MARIA WESTON WANTS TO BE FRIENDS. BUT MARIA WESTON’S DEAD. ISN’T SHE?
1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything Louise’s other friends aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.
2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: Those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.
Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could 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.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m reviewing Friend Request. Here are my thoughts:
^^ Receiving a friend request is usually a fairly normal experience but what if you received one from a girl who was supposed to be dead? Even if she wasn’t, which is a bit of a shock, would you really want her coming back? You thought those school days, those memories, those secrets were all dead and buried. Just like her. The last thing you want is for someone to bring it all up again.
Especially if you’re feeling a little bit guilty about something…
^^ Friend Request deals with how we interact with each other online, especially Facebook. It’s so easy to share everything, what we read, eat, where we go on holiday, yet we rarely think about how much information we are giving away for free, (albeit inadvertently sometimes), like where we shop, who we live with, if we live alone, or even when our homes are empty at specific times. On top of that do we really give enough thought to who could actually be looking? Friends, family, enemies, strangers? We give away so much information about ourselves online, which by today’s standards is fairly normal, however, we’d probably die if we could see real people all crowding around our computer, snooping in person… And this is just what this book brings to light. Hello, paranoia!
^^ I really enjoyed Friend request. I read it fast and furiously. Right from the start we know Maria’s disappearance wasn’t all straight forward, a lot went on in those days at school in the 80s.
^^ As Louise (the main character) tell us her story, we flick backwards and forwards from the 80s to the present day. This is all first person point of view. Occasionally we are given a different view, in third person, which is italicised, so there is no doubt this is someone else on the scene with their own story to tell. A very different story, too.
^^ This book has a lovely creepiness to it. I say lovely, because with books (and films) I just love to be creeped out and Friend Request does this very well!
^^ The writing is brilliant, Laura Marshall definitely knows how to spin a good thriller. She kept me guessing all the way through, and added some great twists to the plot, turning this into a suspenseful, fast-paced read.
Overall: Friend Request is an entertaining, creepy read, which brings to light a lot of problems with today’s online society. It’s true to life, filling the reader with suspense and an underlying sense of foreboding.
You never know who is watching your life online. Or why.
View all my reviewson Goodreads.