Five words from the blurb: email, facts, identity, why, life
Kiss Me First is one of the most modern books I’ve ever read. Its insights into social media use and online identity are so relevant to today’s society that it will make readers look at their online activity in a whole new light. The book also deals with suicide and asks difficult questions about a person’s right to take their own life.
Kiss Me First revolves around Leila, a young women who is approached by friend from an Internet forum. He asks whether she’d be willing to take over the online identity of Tess, a women who’d like to commit suicide without bringing sadness to her friends and family. Leila must learn everything she can about Tess so that she is able to convincingly take over her facebook account and all other online communication. This fraud should persuade Tess’ friends and family that she is still alive and enable them to live happily without her.
The premise of this book was very clever and I loved the way it looked at so many different aspects of modern life. I was particularly struck by the way an online presence can so easily become a substitute for face-to-face meetings and I hope that this story might be a wake up call for those who use their computer at the expense of “real life” interaction.
The pacing was perfect and it gripped me throughout. I loved the way that all the characters were flawed and I had sympathy with everyone involved. It is rare to read a book that carries its moral messages so lightly; allowing the reader to make up their own mind on the very difficult issues discussed.
I also loved the fact that the central character had Asperger’s syndrome and this was never mentioned. Most people will probably not notice this, but it was refreshing to read a book that included a character on the spectrum without it becoming a big marketing tool – especially one that battered readers round the head with symptoms.
The writing wasn’t literary, but this is mainstream fiction at its thought provoking best.
I’d also like to praise the trailer for Kiss Me First. It is the best book trailer I’ve ever seen and if you have a facebook account I highly recommend you take a look at it here.