Kiss Me First reminds me a bit of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, and a bit of The Circle
by Dave Eggers. When Tess decides to end her life without hurting
friends and family, Leila, our sheltered, unreliable narrator, agrees to
assume her online presence and update as though she were still alive.
At first she relishes the chance to live this sparkling new life but
complications slowly emerge. A smart, inventive thriller by a talented
This chilling and intense novel tells the story of a solitary young woman drawn into an online world run by a charismatic web guru who entices her into impersonating a glamorous but desperate woman. Now a series on Netflix.
A sheltered young woman raised by a single mother, Leila often struggled to connect with the girls at school. On an internet community for philosophical and ethical debate, she finally comes into her own, and is flattered when the website’s brilliant, charismatic founder invites her to be part of Project Tess. Communicating only through online channels, Leila immerses herself in Tess’s world. She must learn every detail about this other woman’s life: her mother’s birthday, her favorite songs, her best friends, her first kiss. Because soon, Leila will have to become her. And Tess will disappear.
The Guardian First Book Prize
British National Book Award--New Writers Award
Lottie Moggach lives in London. This is her first novel.
“Dark, disturbing, needle-sharp.” —Tana French, bestselling author of In the Woods and Broken Harbor
“Chilling. . . . Moggach sucks us into the rabbit hole of [a] dangerous obsession with deftly timed twists and memorable characters.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Unnervingly claustrophobic and enormously moving . . . A suspense novel that is classy, frightening and upsetting.” —The Guardian
“The first thriller to truly tackle the shifting sands of a life lived online. . . . Featuring the most unreliable narrator this side of Gone Girl. . . . I couldn’t put it down.” —Sam Baker, Harper’s Bazaar
“Chillingly demonstrates the virtual world is scant protection from messy, utterly human emotions.” —People
“Smart, absorbing. . . . 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.” —The Dallas Morning News
“Gripping. . . . More than just a book about an early 21st-century lifestyle. . . . Lottie Moggach’s mordantly well-observed debut . . . 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.” —The Daily Beast
“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
“Impressive . . . [and] all the more disturbing for its plausibility.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Engaging and suspenseful. . . . A dark psychological thriller about the threat social media poses to our sense of self.” —Financial Times
“Original and unsettling. . . . 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
“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? . . . [She] infuses this narrative with powerful pathos and poignancy.” —Metro (London)