Kiss Me First

Kiss Me First
Genre : Fiction
Published : 4 Jul 2013 - Picador
KISS ME FIRST is Lottie Moggach's debut novel. It tells the story of Tess, who wants to commit suicide without her family knowing. She meets Leila online, who agrees to adopt Tess’ identity to help convince her family that she is still alive and happy on the other side of the world. Francesca Main, who acquired the book for Picador, described the book as “really gripping, brilliant and clever”.


This is such an original, brave idea for a novel

Evening Standard

The first thriller to truly tackle the shifting sands of a life lived online, I couldn't put it down.

Harper’s Bazaar

This really is the book that everyone will be reading

The Bookseller

It’s a fascinating notion and one that nudges up against something we’re all going to have to deal with at some point. When we die, what happens to our online selves? Are our online selves really us, anyway?... a clever concept with a truly human side.


KISS ME FIRST has all the hallmarks of a psychological thriller bestseller, ... disturbing and compelling in equal measures, this is a tightly plotted and irresistible debut which packs a hefty punch. One of those rare beasts: a true page turner.

Laissez Faire London

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

This is a book for anyone who's ever spent any time online, and for anyone who feels they over-engage with social media... Kiss Me First is brilliant, one of those books you read till 3am. Not only is it acutely perceptive about the online world - all of it, not just the weirder end - but Lottie writes both Tess and Leila with a skill that borders on telepathy... Kiss Me First works as a coming-of-age story, as a mystery, as a psychological thriller, as satire - and as a fantastic read. It's about women, families relationships, intimacy and love, and it's bang on the money: Moggach has taken the online world's pulse and called it perfectly.


An outstanding first novel about a young woman who, with the internet as her ally, steers another woman towards suicide.

Books of the Year, Observer

I was gripped from the first page, moved throughout, and swallowed the book whole.

Erin Kelly, author of THE POISON TREE

Hailed as this year’s Gone Girl, make room in your beach bag for this.



India Knight

A finger-on-the-pulse take on identity as an online life replaces the real thing... A brilliant debut that boldly heads into some very dark places... but Lottie Moggach's approach - less doom and gloom and more wit and warmth - means that her two lead characters leap off the page.

Marie Claire

Lottie Moggach's very modern thriller takes identity fraud to the next level... Kiss Me First is a remarkably clever novel that is gripping from start to finish.

Books of the Year, Stylist

Could this be the first coming-of-age novel for the internet generation? ... explores the dark side of friendship.


A terrific success, captivating and consuming from the outset. Leila, our unreliable but compelling narrator, casts a powerful spell... This is a novel that gets darker with each turn of the page. The plot is intelligent, thought-provoking and asks questions about a huge range of pertinent topics including identity, ethics, mental health and the dangers of living a virtual reality. It's a high-speed train of a book that will have you clinging to the arm rests for the whole suspenseful, creepy jaunt... If you want a chilling thiller that is fast-paced, contemporary, intelligent and intriguing, this book is for you... a brilliantly dark look at the dangerous powers of the internet... thought-provoking and truly thrilling.


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

A coolly unsettling yet humane exploration of identity, on and offline.

Books of the Year, Metro

An exceptional debut... This really is the book that everyone will be reading.

The Bookseller

Embraces new media with a playful vehemence laid out in a clean, crisp prose style… great panache, humour and engaging insight… However, while social media might be the framework for this novel, it is not the heart. This is the story of a socially isolated young woman, still grieving for the loss of her mother, who finds meaning, hope and perhaps love in the lives of others. KISS ME FIRST is a refreshing, skilfully-handled novel very much of our times.


A gripping psychological thriller about a woman who takes on someone else's identity online.


Without doubt, this is one of our favourite books of the summer... dramatic and intriguing... an absolutely unputdownable page turner... Aside from the twists and turns of an entirely unpredictable story, the arresting characters are fascinating, exploring the complexities and contradictions of human beings. When your jaw doesn't drop at the dark, desperate and often horror-inducing behaviour of others, you find yourself squinting at an unpleasant reflection of yourself, and the way we can all behave when we're hiding behind a computer screen. Kiss Me First is a sharp, insightful and engrossing commentary on how human nature is adapting to life on the internet.


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

A wow of a debut... It's a wonderfully gripping story about the clash between virtual and actual reality.


Unnvervingly claustrophobic and enormously moving... a metaphor for the creation of identity... Moggach has done a great job of folding these issues into a suspense novel that is classy, frightening and upsetting.


What is identity in the digital age? And how do you know anyone is who they say they are? That is the dilemma that lies at the heart of this slippery tale, featuring the most unreliable narrator this side of GONE GIRL. The first thriller to truly tackle the shifting sands of a life lived online, I couldn’t put it down.

Sam Baker, Harper’s Bazaar

This summer's most exciting new novel... Already dubbed this year's Gone Girl, Lottie Moggach's Kiss Me First is an electrifying story about identity from a phenomenally gifted storyteller.


Moggach is fascinating on the psychology of simulated relationships; on the safety and control offered by virtual, as opposed to 'F2F', friendship. She's also good at evoking a particular kind of contemporary loneliness... A compulsive debut.


Dazzling... A clever novel that marks the arrival of a terrific talent.

Woman and Home

I tore through Lottie Moggach’s Kiss Me First. Gripping, quirky, twisty – quite a ride.

Harriet Lane, author of ALYS ALWAYS

This original and unsettling psychological thriller is already one of the most talked-about debut novels of the year… 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

I was fascinated by Kiss Me First – its unique premise got my interest from the start and Lottie Moggach’s confident and compelling writing sustained it. An impressive debut.

Jessica Ruston, author of THE DARKER SIDE OF LOVE

A dark psychological thriller about the threat social media poses to our sense of self... an engaging and suspenseful look at the subtle perils the web presents to the human condition.

Financial Times

A fascinating, unsettling and all-too-believable thriller.

Easy Living

A gripping psychological thriller… 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.

Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

Smart and darkly funny… a high-concept plot, a terrific narrator and plenty of big questions about human identity in an online world.

Reader’s Digest

Lottie Moggach’s very smart KISS ME FIRST is a moving coming of age story hidden within a harrowing mystery... 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

Witty, suspenseful, satirical and bold. A Patricia Highsmith for the Facebook age.

Polly Samson, author of Perfect Lives

Gripping... The potentialities and pitfalls of contemporary communication are brilliantly explored here. Lost souls are deftly brought together... Kiss Me First is 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? ... At the core of this engrossing novel is the question 'who are you?' ... the pining for real human contact - as opposed to virtual - infuses this narrative with powerful pathos and poignancy.


It's only when the introverted Leila assumes a suicidal woman's online identity that she learns how to be herself. The story straddles real life and virtual existence, the right to die and the need to live.


As Moggach's debut chillingly demonstrates, the virtual world is scant protection from messy, utterly human emotions.


Chilling... Moggach sucks us into the rabbit hole of [Leila's] dangerous obsession with deftly timed twists and memorable characters.

Entertainment Weekly

Anyone looking for a page-turner with depth will be highly satisfied by KISS ME FIRST... exceptional debut... thriller-style tension with existential dilemma and compellingly drawn characters

Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Bookseller

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