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First published 2017 by Sphere. Paperback, 371 pages.
Friend Request is one of many books I have picked up in charity shops for a low price. This one caught my attention when I saw it because there was something fascinating about the title and synopsis.
What is ‘Friend Request’ about?
I’m going to be very careful in this review not to give anything away that could spoil it for you. But to give a basic premise, the main character Louise receives a Facebook friend request from a girl she went to school with, Maria, who has been dead for over twenty five years. The book tells the unfolding of events that happen after this request, as well as gradually revealing details about the past.
This is the synopsis on the book cover:
“Maria Weston wants to be friends with me.
Maybe that had been the problem all along: Maria Weston had wanted to be friends with me, but I let her down.
She’s been hovering at the edge of my consciousness for all of my adult life, although I’ve been good at keeping her out, just a blurred shadow in the corner of my eye, almost but not quite out of sight.
Maria Weston wants to be friends.
But Maria Weston has been dead for more than twenty-five years.”
What is it like to read?
The writing style is easy to read and understand. This book is gripping and addictive, because it keeps you guessing and trying to work out the various mysteries. Details are gradually revealed, so at first you have no idea of the back-story or the significance of this friend request, but you learn things little by little.
The narrative switches between 1989, Louise’s school days, and 2016, the present day. The chapters often end with suspense, before skipping to another year in the next chapter. This keeps you waiting to find out what happens next. This means that the book is very hard to put down! One night I stayed up until about 2am reading it because I just had to find out what happened.
Despite being a fictional thriller, there are definitely real life lessons that we can learn from this book. I won’t say what they are because I don’t want to give spoilers, but I like that I can learn things even from fiction books.
Would I recommend Friend Request?
I would wholeheartedly recommend Friend Request, because I really enjoyed it and it got me hooked! It is thrilling but not terrifying, so even if you are easily scared you will probably be okay with reading this book. I’d say that this book is suitable for anyone aged 16 and upwards, because there is some content that may not be suitable for younger readers.
I had never heard of Laura Marshall before, so I am pleased to have discovered a new author. She appears to have another book published so I will be checking that out!