Received: Received a copy from Random House of Canada in exchange for an honest reviewRelease Date: July 9, 2013
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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.
An ingeniously plotted novel of stolen identity, Kiss Me First is brilliantly frightening about the lies we tell--to ourselves, and to others, for good, and for ill.
There has been a lot of talk around this book, it sounds creepy and definitely opens your eyes to how creepy the internet can be. Honestly, this book did make me think twice about what goes on out there in cyber space. It's hard to talk about this book without giving away the story but I will try...
KISS ME FIRST follows Leila as she becomes immersed in this new world of the internet, Leila has grown up being very sheltered and really only spends time with her mother. Poor Leila rarely leaves her house and does not have much of an education, she doesn't really know about the real world. Leila finds a different world when she joins Red Pill and from there her whole life changes.
Leila is a very smart person, and she quickly learns new things after joining Red Pill, joining in on philosophical discussions and more. Leila is approached to help this woman, Tess, ease her family and friends into losing her. Leila quickly learns everything about Tess and begins to take over her life.
After reading this book, I am a little creeped out thinking about who is actually on the other end of a conversation I have over the internet. Leila believes that everything she is doing is for the good of Tess, but doesn't really think of how it affects the others she is communicating with. Leila makes this her life, she maps out exactly what she as Tess is doing and starts making stories of the people she meets, though she barely leaves her apartment.
I enjoyed some of the book, but I felt like I was missing out on something at the end of it all. I was thinking there was going to be a little more of a mystery, and it would be wrapped up a little better, I think that after everything that happened, it just seemed that there were still questions left. I do believe that this book did a good job at taking on philosophical issues, and really thinking about different beliefs. But this book also shows how easily someone can be persuaded into doing something when they are so sheltered.
Lottie took on an interesting topic, but I think the story just missed something to really make the story pop and stick out in my mind.