stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria's sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone with whom she'd severed ties in order to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there's more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what's known to Maria-or whoever is pretending to be her-is known to all.
With her mesmerizing debut, Laura Marshall offers a timely and essential story of how who we were shapes who we become, the hidden cost of our increasingly connected world, and the dangerous shape that revenge can take in our modern era.
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Read my Book Review
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller and Suspense
Friend Request by Laura Mashall is a well written debut novel that captures the chilling side of social media. Do we really know who we are talking to in cyber space? This is the question that will sit at the forefront of the readers mind from beginning to end. We may think we know what is happening, but in all reality, it's much more sinister than that...
Friend Request is told in both flashbacks and the present tense directly after the heroine (Louise) receives a friend request from Maria. However, Maria died 25 years ago. Didn't she? What happens after this is a chilling and haunting tale that follows Louise as she scrambles to figure out if in fact, Maria is back from the grave. And if she is, what does she want? Readers will find that the twists and turns are unexpected, and the reliability of the narrator questionable. But one thing they won't question is if this book is thrilling enough for the genre. Because it fits in like a gem.
There are many things I really liked about this book. For one, the whole reason WHY this friend request was being sent was compelling to me. When the main character and her clique of friends were in school 25 years ago, they did things that were unbecoming and just plain mean. They bullied a girl for no other reason than jealousy and hatred. Why they hated her is a mystery, but I tend to think it's because as teenage girls, they were insecure in their own bodies and friendships and needed an outlet- hence, the bullying. Unfortunately, they took things a bit too far and the girl they were bullying ended up disappearing... Until she turns up online 25 years later... Readers will question what happened to Maria from beginning to end. They will think they know the answers only to be served a big plate of the cold hard truth in the end... And it will shock you to the core!
Another thing I liked about this book is the TWISTS. And I do mean twists because there are more than one. I wasn't expecting either- so the mystery of it all was a surprise which is something I am always looking for in a book like this. However, I think one of the twists could have been done without- it seemed like too much for one story. Perhaps if the author stuck to one idea instead of incorporating two then it would have been a 5 star read? Maybe.
One of the things I didn't care for was the lack of empathy from the characters. They say they cared about what they did all those years ago, but then again, they never made amends for their mistakes. Had they been truly living with the grief of it all I would have though someone would have said something prior to those 25 years. But alas, not all characters are perfect and the fact they they are indeed flawed does appeal to me as a reader. However, it was a little unbelievable to me.
With that, this is a haunting thriller that will leave readers hanging on the edge of their seats. It will raise those goosebumps on your skin because it will be so close to home for many of us as we are living in a day and age where being online is as important as breathing. I would certainly recommend this novel and will definitely be looking for more of the authors work in the future.
Special thanks to the publishers on netgalley for sending me an eARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my views or rating in any way.
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