Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson: Book Review

KISS ME KILL ME by Lauren Henderson
Series: Scarlett Wakefield, #1
Publication Date: January 8th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: |

Summary: When 16-year-old Scarlett Wakefield transfers from St. Tabby’s to Wakefield Hall Collegiate, she is relieved that no one knows her dark, haunting secret. A few months ago, Scarlett was invited to an elite party with a guest list full of the hottest names in British society, including Dan McAndrew. Before the party, Scarlett had only imagined what it would be like to have her first kiss with Dan, but on the penthouse terrace, Dan leaned in close and she no longer had to wonder. Their kiss was beautiful and perfect and magical, and then . . . Dan McAndrew took his last breath as she held him in her arms. No one knows how or why Dan died, and everyone at St. Tabby’s believes Scarlett had something to do with it. But now that she’s safely hidden away at Wakefield Hall, Scarlett would rather forget that it ever happened. Only she can’t. Especially when she receives an anonymous note that will set her on the path to clearing her name and finding out what really happened to the first and last boy she kissed.

Review Overview:

  • Reminds me a bit of the Georgia Nicholson series by Louise Rennison
  • Love the premise and the mystery
  • Where was the ending? Abrupt conclusion was unsatisfying

Reading KISS ME KILL ME was like a throwback to my younger teen days of reading Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series. British girls and their teen drama with boys, popularity, and fashion. But KISS ME KILL ME is all of that plus more. Scarlett is finally invited to a party hosted by the richest and most popular girls in school, and the guy she’s been crushing on is paying attention to her. But just when things could not get any better, Scarlett’s world comes crashing down when the hottie Dan McAndrew suffocates to death in her arms. Right after he kisses Scarlett.

The premise could easily have a supernatural/paranormal spin-off, but trust me, KISS ME KILL ME is pure contemporary with a mix of mystery. I liked Scarlett, but she isn’t my new favorite character. It was hard for me to relate to her because I was just never one of those girls who wanted to be part of the rich, popular clique. I see the appeal, but its not for me. However, I am glad that Scarlett sees these girls for what they really are. She knows that they’re popular because of money and confidence, and she understands the dynamics between the girls.

Other than Dan McAndrew, who doesn’t make it very far into the book, sorry to say, there is a love interest, and he is quite dreamy. There is very little development in the romance department in KISS ME KILL ME. But I’m certain that Henderson won’t disappoint in this department in the subsequent books.

A huge part of the novel is mainly about Scarlett coping after Dan’s death. It’s a traumatic experience, and despite a police investigation, no one knows what happened. This is where the mystery comes in. Scarlett tries to recall what happened that night at the party to figure out how exactly Dan McAndrew died.

MASSIVE SIGH. My biggest qualm with this book was the ending – or lack hereof. KISS ME KILL ME ends with Scarlett one step closer to figuring out the exact cause of Dan’s death, but that’s it. Mystery not solved. This ended up being a book in which nothing happens. All development. So as much as I did love the mystery, this wasn’t a page-turner because nothing ended up getting resolved. It lacked a proper story arc in my opinion, and it was just disappointing.

I wanted to give KISS ME KILL ME a three-star rating, but I just couldn’t do it. Based on my standards, a beginning, middle and end are so important, and the fact that this felt like a half-written novel is not acceptable for a 3-star rating.

Despite my disappointment, I am still willing to continue on with the series, but it’s definitely not at the top of my TBR. I think that fans of the Georgia Nicholson series will enjoy this one as well as those who are fans of contemporary and mystery young adult novels.

Why I’m Biased: I went to a reading at the NYPL a while back with Lauren Henderson. I really loved her reading so I was looking forward to picking up her books.

About the Author

Born in London in 1966, Lauren Henderson read English at university and then worked as a journalist for – among other publications – the New Statesman, Marxism Today, the Observer and Lime Lizard, a much-mourned indie music magazine. Lauren now divides her time between Italy and London and, when not wine-tasting, writes full-time.

Find the Author

Website | GoodReads

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