am going to go with 3 stars for now...

Socially awkward, Leila moves away from her family home after her mother (and her only friend) dies from complications of MS. She spends her days and nights in front of a computer playing World of Warcraft and contracting with a Quality Assurance Firm. Through a fellow gamer, she learns about “Red Pill”, a website forum dedicated to debating philosophy. She is quickly singled out from the web admin and owner of the website, Adrian. Adrian is a libertarian,
C.J. Lines
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kiss Me First is a hard book to define. If I had to give a snappy one-liner I'd say it was Daphne Du Maurier writing an episode of Catfish (and, given how much I enjoy both of these things, it goes without saying that I loved it). On the cover, Harper's Bazaar describes if "The first thriller to truly tackle a life lived online" which is also a good start. As a thriller, Kiss Me First is as addictive as any I've read. There is an engaging mystery and its perfect structure reveals pieces of the p ...more
Kate Brown
May 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fresh, edgy psychological thriller which questions everything we believe about identity and trust. When Leila is asked by charismatic Mr Dervish to assume Tess's online identity so that no-one will know she has gone, he says 'think of it as acting like a dimmer switch on her life'.

Leila is a gloriously naive - and unreliable - narrator. Moggach cleverly counterpoints a woman who has lived life to the full and now wishes to disappear with a girl whose virtual life is more vivid than the world
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty-something Leila is socially awkward and friendless. She is even more alone when her mother dies. After moving to a new flat in another part of London, she gets involved in a website called Red Pill, where the members debate philosophical issues. The creator of the site, a man named Adrian, approaches Leila, asking her if she would be interested in helping a woman named Tess who wants to commit suicide. Leila's job would be to impersonate Tess online to her family and friends to make them ...more
Jessica *The Lovely Books*
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine Spencer Inskeep
"If you loved Gone Girl, you'll love this"..."chilling"..."I was gripped from the very first page"...

What? Did I pick up the wrong book? I kept reading and waiting for the Gone Girl reference to come to fruition. Not so lucky - in my opinion, this could never be compared to Gone Girl. While the premise was interesting...loner Leila is convinced to impersonate a woman (Tess) who wishes to end her life...the execution was excruciating. The story just went on and on and on and never went anywhere.
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Lottie Moggach is a journalist who has written for The Times, Financial Times, Time Out, Elle, GQ and The London Paper. She lives in north London. Kiss Me First is her first novel.

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“I pretended that it wasn't such a big deal, that I knew we weren't suited, that I agreed with what-ever bullshit rationale you used - 'we don't make each other the best possible versions of ourselves' or what-ever. But you did make me the best 'me'.” 16 likes
“People and things would continue to exist in a world where I did not, and no one would ever think of me. And, if that was the case, then what was the point of existing in the first place?” 4 likes
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