Synopses & Reviews
A chilling and intense first novel, 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.
When Leila discovers the Web site Red Pill, she feels she has finally found people who understand her. A sheltered young woman raised by her mother, Leila has often struggled to connect with the girls at school; but on Red Pill, a chat forum for ethical debate, Leila comes into her own, impressing the Web site's founder, a brilliant and elusive man named Adrian. Leila is thrilled when Adrian asks to meet her, flattered when he invites her to be part of "Project Tess." Tess is a woman Leila might never have met in real life. She is beautiful, urbane, witty, and damaged. As they e-mail, chat, and Skype, Leila becomes enveloped in the world of Tess, learning every single thing she can about this other woman—because soon, Leila will have to become her. An ingeniously plotted novel of stolen identity, Kiss Me First is brilliantly frightening about the lies we tell—to ourselves, to others, for good, and for ill.
"Moggach's impressive debut, a gripping psychological thriller, is all the more disturbing for its plausibility. Introverted nerd Leila finds a group of friends of sorts after discovering Red Pill, a Web discussion list that debates philosophical matters in a Randian fashion. For the first time, Leila has people who care what she thinks. Among them is Red Pill's founder, Adrian. After he builds up Leila's confidence, making her feel like she's something special, he asks her to perform a disturbing act: he wants her to take over the online life of Tess, a troubled woman who plans to commit suicide without letting anyone know. As Leila immerses herself in Tess's life in preparation to take it over via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail, she becomes increasingly attached to the task, relishing creating an imaginary life not realizing that Adrian's motivations for the identity theft are vastly different than they appear to be. 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. Agent: Anthony Topping, Greene & Heaton (U.K.). (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
A London native from a family of acclaimed writers, LOTTIE MOGGACH attended Sussex University before she began a career in journalism at The Times. There, she worked as a feature writer, book reviewer, and columnist for several years. She currently publishes in a variety of newspapers and magazines including Financial Times, Time Out, Elle, GQ, and others. Kiss Me First is her first novel.