Kiss (International Edition)

by Ted Dekker

Paperback, 2009



Call number



Thomas Nelson (2009), Edition: Int, 322 pages

Original publication date



Fiction. Horror. HTML: Let me tell you all I know for sure. My name: Shauna. I woke up in a hospital bed missing six months of my memory. In the room was my loving boyfriend - how could I have forgotten him? - my estranged father and my abusive stepmother. Everyone blames me for the tragic car accident that left me near death and my dear brother brain damaged. But what they say can't be true - can it? I believe the medicine is doing strange things to my memory. I'm unsure who I can trust and who I should run from. And I'm starting to remember things I've never known. Things not about me. I think I'm going crazy. And even worse, I think they want to kill me..


Audie Award (Finalist — 2010)


Original language



1595545832 / 9781595545831

User reviews

LibraryThing member 24girl
Shauna McAllister wakes up from a six week coma with six months of memory loss her doctors can't explain. During her coma Shauna was on a trial mix of medications based on her DNA profile which, as she later learns, have a mysterious side effect. Faced with the reality of the accident that led to
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her coma Shauna turns to Wayne Spade. He's one of the few people from her inner circle that haven't turned their back on her yet she remembers nothing of their relationship before her accident.

As Shauna begins to investigate the accident, thinking it will help her memories return, the result is more questions instead of answers. It seems that her father's company isn't as legit as it looks to be and discovering the truth puts her in a killer's sights.

Kiss has a great twist that gives this thriller a unique story line. Throughout the whole book you're guessing who's a good guy and who's a bad guy with surprising revelations. The story flowed nicely with the action and the writing was filled with so many clues that by page fifty I'd already come up with three different theories on what was going on. They were all wrong by the way. I highly recommend this book to suspense/thriller lovers and can't wait to read the next Dekker/Healy collaboration.
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LibraryThing member smilingsally
3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed, January 12, 2009
By Sally "Sally" (Pembroke Pines, FL) - See all my reviews
At the beginning, the book confused me with its disjointed storyline, but I persevered and discovered that after a car accident, the protagonist is having a paranormal experience whereby she
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goes into a trance-like state and steals memories from others with a kiss. Science fiction is not my favorite genre, but I suspended my disbelief so that I could enjoy this tale. However, it never rings true.

Imagine: A daughter estranged from her father to the point that throughout her life, he barely speaks to her and on many occasions physically turns his back on her. She refers to him by his first name, yet she calls him "Daddy" at the book's conclusion with very little provocation. That is a hard one for me to swallow.

However, the book is not without redemption. There is a good question that develops. Pain or perspective--which one would you choose? Would you choose to have your memory wiped out, thereby removing all painful memories, as well as any foundations for decision-making? Or are all memories worth keeping?

The human trafficking issue is hinted at in several places, but is never developed; perhaps a sequel is in the works. The ending is rushed in the final chapter, reading like an epilogue. There were a few surprises; it's hard to figure out who's the good guy. I guess this is one for Dekker fans but it wasn't one for me.
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LibraryThing member KellyBlackwell
I have really been quite fond of Ted Dekker's work for quite a while now. I was very excited about reading Kiss. Imagine waking up from a coma with no idea about what happened to you. People you trust tell you the details of an accident you were in and some of the things are simply shocking. Some
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of the details make you question the you that you think you are. Imagine the pain of being told that you are the cause for your brother's devastating injury. What do you do? Do you try to remember what happened so you can literally relive the horrible memories or do you accept what you are told?

I found it believable that Shauna would want to know the truth. From what you read about Shauna before the accident, it is obvious that she would have a tenacious personality that would compell her to where she simply would have to know no matter what the cost to her. There were times that I felt the bad guys and the good guys were a little obvious. I am not sure if this is because Dekker and Healy made them obvious or if they were obvious because I read so many thrillers that I kind of get a good idea of the bad verses the good.

There were a few times where I was stunned that Shauna would confide more than once to a person who she could not fully trust. I felt like grabbing her and telling her to shut up!

The supernatural elements were believeable to me. Dekker and Healy made it easy to let go of the doubts and enjoy the flow of the story. It was also nice seeing the character struggle with her new abilities. I did like the direction of the story and for the most part it was believeable.

I only had a few problems with the book. I had a hard time getting into it in the beginning. I was pulled into it a lot more fully mid way through the book, but once I did get into it, I was ready to take the whole ride. I thought the relationship with Shauna and her dad was cleared up really oddly. This woman endured years of pain from a distant father and an abusive step mom. I believe forgiveness and restoration is possible in life, but I want to see it happen when it is such an important part of a story.

All in all I think this was a great read. It was a Christian book, but it was more so in subtle messages than out and out preachiness. I liked the main characters and felt the minor characters were well done as well. This paranormal theme is definitely something I hope to see explored again.
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LibraryThing member atdCross
One thing about reading books by Dekker is that he never fails to keep you in the dark filling you with the need to keep reading without stopping to find out what is going on. This book is no different. Although not as fast-paced as his previous books, the plot and action is satisfying. Dekker
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makes the case that it is better to dir for the truth than live with a lie in a unique story. In the opening chapter there is an interesting conversation between Shauna and her therapist. Shauna feels the only way to get closure from the pain of her father's rejection of her is to hurt him back. Onky then will she be able to forget the past, forget the pain. The therapist ask her to consider the possibility that her plan to put the past behind her may 'root [her] more deeply in the pain of [her] past,' and ask how can it be that the hurt imposed on her could vanish: 'By creating more pain? That mathematics of that isn't logical.' That, for me, is the thesis of this unique fiction. Another thing Dekker never fails to do is, after you've finished reading, make you take time to think deeply about the moral implications of his story. This is another of Dekker's books that ought not to be missed. 71/7
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LibraryThing member dk_phoenix
A Christian suspense book that doesn't succumb to the last-10-pages-we-tell-you-it's-just- 'spiritual warfare' -the-end syndrome?!? What?!? Well, then. In that case, I have to tell you that this book, although not wonderful, was fairly decent and entertaining. Some parts were predictable, some
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people you knew were going to turn out 'bad' but weren't quite sure how they fit into the big picture... but it was well-written, and managed to give me a few surprises in the end. It also didn't get super preachy at any point (that I noticed) which, as some of you may know from an earlier review, is one of my other pet peeves in Christian fiction (ie. a sermon halfway through the story).

The characters weren't neatly tied up, and some supernatural elements weren't entirely explained, and you know what? It was a good thing. It worked, because people don't always come full circle in real life, and sometimes there are things we just can't explain. All said... I enjoyed this more than I expected, which is always nice.
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LibraryThing member novelnympho
Shauna McAllister is trying to piece togethter her past, and is struggling with the answers she is led to, will she unveil the truth or is the truth even important if she is safer without it? Danger lurks around the corner and she is not sure who she can trust, if anyone. Will her relationships be
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restored? Will she regain her identity? How much will she lose in the process?

This book is excellently written from the first chapter I was hooked. My husband and I both read it within just a couple of days. A really interesting storyline with twists and turns that keep you guessing to the very end.
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LibraryThing member mmillet
"Better by far you should forget and smile than that you should remember and be sad.”Shauna has woken up from a horrible accident and isn't able to remember anything from six months prior to the car wreck. Surrounded by people who she remembers and feels she should remember, she must try to
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figure out what went wrong on that fateful night. As the pieces begin to fit together she discovers she can't trust anyone and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to her own death. A fast-paced read that was surprisingly clean and over-all intriguing. I kept waiting for the 'bad guy' to jump out of the closet and even when he did it was still suspenseful.
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LibraryThing member jenniferbogart
Wow; can that single word suffice as a book review? Ted Dekker and Erin Healy’s co-written mystery/thriller Kiss kept me glued to its pages over the course of two days. If it hadn’t been for so much laundry and housework to do I’m sure I would have finished it in a single day.

I’m not
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generally an avid fan of mysteries, but Kiss hooked me early on with the mystery of the heroine Shauna’s memory loss and the mystery surrounding the events leading up to and following the car crash that seems to have caused it. Not only must Shauna struggle to decipher the world around her with a memory gap of six months, she also needs to stay out of jail, stay alive, and learn to deal with a mysterious new ability to access the memories of others.

The suspense of not-knowing the answers to Shauna’s dilemma and situation was maddening, expect this one to keep you up late at night as you read-on to discover what lies behind the incongruities in Shauna’s present – answers that can only be found in a past that is missing. Mixed with the high-octane suspense Dekker and Healy provide a dose of romance that sweetens the pot without hi-jacking the storyline.

Kiss is most definitely delightful reading, and is perfect for losing yourself in a good story. Dekker and Healy subtly weave in some faith elements as well in an understated way, though there isn’t an emphasis on redemption. The themes the writing team explores instead tend towards the value of remembering God at work in the past, and the presence of God with us in challenging situations.

This is a brisk-paced story that will have you running along behind it, trying to keep up.

Reviewed at
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LibraryThing member HopingforChange
This is a provoking, interesting thriller. It isn't as creative as Dekker's fantasy novels, and I think it lacks the insight of those works as well. It is centered around self-discovery more than religion, which is fine with me but a bit deceitful as it is marketed as a Christian novel. I enjoyed
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Kiss, but it doesn't have the philosophical backing of Dekker's fantasy, which I find to be more thought-provoking and powerful than this novel. I have to say, though, the cover is gorgeous!
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LibraryThing member LorettaR
Great suspense/thriller/mystery story with enough twists to keep me guessing and reading. Definitely enjoyed this book.
LibraryThing member Rita_h
I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. The beginning was somewhat confusing and none of the characters, Shauna included, garnered much sympathy from me. But after the first few chapters I was hooked, and when Shauna does a turnabout from wimpy victim who makes bad
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choices, to a kick-butt woman (who still makes some bad choices), my interest in the plot took off. The second half of the book keeps the excitement going full-steam until the final pages.

Recommended for fans of suspense thrillers, and those who may want a "clean read" that delivers an intriguing mystery to boot.
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LibraryThing member exfed
I had high hopes for this mystery/suspense novel, as it had a good start . Shauna, wakes up in a hospital under police watch for her drug use that lead to a reckless car crash, but she has no memory. Her family is mad at her and she has no friends, except for Wayne who she can't remember. It all
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seems hopeless. After that it degraded into a predictable, unbelievable story without much suspense. Instead, I would recommend books by Lisa Gardner for interesting mystery/suspense novels with the female perspective.
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LibraryThing member trudyly
Suspense! Written by an excellent team, Dekker and Healy, this is one book you won't want to put down. With foreshadowing and high suspense, it's great for so many readers: you don't have to love adventure to love this story. There's romance, danger, betrayal, action. Great read!!
LibraryThing member razron
A good book but a bit mass market for a Ted Dekker book.
LibraryThing member wareagle78
A fascinating novel about a young woman, Shawna, who awakens in a hospital bed with her memory gone. Loved the suspense and enjoyed the character.
LibraryThing member MomsterBookworm
The victim of a drug-induced amnesia begins to display side effects of being able to 'steal' memories from others, simply by touching them. What will she learn? Is this a gift or a curse?

As much as I can remember, most (if not all) of Ted Dekker's protagonists are male, while this one is female,
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and a very well-fleshed out one, too -- perhaps because it's co-authored with Erin Healy. In that light, I'm looking forward to reading the subsequent (but not linked) co-authored novel titled, 'Burn'.
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LibraryThing member Carol420
Kiss is the story of Shauna McAllister, who is the daughter of a very influential, presidential candidate. The book starts with Shauna in a hospital in a coma after a horrible car accident. As she starts to awaken from the coma, she realizes that she has lost about 6 months worth of memories.
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Throughout her recovery, she is constantly trying to figure out what is truth, what is a lie, and whom she can believe. Shauna also discovers she has very unusual powers of the mind, being able to take memories from those whom she connects with.

This is one of Ted Dekker's best books as a single. It captures your attention immediately and carries you along with the tension for the whole read. Some very interesting and unexpected twists are involved.
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LibraryThing member ThoughtsofJoyLibrary
Shauna wakes up in the hospital, after a car accident, to discover that she has lost the last six months of her memory. As she tries to remove the fog in her mind, she also removes (yes, removes) some information that may be a threat to her life. She begins to wonder if the accident was really an
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I was right there with Shauna when she was trying to figure out who she could trust or not; however, once memories started to develop in her mind - the method in which those memories arrived was beyond my acceptance level. It turned a plausible scenario into an implausible one. I had no idea that there was this paranormal element to the book and I was not prepared for it. The method, in and of itself, was not a big deal - I just don't care for unexpected paranormal elements. The suspense/thriller portion of the book was still of some interest, but the memory method ruined it for me. (2.75/5)

Originally posted on: "Thoughts of Joy..."
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LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
I've read this author before. I found it interesting that the message of this novel was very similar to several of the points from Scott Hamilton's book "The Great Eight" which I read just prior to reading this:
*everyone has things in their lives that they don't like or that cause them pain
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that pain in perspective is the secret--finding out what it was supposed to teach you
*remember who got you through the pain (God)

Though, quite honestly, through the first half of the book or so, I felt like I'd read this story before. I can't remember which book or author it was that seems so similar. As a result, it took me a very long time before I started to care about the characters and what happened to them. This is partly why it only got a 3 (average) rating from me.
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