Kiss Me First By Lottie Moggach

Title: Kiss Me First

Author: Lottie Moggach

Publisher: Picador

First Published: 2013

Blurb:

A chilling and intense first novel, this is 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 website 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 website’s founder, a brilliant and elusive man named Adrian. Leila is thrilled when Adrian asks to meet her, and is 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 email, 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. (From Goodreads, 17th January 2014)

Review:

Reading the blurb of ‘Kiss Me First’ I knew I had to read this book! This is a brave first novel, but it is very well done. We are reading about suicide, but rather than stopping someone from killing themselves we are giving them the chance to go without the guilt of leaving their family aware of their death.

Leila begins posting on the forums of Red Pill, a website discussing philosophy and debating ethical issues. Leila feels that she has finally found like minded people, and begins to build a good reputation on the site. Soon she is contacted by the sites founder, Adrian, asking Leila to meet. And so begins ‘Project Tess’. Leila is learning all about Tess. Leila is going to pretend to be Tess after Tess commits suicide.

This hard hitting, very controversial topic just drew me in. At first I was surprised when I realised that this book was written retrospectively in Leila’s voice. But this works well. You begin to build up to understanding why she did what she did, and why she has reached where she currently is. This is a novel that you know has taken a lot of planning, and is skillfully put together.

This was an excellent thought provoking book that I would recommend to those who like psychological thrillers, and for those who want to have a good debate with other readers. Yes, I would say this is a book group novel. Or could lead to good debates in the classroom/lecture.

I can imagine some people will find this novel difficult due to the focus on suicide, but this is such a risky book that would always be the case. If you want a book that will make you think, pick this up.

However, this is all positive, yet I can only give ‘Kiss Me First’ a 4 out of 5. Why is this? Well I expected slightly more for some reason, I felt at points the novel stood still, and didn’t have as much speed as I expect. But despite this I still loved this novel, would read it again, and recommend to people.

4 out of 5.

Book Buying Ban

A slightly late Happy New Year!!!

So I have never really ‘do’ New Years Resolutions much now. However, this year there is one New Years Resolution I am making – I am not going to buy any books for a year!

This is going to be a challenge. A real challenge. But it is something I need to do. Many book bloggers buy a lot of books. Many book bloggers have TBR piles that could last them for years. I am one of these people.

As you will have seen I have decided to attempt two TBR pile challenges. I am hoping that this will allow me to focus and get through some of the books that I already own. Books are there to be read. If you are buying books faster than you can read them, what is the point? Yes, I have got to that stage. My shelves are lined with beautiful books, but I don’t know the beauty that lies between the covers.

When I am tempted to buy a book I am going to read this list of reasons NOT to buy the book(s).

  • I don’t NEED the book, I have plenty to read at home.
  • I can’t afford to buy the book(s).
  • There are more important things my money needs to be spent on.
  • There is no justification to buy new books.
  • I am running out of space in my flat!

So what are your tips to help me achieve this goal? Are you doing a book buying ban for part of this year?

Let me know!

Another 2014 TBR Pile Challenge

So looking around, I have decided to take part in another challenge. Why? Well there is different rules to this challenge, and I feel doing both will help me focus on working my way through more of my TBR pile.

So to find out more about this challenge – hosted by Bookish – please click on the image above to see. The rules are more flexible which means I will be able to add more of my TBR pile to this challenge.

The level that I am aiming for is sweet summer fling = 31 to 40 TBR books.

I have identified 14 TBR books in my previous post:

1. Pretties By Scott Westerfeld

2. The Sense of an Ending By Julian Barnes

3. Elsewhere By Gabrielle Zevin

4. White Oleander By Janet Fitch

5. Shadowmancer By G. P. Taylor

6. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter By Kim Edwards

7. The Sunflower Forest By Torey Hayden

8. I Did Tell, I Did By Cassie Harte

9. The Thief Lord By Cornelia Funke

10. Ink Death By Cornelia Funke

11. Class By Jane Beaton

12. Raspberries on the Yangtze By Karen Wallace

13. The Informant Officer By Mark Mills

14. To Die For By Carol Lee

And here are 26 more books:

15. Paper Towns By John Green

16. Human Remains By Elizabeth Haynes

17. Sharp Objects By Gillian Flynn

18. Dark Places By Gillian Flynn

19. Finding Emma By Steena Holmes

20. Emma’s Secret By Steena Holmes

21. Northhanger Abbey By Jane Austen

22. I Never Promised You A Rose Garden By Joanne Greenberg

23. Cursed By Benedict Jacka

24. Fated By Benedict Jacka

25. Scarred By Julia Hoban

26. Finding Violet Park By Jenny Valentine

27. Grave Minder By Melissa Marr

28. Under the Never Sky By Veronica Rossi

29. Through the Ever Night By Veronica Rossi

30. Dibs in Search of Self By Virginia M. Axline

31. Go Ask Alice By Anonymous

32. Wormwood By G. P. Taylor

33. The Raging Quiet By Sherryl Jordan

34. Clockwork Angle By Cassandra Clare

35. Clockwork Prince By Cassandra Clare

36. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend By Mathew Green

37. The Sacrificial Man By Ruth Dugdall

38. A Novel Death By Judi Culbertson

39. Pushing the Limits By Katie McGarry

40. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared By Jonas Jonasson

2014 TBR Pile Challenge

Please Click on the image above to find out more about this challenge!

My List:

1. Pretties By Scott Westerfeld (2005)

2. The Sense of an Ending By Julian Barnes (2011)

3. Elsewhere By Gabrielle Zevin (2005)

4. White Oleander By Janet Fitch (1999)

5. Shadowmancer By G. P. Taylor (2003)

6. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter By Kim Edwards (2005)

7. The Sunflower Forest By Torey Hayden (1984)

8. I Did Tell, I Did By Cassie Harte (2009)

9. The Thief Lord By Cornelia Funke (2000)

10. Ink Death By Cornelia Funke (2007)

11. Class By Jane Beaton (2008)

12. Raspberries on the Yangtze By Karen Wallace (2000)

Alternatives:

1. The Informant Officer By Mark Mills (2009)

2. To Die For By Carol Lee (2004)

Wall Street West By Cristina Guarneri

Title: Wall Street West

Author:  Dr Cristina Guarneri

Publisher: Infinity Publishing

First Published: September 2013

Blurb:

Beyond the mirrored windows of the city’s high-rise buildings, the landscape of a metropolis on the outskirts of the Hudson River, leaves a city that set the standard for corruption and overshadowed itself by the darkness of political deception.

Behind the thriving neighborhoods of cultural scenery, the sixth borough had become a blanket once woven with the challenges of deceit versus ethics. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, but it’s the basis of integrity that would bring an awakening to the city streets that were once plagued by the mysteries of Wall Street West. (From Netgalley, 6th January 2014)

Review:

When I was sent an email inviting me to review ‘Wall Street West’ I was unsure, so read the description and decided that this novel would be up my street. However, I was wrong.

When I first started reading I was irritated by all the speech. This is a novel that is all speech, no real writing. So I started to think ‘this would be good as a short drama show on TV’. But then it just turned dramatically bizarre without much build up. I was left confused and utterly disappointed.

When given a book to review I am asked to give a fair review. This  is my opinion. I would not advise anyone to read this novel, that is my honest opinion. It lacks real structure and real expanded plots. The constant speech is frustrating and not enjoyable to read.

I feel some ideas could, if constructed better, would lead to a interesting novel which I may have enjoyed. If there was descriptions of the characters, the scenes, and less talk, I think this could have been an enjoyable read.

1 out of 5

January TBR

I don’t normally give myself TBR (To Be Read) lists, I just go with the flow. However, I have decided this year to be more organised with my reading to help improve my blog and regularity of blog posts.

So I will be doing monthly TBR posts, and at the end of the month I will do a review of that months reading, and other bookish things.

So what do I plan to read in January?

The Reflections of Queen Snow White By David Meredith

Human Remains By Elizabeth Haynes

The Eyre Affair By Jasper Fforde

The Name of the Star By Maureen Johnson

Okay so I am only putting four books on my list, but may manage to read a wee bit more than four. However, I want to keep my TBR lists manageable.  So has anyone read these books? What did you think? What do you think of my January TBR?