Kiss Me Kill Me

( 126 )


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...
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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.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Turning for the first time to YA, Henderson (the Sam Jones mysteries; Jane Austen's Guide to Dating) kicks off her Scarlett Wakefield series with a mostly captivating mystery. Sixteen-year-old Scarlett is trapped in social obscurity at St. Tabitha's, an ultra-ritzy, all-girls' school in London. Used to spending her free time at gymnastics practice and watching movies with her only two friends, Scarlett is stunned when the school's poshest set invites her to one of their parties. She eagerly accepts, hoping to see her longtime crush, Dan McAndrew, the most golden of the boys from the neighboring school. But when she and Dan actually kiss, he drops dead at her feet-and her classmates brand Scarlett a murderer. Forced to flee to Wakefield Hall Collegiate, a private school in the English countryside where her aristocratic grandmother reigns as headmistress, Scarlett launches her own investigation to discover the cause of death and clear her name. The marriage of chick lit and murder can be awkward: Scarlett can barely breathe in Dan's presence, but Henderson can't let readers get invested in him lest the treatment of his death seem casual. However, this author knows just how to time even the smallest revelations for maximum drama, and her mini-sleuth has a natural glamour and intelligence that Nancy Drew can only dream of. The audience will be rivited. Ages 14-up. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up- Seconds into her first kiss, Scarlett watches her dream guy, Dan, fall to the floor dead. Traumatized, she switches from one posh English girls' school to another, where a mysterious note forces her to question whether he died naturally or was murdered. Sharp, witty narration makes Scarlett's simple sleuthing a lark. Teens will find themselves enamored with Henderson's sassy British colloquialisms and the protagonist's pluck. Her gymnastics skills, which surface at key moments throughout the story, will inspire oohs and aahs as well. A cliff-hanger ending might frustrate readers looking for resolution, but like a complicated tumbling sequence, this lithe mystery has great momentum.-Shelley Huntington, New York Public Library

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
“Fans of Libba Bray’s books will enjoy this contemporary British murder mystery.”—Booklist

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615579884
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 1/15/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Henderson is the author of several acclaimed “tart noir” mystery novels for adults, as well as the witty romance handbook Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating. She was born and raised in London, England, where she lives with her husband.
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Read an Excerpt

Kiss Me Kill Me

By Lauren Henderson

Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Copyright © 2008 Lauren Henderson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780385734875

On January 1, I made two wishes. I know it's supposed to be resolutions, but the two things I really wanted you can't exactly make happen, like you can with resolutions.
I wished to kiss Dan McAndrew. And I wished to have breasts, instead of two flat pancakes on my chest. God, how I hated it when girls would come by and flick their fingers on my back between my shoulder blades and laugh mockingly because there wasn't a bra fastening there, because I didn't need to wear one.

(Actually, that's three wishes, isn't it? One kiss plus two breasts equals three, the magic number.)

Cut to June, nearly six months later, when I'd pretty much given up hope that I would get either of those things, ever. I had resigned myself to being flat-chested and unkissed for the rest of my life.

And then everything happened at once, and my life was changed. Though not, I might add, for the better.

Be careful what you wish for.


"Scarlett! Round-off, two back handsprings, back tuck! And keep it tight this time!"
I stand at the edge of the floor, bracing myself. I can do this. Ricky's halfway down, at just the right place to give me a spot on the second back handspring if I need it. But if I need it, he'll shout at me afterward.

Long and strong,Scarlett, I say to myself. Long and strong.

I'm running. Three steps to the round-off. Land and flip, jump up, jump back . . . my hands push the spring-loaded floor and bounce me up, feet land and I'm already jumping off my toes to the second back handspring, reaching away, reaching long . . . yes! No touch in the small of my back, which would be Ricky thinking I needed that tiny bit of help to arch on the second one . . . land on my feet again and use the momentum to rebound up, high in the air. Spot the high bar across the room, which gives me that fixed point I need to focus on for the split second before I tuck and flip myself backward like a ball through the air, thrown by an invisible hand. Land straight, knees not too bent, slightly dizzy, but knowing I made it.


Across the room, Alison and Luce, my two best friends, are clapping and whooping. I beam with happiness and look at Ricky for approval.

"Better. But go a lot longer on the second back handspring" is all he says.

That is approval, believe it or not. You don't expect bouquets of flowers from Ricky, no matter how good you are.

And then he looks at my chest.

"Strap those things down, Scarlett, can't you?" he adds. "They're bouncing everywhere--they're getting in your way when you tuck up! Jesus, where did they even come from?"
This is embarrassing. It's embarrassing to have Ricky talking about my boobs in front of everyone.

"Get a sports bra, for God's sake!" Ricky says, waving me away.

Like every single other girl here, I used to have a massive crush on Ricky, who's built like a rugby player--wide shoulders, muscles bulging through his tracksuit--with thick blond hair, bright blue eyes, and a really nice smile, which you get to see, on average, once a year. Ricky's incredible grumpiness is the reason my crush faded. And the insults he throws at you. And the fact that he's gay. (No reason you can't have a crush on a gay guy, of course--it just feels increasingly pointless as time goes on.)

I move to the side, giving Alison a clear run across the floor. As she starts, I walk around the edge of the gymnasium, back to where Luce is standing.

"I'm wearing a sports bra already," I say. "I don't know what to do."

"Get one of those tops with a built-in thingy," Luce suggests. "You know, the shelf support."

I pull my top a little away from my body so she can see.

"I am," I say hopelessly.


Luce has the ideal build for gymnastics--like a wire. She's small (you shouldn't be over five feet, five inches, that would be too much of you to send spinning through the air) and has no excess fat on her entire frame. Her breasts are pretty little points under her pale blue leotard: Luce can still wear a leotard over footless tights because she's so lean. Most of us gave that up years ago for something a bit less cruel to our curves. She wears her hair in two twisted bunches on either side of her head--a style that's easier for gymnastics, because it keeps her hair out of her way, but it makes her look even more like a little girl. Creepy old men are always giving her weird stares. But Luce is the most stubborn person I've ever met; if I suggested she change her hairstyle, she'd put plastic bobbles on her bunches and walk down the street sucking on a lollipop, just to show me.

"Maybe you should go to a sports shop and ask," she suggests.

I grimace. "They weren't much help when I went to buy the bra," I say.

Luce looks helpless. "I'd love to have ones like you," she says. "But I know I never will. My mum's flat as a board. The only time she had any was when she was pregnant with me, and she said she cried for weeks when they went down again."

"Better for gymnastics," I say.

"I s'pose."

"Lucy! Scarlett! Stop gossiping! Lucy, you're up!" Ricky yells.

I watch Luce precipitate herself into a blur of motion. She flies through the air, her twisted bunches spinning as she goes; in her front handsprings, she's almost perpendicular to the floor for a brief, breathtaking moment. Arms by her ears, legs almost straight out behind her. That's why we call that moment "Supergirl."
I think about what Luce said about her mum. If I had a mum, I could ask her about the sports bra thing. Maybe she would take me to the shop and talk to the snotty assistants.


Excerpted from Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson Copyright © 2008 by Lauren Henderson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 126 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    a little boring

    Kiss Me Kill Me was pretty boring after the protagonist said she already killed the guy she kissed. The ending was incomplete and confusing.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not the best.

    This book was pretty boring and hard to get through, so I eventually just gave up on reading it. When a book this short takes me a couple of weeks to get through, I think that is most definitely a bad sign. The only part that was even mildly interesting in the first half of the book that I read was the guy dying, and even that wasn't too interesting, it seemed so unrealistic and unlikely. And creepy, but not in a good way.

    I think when I put this book away on my bookshelf, it will most definitely be forgotten.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Kiss Me Kill Me

    This is a very good book. It starts off to be a normal story. There is a girl named Scarlett Wakefield who isn't popular. She falls in love with a guy named Dan McAndrew, whom she can't be with because one, apparently someone else has her eyes on him and two, she is from a totally different level then him. Suddenly a miracle happens and she suddenly finds herself kissing him at a party but in a few minutes... he's dead. Which begins our not so normal story. It holds a hint of mystery from the title all the way to the last page. Suspenseful, you will not be able to put this book down. From the moment she begins, something tells you that disaster is soon to follow. I personally thought that as a mystery/romance it was very good. I was never to the point where it frighten me and made me want to put the book down which makes it good for younger readers. Lauren Henderson really got through to my emotions. From the anger of getting accused for something you didn't do to that one moment of fear when you're about to be caught. It wasn't one of those books where it's obvious who the murderer was but instead twisting and deceiving. You won't be able to tell who is good and who is bad. You can see the reality of what girls can be: cruel, vicious, back-stabbing, and above all when it comes down to it a demon in angel clothing. (Don't get the wrong idea some girls are really nice.)

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely a Forgettable Book

    I was intrigued by the cover art and the description in the cover. I thought it would be a good mystery read. It starts with the average main character, Scarlett, hanging out with her two average friends and dishing about the latest gossip that is going on with the coveted "popular group", led by Plum, an average looking rich girl with a royalty status. Scarlett is invited to hang out with the 'popular girls' and, leaving her friends behind she attends a party with them. Scarlett kisses Dan, her long time crush and he dies, mid-kiss at the party. The story goes on with Scarlett moving schools and trying her damnedest to figure out what happened, making a new friend and meeting a new boy on the way. While the plot is unique and intriguing, the climax is ridiculous and it really had me wishing I could get the two nights back that it took me to read the book.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 4, 2008

    This is the best book i have ever read!

    So i am not the biggest reader in the world, i have to like the book or i will never get into it. The cover had me, just i wanted to see what happens. And Wow, i will never forget this book, i have to buy it and the second one, i cannot wait to read the second one. All i really have to say is if you are totally into mysteries,and romance put together, like a really good romance and mystery, This is so totally a book you NEED to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2012

    This book is about a girl named Scarlet. She¿s an orphan, and in

    This book is about a girl named Scarlet. She’s an orphan, and in the beginning she wishes for to things. She soon finds out to be careful for what you wish for. This book has a lot of love, hate, drama, and mystery. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance, drama, and a whole lot of mystery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012


    MUST READ!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for

    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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014


    If you dont want the book spolied, stop reading the rest of the reviews !!! they give away the whole story..... seriously guys spoiler alert...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012


    Are there more than one book to kiss me kill me?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    Scarlett Wakefield is just trying to fit in. Shes not part of the popular crowd, shes just like any other teenager, afraid of her curves, and awkward feelings. But one day, a popular girl named Plum beckons her over to their group and things change for her. But a chance kiss with a very cute boy leaves him dead at her feet and the blame squarely on Scarlett's shoulders.
    Kiss Me Kill Me starts off kinda slow, but before long you are sucked into her world and the drama and tension keeps you pulled all the way through the book. I love Scarlett alot. Her character feels very real and her dialog and mannerisms are true to what a normal teenage girl would go through.
    The ending is rough, but its meant to be that way since there is a second book in the series to pick up the story. I love how she gets help from Taylor and she gets to finally start clearing her name, her conscience and maybe start to feel all right about loving and kissing another boy.
    Quick to read, but hard to put down! A definite recommend!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 29, 2012


    Pretty good book. Didnt think i was going to like it, but i loved it! Except for one part when there were to many details andwent kinda slow. Great read! Definitely worth the money

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    Highly recommeded!

    This book always kept me at the edge of my seat, with just right timing and catching romance. This book is a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012


    Amazing book!!!!!!(:

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Read the dang book!!!!!

    I freaking loved it!!! You should read it. Its a thrill

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011


    Pretty good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011


    this book was okay. it gets better, but it doesn't start out very well. the climax to me is the really the only good part, but overall it's pretty good i guess.

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  • Posted October 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Please read

    This book was a fantastic thrill from the beginning. Scarlett thought she had a pretty mediocre existence with her gymnastics and her friends until she is befriended by the elite squad of the princess of school and her court.

    Scarlett goes against her better judgment to take this opportunity to run with the "in" crowd. During this wild party she is singled out by the one and only Dan McAndrew, the only guy she was crushing on at school. They go to spend some quality alone time on the balcony and the most bizarre and terrifying experience in her life happens.

    Scarlett 's feelings are in overdrive as she and Dan have their first kiss. But right after, he dies. She is convinced that she is the cause and she is poison. The elite group will not let her off the hook for Dan's death either, forcing her to change schools.

    During this transition, she is afraid that someone will find out her secret and expose her in her new school. Scarlett becomes friends with another unruly student and they team up to find out what really happened to Dan. She also finds a new fascination with the lawn boy but is afraid to initiate anything with him because she could be a hazard to his health.

    Can Scarlett uncover the truth and find the real reason that Dan is no longer alive? Read this book and you will be right there step for step helping her uncover the truth.

    Recommended for YA Contemporary lovers.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I like it!

    Kiss Me Kill Me has a way of sucking you into its shocking storyline right off the bat. It starts off with a 'be careful what you wish for' type of introduction, which I found funny and a good way to get the reader interested. I kept all interest in the story and suddenly I had about 5 pages left and I was thinking how they could possibly wrap it up in a couple of pages. Well I was left hanging and not a good hanging, it was sort of a boring ending. Not at all what you would have expected from previous chapters.

    Scarlett Wakefield was easy to relate to. She has her flaws, just like everyone else, and she's not afraid to admit them, but she also wishes they were gone. She has a huge crush on Dan McAndrews and then she finally gets a chance to talk to him when Plum and Nadia, the school's queen bees, invite her to hang out with them and Scarlett ditches her best friends for popularity. So far what she's wished for has come true and she's wondering if kissing Dan will too.

    Scarlett tries so hard to fit in, but she felt like she stuck out like a sore thumb and to make it worse, Dan dies after kissing her. She thinks she's done something awful and Plum won't let her off the hook. She's expelled from her old school, St. Tabby's, and transfers to her grandmother's private school Wakefield Hall. Scarlett has no friends, which is good because no one will know her secret. Only she gets a note that throws everything off and now she's on a hunt to find out who left it and how they know.

    I really loved the light adventure in the book, but I was really let down by the end. I would have liked to see more than just the 'note dilemma' get wrapped up. I was a bit upset after finishing, because it was almost as if pages were missing. But, with that said, I will definitely be reading the next in the series, Kisses and Lies. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a decent quick read!

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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    very intense!

    this was a very good book. definitly one of my favorites, the second and third books were must reads too.

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