Tag: online journal

Kiss Me First by Lottie Moggach

Posted September 16, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Thriller / 5 Comments

Kiss Me First by Lottie MoggachTitle: Kiss Me First (Goodreads)
Author: Lottie Moggach
Narrator: Imogen Church
Published: Picador, 2013
Pages: 352
Genres: Thriller
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Leila spends most of her life on the Internet, one day she finds a forum called Red Pill, which discusses philosophical ideas. She feels at home on this site and becomes a regular contributor. One day the creator of the site approaches her with a secret project. Tess is looking for a way to end her life without hurting her friends and family. She asks Leila to continue her online life for her so she can slip away from the world unnoticed.

This will be a hard book to review and I will try not to give away any spoilers that aren’t in the book blurb. Written in the style of an online journal, the reader will slowly explore the motivations behind Tess wanting to kill herself, why Leila decides to help and the aftermath that follows. This was a real page-turner and it made me miss forums, but not online journals (I never was good at that) because I have a book blog and it is pretty much an online journal of my reading life.

I love the concept of this book, in a world where we spend most of the time communicating online, what is to say that we are truly communicating with the intended person. Their identity could have been stolen, it could be someone pretending to be someone they are not or someone has taken over their life after they completed suicide. There is no real way to tell that is really happening in the online world.

The Internet is a tricky thing to portray in a novel, with changing technology and new trends, how do you stay relevant. Also do you write the book in text/IM language and use memes and current trends to tell the story? Kiss Me First is not trying to say the Internet and social networking is bad but just using it as a tool to tell this mystery.

I’m always interested in how the Internet is portrayed in a novel and Kiss Me First has managed to get the balance right. A mixture of nostalgia towards dying sites like the online journal or forums, relevance when talking about social networking, and tongue in cheek when talking about never understanding what text/IM language is all about. For some, the narrative might not be the easiest to read but if you have spent time reading online journals at any point of time, you will pick it up pretty easily.

I really enjoyed this novel, the mystery was pretty ordinary but there were some surprises. I preferred the philosophical questions and the way Lottie Moggach explored the online life with such ease. I was surprised to learn that this was a debut novel; it was executed well and offered some interesting thoughts on social networking. Also credit where credit is due, the approach to the internet was handled well; I think it will stand the test of time for a while and not age as fast as some novels. Kiss Me First has been getting a lot of attention lately and it really was a thrilling novel and is sure to entertain the readers, especially if you spend most of your day online.