After week after week of sickness and doctor visits with my bunch I was starting to feel rather exhausted myself, luckily I have a wonderful husband who sat me down on the couch with a warm blanket and let me relax with a good book. Lottie Moggach’s first novel Kiss Me First had been laying on my bedside table since its July 1st release date so I was very happy I could finally get started on it.
As you may remember the last book I read was set in London in 1926, a bit of a change from Kiss Me First which is very modern and full of Facebook, Skype, forums and chats. Two girls, two completely different lives are about to be connected and changed forever.
Leila is in her early twenties and a bit of a loner, some would call her dull and she doesn’t really belong anywhere. The only place she feels at home is on a special forum called Red Pill where she discusses ethics and her opinion is valued. Then there is Tess. Beautiful, active, admired, adored, interesting and quirky, she seems to have many friends but they don’t know that deep down she has been struggling for years and all she wants is to give up.
When Leila is approached by the mysterious man behind Red Pill she feels flattered. He asks her if she thinks people should be able to end their life if/when they want to, and if she would be willing to help someone do so if needed. Tess is so tired of her battle with depression that she wants to die but she doesn’t want to hurt the people around her. The plan is for Tess to ‘escape’ to a far-away destination and end her life, while Leila takes over her electronic identity and keeps up her online social life.
It takes month and months of preparation in which Leila finds out as much as she can about Tess. Endless notes, emails, tapes and Skype calls, Leila slowly feels like she becomes Tess. Then there is the moment of leaving and from then on Leila ‘is’ Tess, sending/replying to emails, posting Facebook status updates, photo shopping photos of Tess at her destination and filling Tess’s imaginary diary with adventures and new people. There are many little lies that turn into big ones and there is the increasing contact with Tess’s ex boyfriend Connor. Bit by bit everything starts to unravel…
Kiss Me First is an exciting, refreshing and modern book that is full of surprises. Every time you think you know what is next something new happens, I really had to stop myself from quickly reading the last page to know how it would end. Fabulous read, can’t wait to hear more from Lottie Moggach.
To find out more about Kiss Me First ($29.99, 337 pages) by Lottie Moggach and to order online visit www.panmacmillan.com.au.