Kiss Me First is the debut novel by Lottie Moggach. While this book is difficult to classify, it certainly contains elements of suspense novels and psychological thrillers. It is a compelling read and is sure to be one of the most talked about books of the season.
Leila is a lost soul, living her life on the outskirts of society. She has devoted much of her life to the care of her ailing mother, so after her mom succumbs to MS, Leila is at loose ends. Spending much of her time isolated in her home, she finds an outlet online. Leila is quickly drawn into the world of RedPill.com and finds her life forever altered.
RedPill.com is a website forum dedicated to discussions of ethical dilemmas and philosophical ideologies. The website’s founder, Adrian Dervish feels an immediate connection with Leila and the two become kindred spirits. So when Adrian asks her to help out a friend, she is more than willing to pitch in – even though the request is anything but typical.
It seems that Adrian’s friend, Tess, is a woman unhappy with life and wishing to end it all. Unable to accept the pain her suicide would cause to her family and friends, Tess would like someone to assume her identity online after she kills herself. In this way, those close to her would never realize that she is gone. Feeling needed for the first time since her mother’s death, Leila dedicates herself to this new project and only when she is contacted by Conner, a man who clearly has a deep love for Tess does she begin to understand the quandary she has placed herself in.
To reveal anymore would spoil the process of discovery for the reader. What Lottie Moggach has created here is wholly unique; and as strange as the plot sounds, everything unfolds in ways that are perfectly believable. In a journey that takes Leila from the confines of her home to a commune in distant Spain, we see a character who becomes fully real – even as she becomes more and more someone else.
Sprinkled through with various ethical questions, Kiss Me First is a great book for book club discussions. No doubt, it will lead to heated debate and spirited conversation. No one who reads the book will be able to escape without forming some strong opinions of Leila, Tess, Adrian and the complex situation in which they find themselves.
Examining the blurred lines between who we are and who we want to be, Lottie Moggach’s Kiss Me First is certainly not going to be quickly forgotten.
Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.