THE BLURB: A paranoid single mom is forced to confront the unthinkable act she committed as a desperate teenager in this addictive thriller with a social media twist. 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 VIEWS: Firstly, this is an amazing debut novel. I read it in one sitting, totally mesmerized and enthralled. Laura Marshall has taken two topics, common to most of our lives, and written a deliciously twisted psychological thriller that had my heart pounding and my nails dug into my palms.
Most of us have, at some point in our lives, been either bullied or the bully. Just as most of us have an online presence, whether it be FB, Twitter, Instagram or any one of the many other social platforms available out there. And now the two are often combined, so that bullying and stalking have become a common occurrence on social media. And although there was no social media when Louise and her friends were tormenting Maria, this is the means someone has chosen to let her and her friends know that their actions have not been forgotten, and that there will be repercussions.
And now, with the proliferation of people living out their lives in the public arena, it has become almost impossible to hide. Someone always knows where you are, what you are doing and who your loved ones are. And really, how do you know that the person you ‘friend’ is really who they say they are? ‘Anyone can be anyone on Facebook. It is easy to hide behind a faceless page on the Internet.’
Laura Marshall has done a superb job of bringing Louise’s guilt over her past behavior and her fear of the impact it could have on her adult life, to life on the page. It is exciting to see such new writing talent emerging. I look forward to another sleepless night when her next book is published. I hope you are writing frantically Laura! 4.5 very bright and shiny ☆ for a gripping debut novel.
Thank you to Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Friend Request by Laura Marshall for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my ‘About’ page for an explanation of my ratings. This review is also published on my blog https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2112008197?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1