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.

Adorkable By Sarra Manning

Title: Adorkable

Author: Sarra Manning

Publisher: Atom

First Published: 24th May 2012

Blurb:

Welcome to the dorkside. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…

Jeane Smith’s a blogger, a dreamer, a dare-to-dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand and has half a million followers on twitter.

Michael Lee’s a star of school, stage and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie.

They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can’t they stop snogging? (From Goodreads, 21st August 2013)

Review:

Adorkable is a cute book that does exactly what it says. It is about two people from different social scenes who begin to a lustful relationship which neither can explain.

A novel told from both Jeane’s and Michael’s point of view which allows us to get into the minds of both teenagers. Michael is on his way to success, the picture perfect family and perfect grades. Jeane stands out from the crowd but because of her individuality she has managed to become a success. Jeane blogs and tweets, and millions follow her. She talks at conferences. She writes for newspapers, for magazines. She is a success, yet Michael finds it hard to see past her eccentric fashion sense. But when their boyfriend and girlfriend are cheating a connection appears. This is a simple novel that will take you through a relationship that grows despite the characters many differences. We see both characters deal with issues and grow within themselves.

This is a novel that is worth a read when you would something light, quirky and fun. This is a cute book which was excellent when I needed something that didn’t take too much concentrating to follow. One for teenage girls who want a slightly quirky romance.I would say those who enjoyed The Future of Us By Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler will enjoy Adorkable.

3.5 out of 5

The Future of Us By Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Title: The Future of Us

Author: Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

First Published: 21st November 2011

Blurb:

It’s 1996 and very few high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented until several years in the future. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD. She and her best friend Josh power it up and log on – and discover themselves on Facebook in 2011. Everybody wonders what they’ll be like fifteen years in the future. Josh and Emma are about to find out. (From Goodreads, 25th July 2013)

Review:

This is the second book I have read by Jay Asher, the first being Thirteen Reasons Why. Unlike Thirteen Reasons Why I had not heard many reviews of this novel, I had seen it mentioned in hauls and such but other than that I have stayed away from reviews as all the hyped reviews of Thirteen Reasons Why led me to be disappointed.

The Future of Us is so much better, in my opinion, than Thirteen Reasons Why. This is a fun novel which tackles some coming of age issues in a unique fashion. Imagine connecting to the internet for the first time at home and seeing your future. Seeing your future spelt out in short sentences and an online profile. Facebook is on the screen. But what happens if you don’t like your future? What happens if you find out small changes lead to big changes in your future?

I loved the unique way this novel looked at learning how to let yourself love, and be honest to your friends, whilst mixed with the teenage drama that never changes, no matter what year it is. A flashback to the years before the normality of the internet and social networks. A nice mix of the past and the future. A quick and witty story, that keeps you entertained the whole way through.

This is a definite read for young adults and for those who enjoy the young adult genre and remember life before the internet.

4 out of 5