People say first kisses are memorable. People remember the moment like it was yesterday, and memories of first kisses turn otherwise banal places into enchanting places. What if someone’s first kiss accidentally killed someone? First kisses are memorable, but sometimes, a little too memorable.
Scarlett Wakefield is a normal (if you overlook the fact that she’s the orphaned daughter of a baronet) teenage girl. She goes to a private school that has snobby girls obsessed with fashion and cliques that seem more exclusive than clubs do. Scarlett also attends rigorous gymnastic training after school. Despite the predictability of Scarlett’s life, everything was okay. Nothing could go wrong, right?
In Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson (Delacorte Press, 260 pages) Scarlett gets sent to her grandmother’s prep school in the country side after a nasty incident, but Scarlett cannot bury the incident in her mind. Months before her transfer, she was invited to a party by her snobby classmate. At the party, Scarlett chats with her longtime crush, Dan McAndrew. Abruptly she kisses him, and he drops dead. Months later, Scarlett still cannot get the memory of her first kiss with Dan nor Dan’s sudden death out of her head. She knows that it wasn’t her fault that Dan died, even though people accuse her of it. However, if it wasn’t her fault that Dan died, than whose was it? Scarlett takes the dangerous steps of finding out…
The language of the book was simple, but it came together nicely. However, the plot of the mystery of Dan’s murder deviated off course through the middle of the book and came back towards the end. Plot aside however, the feelings of the characters were realistic. The novel captures the feelings as a teen-the wish to be popular and the immediate regret that comes afterwards. Teens want to become popular, and sometimes we sacrifice things to be “seen” with the popular people. This is evident in Kiss Me, Kill Me, and the immediate regret that comes afterwards is portrayed well, too. Coming of age, and discovery of self is also incorporate nicely, showing teens that being popular isn’t everything. In Kiss Me, Kill Me, Scarlett discovers her inner strength and who she really is.