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Scarlett Wakefield #1

Kiss Me Kill Me

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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.

260 pages, Hardcover

First published January 8, 2008

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About the author

Lauren Henderson

46 books395 followers
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.

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5 stars
994 (23%)
4 stars
1,180 (28%)
3 stars
1,251 (30%)
2 stars
515 (12%)
1 star
214 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 416 reviews
Profile Image for Candice M (tinylibrarian).
454 reviews144 followers
December 27, 2008
Wow, so I think this is the first time I've ever given 1 star to a book so far on Goodreads! This book sucks you in with an interesting-sounding plot, which drives you even though the writing is horrible and the characters lame. I warn you, though, those are hours you are never getting back in your life. In my opinion, those hours are better spent doing something else. Like shampooing your cat. You will get a lot more satisfaction from your angry but nice-smelling cat than from this poorly-written book!
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,221 reviews2,133 followers
February 14, 2009
Scarlett Wakefield is a dag among peacocks at the elite, private girls' school of St. Tabby's in London, making no effort with her appearance, putting her energy into gymnastics with her two friends Luce and Alison rather than shopping sprees and posing. Yet she wants to be a part of it all and hang out with the popular boys from the posh boys' school - especially Dan. So when Nadia Farouk, second-in-command to the princess of the school, Plum Saybourne, invites Scarlett - and only Scarlett - to sit with them by the fountain she jumps at the chance and leaves her friends behind.

Next thing she knows, she's been invited to Nadia's select party at her parents' penthouse apartment, at Plum's insistence. The chemistry is definitely there between her and Dan, and before you can say "teenage hormones" they're going in for a big intimate kiss - until Dan asphyxiates and dies in her arms and Plum's screaming that Scarlett killed him.

How did Dan die? Did Scarlett really kill him? Who left her a note saying it wasn't her fault, and what does this person know that Scarlett doesn't?

It took me far too long to read this light YA book with it's easy 260 pages, but I made it - only to discover that the story doesn't wrap up but continues in a sequel called Kisses and Lies. I'd be curious to know who's idea that was, because there seems no reason to split the story into two separate books except to make more money off unsuspecting teenagers.

It's not that there are any glaring problems with this book - there are lots of small ones. Scarlett is a pretty unexceptional protagonist, good at gymnastics and fun when she goes into spying mode, but reads like a carbon-copy teenager with a trust fund. Her biggest moral dilemma is her betrayal of Luce and Alison, who won't talk to her, but she's still the victim here. I never really came to like her.

It's also a very slow book. Nothing really happens until the last few chapters when Scarlett and her new friend, butch American girl Taylor, start their investigation - and even then, it's pretty quiet. Speaking of Taylor: Kiss Me Kill Me, while set in England, has a rather bizarre mix of British and US spelling and vocabulary that was rather distracting.

This is Henderson's first Young Adult novel; she previously wrote adult mysteries she calls "tart noir" and a nonfiction book called Jane Austen's Guide to Dating which I believe has been optioned for a movie. This isn't a bad YA book for a first try (ouch) but it does read like Henderson's still getting the feel for teenage characters and she's not really sure of herself yet.

There were many opportunities for some wise insights into certain aspects of teenage culture, British upper-class culture etc., but she shys away from all of them, leaving a sadly superfluous story featuring terribly superficial, stereotypical characters. It's also the kind of book where you can easily skip over whole paragraphs and not lose any of the story - just some of Scarlett's repetitive thought processes.

To top it off, the mystery's not terribly mysterious. I hope the sequel is more gripping than this, but I doubt I'll read it - not even to find out who "dunnit" or why. The only reason I'm not giving it just one star is because I feel like I've been mean enough already.
Profile Image for Kristi.
1,188 reviews2,891 followers
January 14, 2009
Initially I expected Kiss Me Kill Me to be on the light side, perhaps a little chick lit, something fun and airy. But it turned out to revolve around this captivating mystery.... “who was really responsible for Dan’s death!” In the light of Dan’s death I also feel I need to discuss the probability for someone to die of kissing? I understand that the aforementioned person had a food allergy, but what’s the likelihood that he would be affected by a person who “nibbled” on the catalyst and then downed two glasses of champagne before the kissing occurred? I don’t know about you, but when I go kissing someone my mouth usually isn’t full? Apparently it didn’t bother me enough, because I ended up devouring the rest of the novel and chose to overlook a few annoyances.

I love the entire atmosphere that Henderson portrays as soon as the novel starts! It’s just suspenseful the entire way through. The last few pages, were insanely overloaded, but in a good way. Henderson manages to answer some of the questions that have been floating around since the beginning, but then she throws in these totally new threads, that I’m sure will leave any reader dying to know what happens next! Including me!

I have to mention the cover, although it doesn’t really have anything to do with my review of the novel. But I’ve always thought it was such a fabulous cover! But then when I finally got a copy, I noticed the scraggly “chin music” the boy on the cover has... can I just say NO. I mean I’m sure it really psyched he has three of four hairs sprouting on his chin, but I mean come on, that does not look good!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jennifer Wardrip.
Author 5 books479 followers
November 12, 2012
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

Scarlett Wakefield has two wishes at the beginning of the year: 1) a larger bust size (okay, so that's really TWO wishes right there...) and 2) to have Dan McAndrew notice her. But Scarlett is so far removed from the cool crowd that she'll never run into Dan. At least her first wish has happened. But Scarlett needs to learn to be careful what you wish for. Scarlett does gymnastics, and a large chest isn't conducive to flipping and flying through the air without everything bouncing around. If one of her wishes came true (and okay, the one wish counts as two, doesn't it?), then maybe her other one will happen as well.

One day after gymnastic practice, waiting in front of St. Tabby's, the all-girl school she attends, Nadia, one of the "It" girls, crosses the street and invites Scarlett to join her and the other popular girls hanging out at the fountain. Nadia was sent across the street by the leader, Plum. Without thinking of the consequences or her friends' feelings, Scarlett crosses the street. Had she stopped and thought about the outcome, maybe she would've turned back around and stayed on the bench with Luce and Allison.

But once Dan joins the gang at the fountain and comes straight over to Scarlett, all regrets are gone. She is beside herself with the attentions from Dan. Scarlett is even more shocked when Nadia, upon Plum's subtle nod, invites Scarlett to one of her infamous weekend parties. Nadia's parents are seldom home and she lives in a lush penthouse apartment.

Scarlett goes to the party, and that night, her entire world changes. Dan shows interest in her, but little does Scarlett know that Dan belongs to Plum. Dan escorts Scarlett onto the gardened terrace and the two immediate click. After some conversation, Scarlett finds herself receiving her first real, perfect kiss. Only to have Dan stop, clutch his throat, and frantically try to pull something from his pant pocket. Scarlett searches, but there's nothing there, and Dan suffocates right in front of Scarlett.

Of course, Scarlett can't return to St. Tabby's. So instead, it's off to Wakefield, the school her grandmother founded out in the middle of nowhere. At least she's far removed from everyone that knows what happened to Dan. Scarlett believes she can start over at Wakefield. But then an anonymous note appears in her desk telling her they know it wasn't her fault. With the help of her new friend, Taylor, they set out to solve the mystery of why and how Dan really died.

What a fascinating story! Ms. Henderson writes a wonderful story of a girl caught up in the desire to be part of the in crowd and having it going terribly wrong. The reader will keep wondering how Dan died and what Scarlett will do about it in the end. The mystery will keep you guessing until the final chapter. And the way Ms. Henderson crafts the story leaves it wide open for a sequel for Scarlett.
Profile Image for Trisha W..
263 reviews24 followers
September 24, 2009
I felt so bad for Scarlett in this book. The girls at her old school are still calling her a murderer and the teachers at her new school-which is run by her grandmother- aren't nice to her either. They are even harder on her because her grandmother runs the school. Her parents are dead and her two friends she did have won't talk to her because Scarlett ditched them to hang out with the popular kids at her old school. So Scarlett is basically along in the first part of the book and you feel bad for her. She is scared to kiss another boy in the fear that he will drop dead like Dan did. So when she meets Jase, the groundskeeper at her new school she is scared to get close to him. And she finally gets a new friend, a girl in school named Taylor that is helping her find out who really killed Dan.
But then she book totally switched gears and turns into a mystery. It leaves you wanting the next book to see who the killer is and to see where Scarlett and Jase's relationship goes after Scarlett learns she isn't the 'kiss of death' girl.
Profile Image for Nan.
842 reviews74 followers
January 3, 2010
Scarlett is a strange young woman. She's caught in between childhood and adulthood, between the posh and the poor, and she's without a family. Her father was a baronet, but his title died with him. She has a trust fund, but she doesn't live extravagantly like the posh kids that go to her school in London. Instead, she's an outsider with only two friends--young teens that compete with her in gymnastics.

When Scarlett is sixteen, she's invited to her first posh party. She assumes that the posh kids have finally realized that she's one of them (father had a title, she has a trust fund, and she's not bad looking). However, she's only invited because a wealthy teenage boy, Simon, has a crush on her, and Plum (the leader of the pack at Scarlett's school) wants to make Simon happy (he has more money than God). This is a recipe for disaster, and disaster does ensue, but nothing that anyone could have anticipated.

Instead of hooking up with Simon, as Plum had planned, Scarlett went out the balcony with Dan MacAndrew--the subject of her long-time crush. After some flirting, they kiss--and Dan suffocates and dies in her arms. The doctors assume it must have been an allergic reaction, but they cannot identify what could have caused Dan's death. Labeled the "Kiss of Death Girl" by the media (who do not release her name thanks to privacy laws in the UK), Scarlett finds herself expelled from her school due to all of the bad publicity.

She lands at Wakefield Hall, the exclusive school owned by her grandmother. Just as she didn't fit in with the posh set at St Tabby's (her last school), Scarlett doesn't fit in with the extremely smart girls at Wakefield. She does make one friend--Taylor, an American girl that wants to become a P.I.

After someone leaves a mysterious letter telling Scarlett that "It's not your fault," she becomes determined to understand how Dan died.

This is the first half in a duo--the second book solves the mystery. For all that it didn't complete the story, I still love this book. Scarlett is a complicated character--at turns strong and weak, compassionate and yet willing to become a bully in order to get the information that she needs. Through the course of the novel, she goes from being a passenger in her own life to the driver.
Profile Image for Andye.Reads.
834 reviews409 followers
April 20, 2011
I honestly have no idea what to say about Kiss Me Kill Me.

I'm going to try my hardest not to be too honest.
Because, well, that didn't work out so well last time.
Well let me start off by saying that Kiss Me Kill Me was a cute, short, and easy read.
There isn't much I can complain about, and there isn't much that I really loved about it.
It was just an okay book that I finished within a few days.
The only thing I really don't like about it is that after I finished it,
I found out that there are 3 more books.
I would have never read it if I knew that in the fist place.
Kiss Me Kill Me let me just enough mystery where I am
a little curious about what will happen.
But I reallyreallyreally don't want to read three more books to figure that out.
I felt like the parts where the author meant it to be a "nail-biting situation"
were kinda weak.
The good part about this book is that I found myself laughing
because of Scarlett's sarcastic comments and even though you would think her
complaining about her body, her life, and pretty much everything else would get annoying, it really didn't.
Honestly, I kinda liked it.
Because when you think about it, that's all us girls do in our minds.
Or at least that's what I do a lot.
I look at myself and complain about my body or what I don't have.
I liked how the Laura Henderson kinda spotlighted the realness in her main character.
I feel like a lot of YA novels that I read, the main girl is pretty much the definition of perfect.
But of course, she doesn't realize it.
And she is just oblivious to all the attention boys give her, she just thinks she is "plain".
But I just liked how Scarlett I knows she is beautiful,
she just has some complaints.

Anyway, yes I liked this book,
and I probably will drag myself to read the next three in the series.
I'm just hoping that it's not a retake of Kiss Me Kill Me.
I think I already got enough of the "Lets Remake The First Book 4 Times"
when I read the Touch Series by Laurie Faria Stolarz.

20 reviews
March 26, 2012
Michelle Kwait



The protagonist of Kiss me Kill me, Scarlett Wakefield, is the orphan daughter of a baronet, gymnast, and outcast at the posh, vain St. Tabby's. When Nadia (one of the most popular girls at school) invites her to a party, Scarlett jumps at the chance, leaving the friends she had behind and bitter. At the party, Scarlett catches the attention of Dan McAndrew, her crush-- they kiss behind the terrace... and he asphyxiates. Scarlett is dubbed as the "Kiss of Death" girl in the papers, expelled from both her school and board, and sentenced to Wakefield Hall, her childhood home, and school for elite academics. Discovering Nadia saw something the night Dan died (and is guiltily leaving her notes to say it wasn't her fault), Scarlett, with help from her new friend Taylor, breaks into Nadia's home, discovering a diary of evidence against Plum (resident mean-girl, queen bee), who was in possession of an epipen, that would have saved Dan. Scarlett remembers the crisps, soaked in a greasy substance, and finds peanut oil at the back of the bar cabinet-- after she makes her escape from Nadia's house, the audience is left with a cliffhanger-- was it Plum who killed Dan?


The characters in the YA book fall a bit flat-- Scarlett spends more time complaining about the girls at St. Tabby's and Wakefield Hall then she does solving a mystery. The plot however, is fantastic and pulls the reader through the book, so the cliffhanger at the end is especially frustrating!
Profile Image for Lisette.
24 reviews
December 10, 2020
I definitely enjoyed reading it but 1. I knew where this was going from the start and 2. Some situations were completely unrealistic so I didn't feel like it deserved 3 stars. It was fun but it definitely wasn't good (and my expectations weren't high)
Profile Image for Zoë.
6 reviews
May 5, 2017
Het was goed te lezen, maar het heeft geen plekje in mijn hart kunnen krijgen.
Profile Image for Jennifer N.
740 reviews4 followers
August 11, 2021
Terrible. Got this for my classroom library and skimmed it at the beach. Premise sounds interesting but execution is boring. Characters don't seem real. Most annoying it doesn't end and you have to read the sequel.
Profile Image for Jaike.
264 reviews20 followers
November 24, 2018
Ik las Fatale kus een jaar of 8 geleden en nog steeds vind ik het tof!
Profile Image for Rose.
1,857 reviews1,048 followers
October 8, 2011
Lauren Henderson's "Kiss Me, Kill Me" is - in a word - underwhelming, if I'm allowed to be honest. There were parts that I liked about it, but I think considering it as a whole, I didn't love it though I truly wanted to. Never mind the beautiful cover (I adored the cover - beautifully done and fits the premise very well). Never mind the nice premise of a young woman caught in the crossfire of a promising murder mystery (the story is billed as a mystery, though it reads more like a teen chic-lit type of mystery). Never mind that the first boy 16-year-old Scarlett Wakefield manages to kiss suddenly suffocates and dies at her feet, leaving her at the mercy of many of her peers calling her a "killer slut" or being labeled in the media as being the minor who gave the "kiss of death" to a promising young man named Dan. The ingredients for a great story are all here, but the execution leaves much to be desired. Considering the book ends when we finally get an important piece toward Dan's mysterious death - some readers might be disappointed that the mystery doesn't fully conclude. I would argue in defense of the work that this is book one in a four book series, so it's meant to continue, but the intrigue isn't very strong when you actually sit down to read what the book's content contains.

My biggest disappointment in the novel isn't with the cliffhanger ending or with the measure that not everything's resolved in this book - I would be fine by that if "Kiss Me Kill Me" didn't take forever to get to the point in places - dragging out the story. Scarlett's a British teen who's concerned with gymnastics, has a close circle of friends and is concerned with typical teen likes at the beginning of the novel - that's fine. In certain places, she does feel real and you get an idea of what she's passionate about. She's a bit scatterbrained in her thoughts, and there are bits of humor that pepper her account of her life before Dan's death. The story takes a while to get to the event noted in the premise - I just wish it hadn't been told so candidly that it was obvious it had to get to that point - the build-up felt forced/shortchanged by the telling that proceeded the event. After Dan's death, Scarlett has to move to another school to escape the press and badgering of her former schoolmates, only to be thrust front and center into controversies at her new school. This is all well and good for conflict, except when it comes to building upon Scarlett deciding to take it upon herself to find what really happened to Dan - it feels meandering - there are other things that impede upon it and the focus feels out of alignment.

I'm not saying that I disliked the novel at all - but I didn't love the way it was presented and it did feel forced to me in places where I think the emotion could've been a lot stronger and had greater impact. I don't doubt there may be teen readers who might like what this has to offer and feel compelled to read the remainder of the series, but even as I'm going to see where things go with this particular work, I didn't feel compelled by it - the mystery or the heavy emotions that were purported to go with it.

Overall score: 1.5/5
Profile Image for Doug Beatty.
129 reviews41 followers
April 23, 2009

This is the story of Scarlet Wakefield who is a gymnast and hangs with her friends Alison and Luce, until one day when the popular Nadia comes over to her and asks her to betray her friends and sit with the cool crowd, including Plum, the reigning goddess. Scarlet gets invited to a party and spends some of her trust fund money to procure the perfect top, pair of jeans and shoes and makes herself ready to go. While at the party, popular handsome boy Dan notices her, chats her up and ends up kissing her, causing him to go into anaphylactic shock and dying in her arms. She is not sure what killed him but Plum and Nadia and all the girls at school blame her, making her an outcast. She moves to the boarding school in the country that her grandmother runs and has to spend time making new friends there but has trouble, but she does meet Taylor who longs to be a private eye and is willing to help her with her dilemma. She begins to receive letters stating that someone knows she is innocent and sets a trap to discover who is sending the notes. She confronts Lizzie and traces the notes back to Nadia and she promptly heads to London and breaks in to Nadia’s flat and manages to find her diary, and the proof that Plum douses some chips in peanut oil, stole Dan’s Epi-pen and caused him to die.

This book is really thrilling and would be a good one to give to girls who like a good mystery. Scarlet is a good character and you really want her to be vindicated. The plot moves along quickly and doesn’t rely on swearing, sex or drugs so is a clean read for teens. The only problem I had with the novel was the ending, I didn’t think that the novel came to a satisfactory conclusion, although you do discover the identity of the murderer, she is never confronted or accused and the motive is not discovered and it basically leaves you hanging. There should have been more, a better conclusion or something.

But it would be an easy title to hand out!!!

Profile Image for Jack.
70 reviews22 followers
June 9, 2009
It was... Entertaining. The main character; Scarlett Wakefield remind me a lot of the people I know. I couldn't help but laugh whenever the things of significance popped into my head. I could hear my friends grumbling that they were nothing like Scarlett. Still, it's my personal opinion. I think, personally, I like Scarlett. She is almost ordinary and not at all what you call an all-round character. She have her own insecurities and longing to fit in. She was almost too normal to me that it was not hard to see her in the faces of the people I know though I cannot find myself in her shoes.

I like the fact she didn't simply curl up somewhere in a corner. She was beaten up and down, and in some ways she fought back. Though, her lack of self esteem was not something I could condemn about her. Loads of teens these days could see themselves reflected in her eyes when it comes to those issues. Of course, I couldn't help but feel sorry for her as well... I wonder, when can I get my hand on the sequal, it was just too good for a light reading and make me look forward for how the story will finally come to an end.
December 12, 2010
wow, this book was... wow. It started out as simple. With the language and style as if a regular teenager was writing it. All about fashion and clothes and boys. But then it got really interesting. A mystery rose.

A murder has happened, and apparently it's Scarlett's fault. But how can anyone be sure? No one has any proof, except what they saw, and after a while, even Scarlett starts to believe all the stories about how she was the murderer, and how it's all her fault.

After that, Scarlett's life is ruined, or so it appears. She has to leave school and go live with her strict aunt, but that's not the end of the story. As she finds a letter in her desk, Scarlett realizes it's not truly over yet. And as she starts investigating, she comes closer to the truth, finding clues that even she didn't think were possible. But even with this, will she still be able to go to the police and prove herself innocent? And will she finally be able to overcome her fear and actually kiss a boy again?

In this intriguing novel by Lauren Henderson, all that's left to do now is read, if you really want to solve the mystery.
Profile Image for Kathy.
593 reviews38 followers
June 12, 2012
Scarlett Wakefield is funny and cute and I really enjoyed her character. I also sympathized with her, after kissing this guy Dan...who she had wanted to kiss for who knows how long...and then he dies in her arms. How exactly does that happen? Of course she is blaming herself, she's thinking she killed him, but how could that be she's not cursed or anything, right? And now she is thinking that she can't kiss another boy cause will she kill them too? A little mellow dramatic I know but hey when you're in the middle of a mess like that a little drama is allowed.

Well her journey to find out that she is in fact not cursed, and how Dan died, who murdered him, cause yes he was murdered, is filled with lots of mystery and angst. Also she meets a new guy Jase and also finds a friend in Taylor the new girl from America. Looking forward to reading the next one, hopefully she takes Plum down, my prediction is that it's her who wanted Dan dead.
Profile Image for Abigail.
4 reviews
May 9, 2009
This book was amazing. I absolutely loved it. It's about a girl who goes to a school where she just doesn't fit in and when she gets invited to sit with the cool kids at the fountain she can't believe it. What she doesn't know is that she's being set up and what she's getting set up for is going to change her life forever. Just ask Danny, life is good when your not dead.
Profile Image for Mr. Steve.
649 reviews8 followers
June 13, 2009
The first boy that Scarlett ever kissed dropped dead in her arms. Now everyone thinks she killed him! Even Scarlett wonders if she did. But then an anonymous letter leads Scarlett on a quest for the truth.

This is a pretty good book with a little twist at the end, which leads into its sequel, Kisses and Lies. Want to know it? Read it!
Profile Image for Kelsey Richards.
47 reviews41 followers
February 10, 2011
i thought that this book was really good. i think that it goes where not many other books go and it has this mystery quality to it that just makes it so hard to put down because even if you think that you know what it going to happen then something happens that changes everything that you think and i love that.
Profile Image for TheSaint.
963 reviews14 followers
September 4, 2009
I can see a lot of YA girls picking this book up just for the cover! They won't be disappointed in the story, but there's not as much kissin' and killin' as they might like. Still, the characters are juicy, if not exceptionally well developed.
Will there be a sequel?
Profile Image for Sydney.
Author 5 books98 followers
March 2, 2009
Fantastic premise--but all the really good stuff is going to happen in the inevitable sequel.
Profile Image for Kristen.
967 reviews16 followers
July 29, 2017
But by the time the party ends, it'll be too late.
Dan McAndrew will be dead.
And it'll be me who killed him.

Scarlett Wakefield attends the posh St. Tabby's, a private all-girls school that caters to the upper crust of London's rich and elite. There, she's not exactly popular: she and her two best friends are perpetually sweaty gymnasts. But that changes when Nadia Farouk, of Plum Saybourne's - the school princess's - inner circle invites Scarlett to her party. There, Scarlett spends some time with the only boy who she thinks is truly handsome, Dan McAndrew. But it isn't long until she kisses him and he asphyxiates, causing the girls to blame her for Dan's death. Escaping to her family's homestead, Scarlett is surprised when someone slips her a note telling her that it's not her fault....

So, Kiss Me Kill Me has an intriguing premise, doesn't it? How often does a teenager's kiss kill in a contemporary, non-supernatural fiction? Not often. But this short 260-page book left me unimpressed, so I'm giving it 1 star.

Scarlett, as a narrator, is rather unmemorable. In fact, I don't think I really liked her much, if at all. The book starts off with her simply abandoning her two best friends when she's offered to come sit with the popular girls - just her.
But it is me betraying my friends, selling them out, leaving them behind the second something more glossy and shiny beckons.

Aside from the fact that she's a bad friend, Scarlett has a bad habit of thinking herself "not like those other girls" who share her generic background - a trust fund baby with a family title to go along with it. In fact, most of the time she's commenting on how physically ugly everyone else is, so much so that I didn't even bother to mark the quotes, because it would take up an entire page on its own. She's always hating on everyone else, calling them ugly, cows, butch, or try-hards, and honestly it got really old really quickly.

Scarlett's supporting characters don't stand out much, either. Dan, who was this boy Scarlett was infatuated with, has absolutely no characterization. At her new school, Scarlett is constantly commenting on the American student, Taylor, who is brash, reckless, and physically buff.

I hesitated to mark this as a mystery. Why? Because it's well over halfway through the novel before Scarlett receives the mysterious message claiming that she is not to blame, spurring her into an investigation. And the mystery isn't even solved in this book - it clearly carries over into the sequel, Kisses and Lies. I can't fathom why anyone thought it would be a good idea to split a book down the middle, unless it was to infuriate the readers that stuck with the novel.

Besides that, the investigation doesn't really feel like much of an investigation. Scarlett is too busy putting down pretty much everyone else around her, or mooning over the grandson of the estate's gardener, to really pay any attention to trying to solve this mystery. Any plans she made were half-baked at best.

The only reason I'd continue with the series is to actually solve the mystery. But I'm so annoyed with Scarlett that I'm not even sure if I'll continue on. This is a book with a heroine that was more of a mean girl than anything, and I just wasn't a fan of it.
10 reviews
May 28, 2021
2 Stars

Self-described nobody Scarlett Wakefield gets invited to the "cool kids" party. Her crush, Dan Andrews, singles her out at the party and flirts with her, culminating with her first ever kiss. Dan promptly begins suffocating and drops dead within minutes. Scarlett is then sent to an isolated all-girls school where her grandmother is the headmistress, where she begins to investigate how Dan died, and if she really was the cause.

Rereading this for the first time since I was a teen myself, I found that though the mystery plot holds up, much of the rest of the writing doesn't. I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt in my rating because I remember liking it as a teen, but the writing style felt grating and irritating. Scarlett is also an avid gymnast. While I appreciate that the main character is a physically strong and capable girl, the amount that Scarlett is obsessed with her weight and body shape (constant comments about how she can't eat anything because she would gain weight, how she doesn't like that she has any fat at all, feeling guilty for eating a chip) feels unhealthy, and sends a dangerous message to young girls who might read this book. Additionally, her constant judgement of other girls feels like lazy writing. She criticizes the girls who are smarter than her (calls them "boring" for their interest in learning), judges the popular girls (implying they're self obsessed and don't have any real substance), even judges her friends (implies Taylor's physical fitness makes her intimidating, ugly, and lesser for being poor, where she is lithe, feminine, and rich in comparison), and acquaintances (thinks about how Lizzy is stupid and airheaded for actually enjoying fashion and trends, or believes she's ridiculous for having an irrational fear). While the plot itself might be vaguely interesting, it's not worth the toxic and dangerous messages the subtext projects.
Profile Image for Thia Lee.
315 reviews2 followers
July 20, 2021
1.5 Stars... (1 star for the cover and .5 because I made it to the end)

Well, this was quite disappointing. No, this was terribly. I was expecting a really good mystery with some twists and turns, but nope this was not that at all. The writing was so underwhelming and Scarlett though 16 going on 17 seemed more like she was 12. I thought the overall "mystery" (and I say that loosely) was absolutely ridiculous and juvenile. This book reads more like a middle school/middle grade type of book which wouldn't be SO bad had the story actually been interesting or somewhat funny.

As for Scarlett, I didn't like her at all. She was such a hypocrite and a terrible "friend". I hated how she dropped her 2 friends to go off with the popular girls that she of course couldn't stand initially because she wasn't one of them. I hated that all she thought about day and night were boys. She was terribly shallow and had not an ounce of depth to her. Dan died and you'd think she'd be so traumatized by it because after all he was the love of her life, but in no time she just finds a new boy that she so desperately wants to kiss and can't stop obsessing over. Oh and every chance she got she had to remind the reader about his skin tone (we get it---hot mixed guy---rolling eyes). Scarlett's voice was painful to endure.

Overall, this book was just so bad. It literally went NO WHERE up until the last 2 chapters. Somethings were so repetitive and the mystery wasn't even the focal point really. If I didn't have the other books, I would definitely skip the rest of this series, but of course I bought all 4 a long time ago falling in love with the covers expecting a really good mystery and now I'm stuck with them (deeply sighing gritting teeth). Hopefully the other books will be better.

Content: No sex. Brief mentioning of "shagging" and of course kissing, but only 2 actual kisses.
Language: some, but not much.
Profile Image for Jay G.
1,206 reviews465 followers
January 8, 2017
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...

16 year old gymnast Scarlett Wakefield thinks that she is finally getting her big break in the social scene when she is invited to her first elite party that her crush, Dan McAndrew will be attending. Little does she know, things aren't going to go as she imagined. When Dan leans into kiss her out on the terrace the night of the party, she definitely didn't expect him to suffocate in her arms. Now, everyone blames Scarlett for Dan's death but what if it isn't Scarlett's fault?

This book was so bland and boring.... the writing style was terrible and I hated Scarlett's voice. I found Scarlett to be a very superficial and stereotypical character. There is so much body shaming in this book it's ridiculous. Scarlett continually called people around her cows or sluts and was constantly saying how fat she was. There was also a fair amount of gay shaming in the book as well that made me uncomfortable. It was also annoying how Scarlett continually described her friend Taylor as the "butch American". The mystery was also very predictable and it was obvious what happened from the very beginning... you also never find out who actually "did it", I'm assuming it will be revealed in the sequel but I'm not even wanting to read it...

Just overall not a great read, in my opinion....
May 4, 2018
I couldn’t believe that would of happened to her. Her, as in Scarlett Wakefield, an average teenage girl who feels as though she is locked away from society. I was immediately intrigued into this book called, “Kiss Me Kill Me” by Lauren Henderson. This book includes mystery, romance, and drama. As I said, the main character is Scarlett. She has two best friends, Luce and Alison. The three of them were in gymnastics together since a really young age. Her parents died when she was young and her grandmother, or Lady Wakefield, is in charge of Wakefield Hall. That is where Scarlett is transferred to after Scarlett gets bullied from kissing Dan McAndrew. Her life was ruined from that kiss on. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time you’re reading it. Now, I will say the only downfall is that I didn’t get to be as involved with the book as I would of wished. That is only because I would either have tons of homework or I’d just procrastinate reading it. But, overall this is a interesting book and I recommend to mostly girls who love mystery and drama.
Profile Image for Cristina.
45 reviews4 followers
March 23, 2021
3.5 stars
The book itself was not bad.
The story is about a sixteen year old girl named Scarlett who, out o the sudden, was asked to go to party with the "popular" girls of her school. While being at the party she finds the guy whom she has been mooning for quite some time now and ends up talking to him...and eventually kissing him. After a few seconds of the kiss, Dan drops dead... and now everyone blames her for this unfortunate situation.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting anything from the book but I did find it entertaining, and for some reason, I devoured it...in a day. I feel as though there wasn't much action in the book, and if you really think about it not much happened. However, I think the book was mainly focused on Scarlett dealing with the trauma of having kissed someone (for the first time ever) and him dropping dead for no apparent reason.
The only thing that really bugged me was the fact that the mystery behind Dan's death is not resolved in this book. I really wished it would've been solved in this one.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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