Kiss Me Kill Me (Kisses and Lies Series #1)

Kiss Me Kill Me (Kisses and Lies Series #1)

by Lauren Henderson


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385734882
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/13/2009
Series: Kisses and Lies Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,268,894
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 14 Years

About 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.

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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Kiss Me Kill Me 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 140 reviews.
prettybrowneyes More than 1 year ago
Kiss Me Kill Me was pretty boring after the protagonist said she already killed the guy she kissed. The ending was incomplete and confusing.
Madamoiselle More than 1 year ago
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.
Atnay_Copper More than 1 year ago
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.)
Mandigirl More than 1 year ago
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.
Shantalina More than 1 year ago
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.
schs More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
DON'T spend $15 on this book like i did. I get that there will be a sequel so it's slightly understandable that the author left the ending unresolved, but really? Throughout the entire book Scarlette tries to find Dan's murderer and 230 pages later when she finally finds ONE clue... the book ends. That's not a thrilling mystery, that's wasting paper.
JRlibrary on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson delivers a delicious dose of mystery and romance. When Scarlett Wakefield is unexpectedly invited to party with the popular Plum Saybourne's crowd, she is wildly excited. That night at the party, the boy of her dreams, Dan McAndrew, kisses her and seconds later suffocates in her arms. Her dream becomes a nightmare, and she becomes known as the KISS OF DEATH girl and the number one suspect in McAndrew's death.
Runa on LibraryThing 6 months ago
While I am not a fan of the marketing angle taken from this book (Really? A book called "Kiss Me, Kill Me" with a trashy romance novel cover?), I will concede that it wasn't the story I expected. I thought it would be mindless trashy romance, and for that reason, it took me a while to get into the story. I was thankfully proven wrong. Kiss Me, Kill Me is much more an action/mystery novel than a romance novel, sort of Ally Carter with a regrettable little bit of Gossip Girl mixed in. Some of the storytelling was a little bit shaky, not too compelling, focusing a little more on the life of a rich socialite than anything else, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised. I was, yet again, disappointed to see that the story was stretched out to fit a series, but like Ally Carter said at LitDay, if a series is going to be stretched out, romance cannot be the driving force, and I'm glad Lauren Henderson took that route in her storytelling. I won't be looking for the sequel, but I also won't say I regret reading the book. It's not something you're going to sit down to read when you're looking for deep content, but as far as fluff reads go, not too bad.Rating: 3.5/5
59Square on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Kiss Me Kill Me ¿ Lauren Henderson 15-19This is a murder mystery set in one of my favorite places ¿ an English boarding school. I wasn¿t so sure how I felt about an actual murder of teenagers by another teenager, but it works quite well. Scarlett is a gymnast at a school which is controlled by the popular crowd when she is suddenly invited to a party. At that party she is making out with one of the popular guys when he keels over dead, causing her to be known as the Kiss of Death. It is clearly an accident, but Scarlett still has a lot of guilt over not knowing why he died ¿ he was allergic to something and trying to find his epi-pen, but what was it? Everyone blames her of course, and she leaves the school in disgrace. While adjusting to the new school, she is sent an anonymous letter telling her that his death was not her fault. Coincidentally one of the new students at her school wants to be a private investigator, and helps her try to find out what has happened, but there isn¿t a resolution in this book. Ordinarily I do not like that sort of ending, but this time I kept reading to the end, and found the new book right away. You get so caught up in the rich and cool v. not cool that I will definitely keep reading that series.
HHS-Students on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Reviewed by Samantha (Class of 2012)This book was about a girl that kisses a guy and while they were kissing the guy dies. The girl thinks that she killed him, but it was not her fault.
BookWhisperer on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Being a person that is very strong minded and now an adult, I found this book to be incredibly frustrating. I could not see following Blume little worship rally with such desire to be accepted. Lauren Henderson did a wonderful job writing this story, although after a build up to the discovery of the use of Dan's allergy againist him I expected more. I was shoked to turn the page and be at the end of the book so soon. While I am not writing off the author, I was not totally impressed with this book.
trishalynn0708 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
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.
theepicrat on LibraryThing 6 months ago
kiss me, kill me was okay. I didn't really care that much for Scarlett, and that dampened any enthusiasm I might have had for the mystery. She just didn't have enough substance for me, too flaky, too self-absorbed in her woe-is-me. The other characters had a lot of potential, but they did not get that much spotlight to leave any sort of impression. The story seemed a little threadbare in details, never diving deep enough to explain that much, the events presented a little too quickly.And when I reached the end, I could not have been more flabbergasted at its cliffhanger! Thank goodness I chanced upon this book after the sequel has come out because you will definitely want both books on hand to get the full story!
thehidingspot on LibraryThing 6 months ago
I've been picking up the Scarlett Wakefield books since KISS ME KILL ME was released at the very beginning of 2008, but it took me until now to actually take one home and read it. The novel has a plot line similar to Kate Brian's PRIVATE, but they are far from the same book, in both positive and negative ways. I actually like Scarlett and I'm not all that fond of Reed, the lead character of Brian's books. Scarlett has flaws, which are apparent right from the start of the novel, but she is also a rather good amateur sleuth and her background in gymnastics enables her to do some pretty intense moves. Reed is primarily concerned with being liked and popular and often lacks the smarts that I admire in a protagonist. Plus, Scarlett is much better at solving mysteries - always a plus in a mystery novel. I will admit, however, that the PRIVATE books pulled me in to the story right from the beginning and KMKM was much slower and lacking in action. I'm confident that the next book will make up for that though.As I mentioned, the first volume of Scarlett's story was a bit slow, at least in the beginning. By the end the story had picked up momentum and catapulted me toward the next book - leaving me grateful that I waited to read KMKM because I don't particularly like the waiting part of series. Most of KMKM is just laying out the groundwork for the next book, KISSES AND LIES, so Henderson should be able to jump right into the story.The mystery aspect of the novel was well written, but readers only really get a taste of a conclusion. The bulk of the book was introductions to characters and theories. The ending left me wholly unsatisfied since nothing was really solved - so readers who read KMKM back in 2008 and had to wait for the next book must have gone crazy.Most of the book was from Scarlett's POV, but there were anonymous journal entries interspersed that really added to the novel. At the beginning that really intrigued me, though I think that Scarlett solved that little mystery a little too easily.Overall, KMKM was a good novel and I have high hopes for the rest of the Scarlett Wakefield novels. They are quick and easy reads with just a dash of romance!
BookSpot on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Sixteen-year-old Scarlett Wakefield is starting fresh at Wakefield more ways than one. Here, at Wakefield, unlike at her previous school St. Tabby's, no one knows her dark secret. A couple of months ago, Scarlett was invited to a party at one of the It girls homes. She'd only ever dreamed of going to their parties, but now that she's gone, the party lives in her nightmares.After hours of finding the perfect outfit to buy, getting her makeup and hair just right, Scarlett was finally ready to enjoy the party--and she did. For a little while.Besides dreaming of what it would be like to attend parties like the one she was at, she had also dreamt of what it would be like to kiss Dan they stood on the terrace together, it seemed her dream was about to come true. What Scarlett never could have imagine, though, was that once she kissed Dan, he would die. Just drop dead in her arms.And so begins the murder mystery of Kiss Me, Kill Me that's not so much a murder mystery. The book is a good book to read and follows the premise that no one knows what killed Dan but everyone blames Scarlett so she moves to Wakefield Hall to escape the scrutiny only to have someone there begin leaving her anonymous notes.I really liked that Scarlett was involved in gymnastics--and not just in the 'jump in the air and flip around' sense but she really was and it was woven into the story--and, as I said, I did enjoy this book, but it ended very abruptly.There is a sequel coming out in January so I'm not sure if the plan is to flesh everything out then but I felt kind of cheated because it set everything up to possibly be this great, Here's-What-Happened...and then it was maybe ten pages (or less) of ending the story by seemingly just saying This is What Happened. It didn't pull things in that had happened in the start (or one or two tiny ones), but nothing that a good mystery does where you can say, oh wait! that means...okay, now I get why that was there!The sequel (Kisses and Lies) isn't out yet so I can't say this for certain, but maybe reading them together will be more satisfying?
HMoonier on LibraryThing 6 months ago
Scarlet, a not so known girl is a student at one of the poshest schools. She gets invited to the popular crowd; her first kiss is the boy of her dreams, who suddenly drops dead at her feet. Then, from all the publicity Scarlet is forced to return home and totally start her life over. I really enjoyed this book at first, but it seemed like the ending was just kind of thrown together. Much too quick for such a great build-up, as is there was a page limit or something.. It left me guessing, but in a bad way. I¿m definitely hoping there¿s a sequel!
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing 6 months ago
16-year-old Scarlett ditches her gymnast friend to go to a party with the cool kids, gets kissed by her dream boy, only to have him drop dead in her arms. Mysterious letters confirm her suspicion that she was set up, and she decides to track down the real killer.... and the book ends there. Seriously, this wasn't a novel, it was the first chapter of a really thrilling mystery story. But nothing is resolved at all by the end of this and I flung it across the room. Well, there is some nice character development, and I enjoyed the different types of friendships between the gymnastic pals, and then between Scarlett and her new ally.I'd give this to people looking for a gripping teen mystery, the English setting might attract Anglo-files, the gymnastic background is a nice detail - but I will clearly warn everyone that is is a lead in to a series!
jentifer on LibraryThing 6 months ago
The good: quick, quick pacing; page turner; a mystery (which normally isn't a "good" for me, but this one is funThe bad: I've never read a book more packed with body-conscious crap - seriously, at least every other page there's a comment about something being too fat, not eating chips, not being as skinny as so-and-so, or not having a toned enough stomach. The main character is a gymnast so maybe that's part of it, but it really turned me off and I don't know that I'd be cool with recommending it to teen girls due to this
Master275 on LibraryThing 6 months ago
After the boy of her dreams drops dead after kissing her, Scarlett's teen age life falls apart (although it wasn't much together to begin with). "Kiss Me, Kill Me" follows Scarlett in the aftermath of the tragedy as she copes with the tragedy and eventually decides to get to the bottom of the terrible event. A teenage mystery that is just okay. However, it reads quickly and is apparently the first in a series of books about Scarlett and her quest for the truth. While I found this book slightly dull and sleepy, I will admit that I will pick up the next in the series if I run across it - - just to see how this will develop!
AFEN More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoy this SERIES. I put that in caps because people dont realize that it doesn't just end with this book. There are 4 books total and they are amazing with so many twists and turns and a KILLER ending. I adore this series. Totally worth the read! the second book in this is Kisses and Lies!
DanceBree17 More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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