Friend Request
Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston's dead. Isn't she?FRIEND REQUEST1989. 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.

Friend Request Details

TitleFriend Request
Author
FormatHardcover
ReleaseSep 5th, 2017
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
ISBN1478948515
ISBN-139781478948513
Number of pages384 pages
Rating
GenreThriller, Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Psychological Thriller, Crime, Suspense, Drama, Mystery Thriller

Friend Request Review

  • Maureen
    June 1, 2017
    When Louise receives a Facebook 'friend request' from former school friend Maria, her world stops in its tracks, because Maria died 25 years ago!The story is told in dual timelines and flips between 1989 and 2016. In 1989, Maria transfers to Louise's school in the late senior years, and initially Louise finds her a refreshing change. The girls Louise normally hangs out with are pretty and popular but are also mean minded and cruel. There are rumours surrounding Maria's transfer to her new school When Louise receives a Facebook 'friend request' from former school friend Maria, her world stops in its tracks, because Maria died 25 years ago!The story is told in dual timelines and flips between 1989 and 2016. In 1989, Maria transfers to Louise's school in the late senior years, and initially Louise finds her a refreshing change. The girls Louise normally hangs out with are pretty and popular but are also mean minded and cruel. There are rumours surrounding Maria's transfer to her new school, and of course Louise's friends are happy to exaggerate, and elaborate on these rumours. Eventually, Louise begins to feel isolated from her friends and turns her back on Maria in a particularly cruel manner.Fast forward to 2016, and Louise is divorced with a 4 year old son Henry. She's having a tough time after her divorce and now the 'friend request' threatens to unearth a 25 year old secret, that could change her life, along with the friends who also share that secret.As storyline's go, this is really current, and I found that it worked rather well. The psychological fear to be contacted out of the blue by someone who supposedly died 25 years ago is truly chilling. If I have any reservations at all it's the fact that I didn't connect with any of the characters. But the storyline did keep me interested right the way through.*Thank you to Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for my ARC in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Vanessa
    July 19, 2017
    I wouldn't have picked this book up normally but when it landed in my inbox, I couldn't resist. A great concept for a mystery thriller that had me in suspense throughout. The idea behind a Facebook friend rising from the dead and making contact after 25 years was definitely a spine chilling prospect and you really wonder about the absurdity of the whole Facebook thing and how open and vulnerable you become when you expose yourself on such a public forum as this book demonstrates. It reminds me w I wouldn't have picked this book up normally but when it landed in my inbox, I couldn't resist. A great concept for a mystery thriller that had me in suspense throughout. The idea behind a Facebook friend rising from the dead and making contact after 25 years was definitely a spine chilling prospect and you really wonder about the absurdity of the whole Facebook thing and how open and vulnerable you become when you expose yourself on such a public forum as this book demonstrates. It reminds me why I decided to delete my personal account, the idea of people you barely know getting such a personal glimpse into your inner sanctum and keeping in contact with everyone you ever met from high school days seems an odd thing and the perfect basis for a revenge style vendetta so I did quite enjoy the storyline. I was surprised by the ending and felt it was done well. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who likes a good mystery thriller and also anyone who has ever had a Facebook account could really relate to some of the themes that run throughout this book. Thank you to Netgalley and Hatchette Australia for my advanced readers copy.
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  • Linda Strong
    July 14, 2017
    Louise is a middle-aged, single mother of one young son. Being able to work from home, she likes to take breaks to keep up with her Facebook account... not that she has many friends. Today she has a new friend request ... from Maria Weston. Maria and Louise were friends once in high school, but they didn't remain friends for long. Louise can't understand why Maria would reach out to her now... especially as Maria has been dead for 25 years.This is a brilliant psychological thriller. The book bou Louise is a middle-aged, single mother of one young son. Being able to work from home, she likes to take breaks to keep up with her Facebook account... not that she has many friends. Today she has a new friend request ... from Maria Weston. Maria and Louise were friends once in high school, but they didn't remain friends for long. Louise can't understand why Maria would reach out to her now... especially as Maria has been dead for 25 years.This is a brilliant psychological thriller. The book bounces back and forth between today and those days in high school. I think most of us remember our high school days .. and not always favorably. There were always the cliques, the bad boys, the bullies.It brings to mind memories of wanting to belong..somewhere... and Louise knows exactly what that was like. Young people don't always make the wisest or safest decisions.Back to Maria ... is it possible she is still alive? If so, where has she been all this time? Is it someone who knows what happened all those years ago and wants Louise to be afraid? Louise knows that if the truth ever sees the light of day, her life, as she knows its, will be over.Somewhere along the line, the reader hears an unknown voice .... who is this? Maria? Someone closer to her?The author has captured the angst of being a teenager ... the self doubts .... Louise, as an adult, is that person who has lived with guilt and regrets her entire life. Will it ever end?Again, this is a brilliant psychological thriller. Characters have a real feel to them ... I probably knew a few of them myself while in school. The story line is credible .... teens today aren't that much different than 20 or so years ago. I highly recommend this one! It does not read as a debut novel ...and I can hardly wait to see what the author comes up with next.Now ... off to post my review in Facebook.Many thanks to the author / Grand Central Publishing / Netgalley for the advance digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • Susan
    June 11, 2017
    Louise Williams is a middle aged, divorced mother. She lives with her four year old son, Henry, and has her own business. In fact, she is re-building her life, after divorcing her childhood sweetheart, Sam, who she met at school. One day, Louise is at home when she receives a friend request on Facebook, from Maria Weston. The only problem with that, is that Maria has been dead for twenty five years…. This psychological thriller switches from the present to 1989, when Louise was at Sharne Bay Hig Louise Williams is a middle aged, divorced mother. She lives with her four year old son, Henry, and has her own business. In fact, she is re-building her life, after divorcing her childhood sweetheart, Sam, who she met at school. One day, Louise is at home when she receives a friend request on Facebook, from Maria Weston. The only problem with that, is that Maria has been dead for twenty five years…. This psychological thriller switches from the present to 1989, when Louise was at Sharne Bay High School. The friend request from Maria comes at the same time that Louise is invited to a school reunion and these events combine to force Louise to examine what happened all those years ago – memories that she has tried to bury for years. For Louise has spent her life placating others – not believing she was good enough for her husband, Sam, trying to fit in with the popular girls at school and doing things she is ashamed of in order to retain the friendship of Sophie Hannigan.Fitting in at school involved Louise being involved in the bullying of new girl, Maria, and her old friend from primary school, Esther. Without doubt, this novel will remind everyone of the intense relationships of school years, and this is mirrored in problems that Louise’s friend, Polly, is having with her daughter, Phoebe, who is also being bullied at school. When Louise feels that she is being followed and fears that her son, Henry, is in danger, it forces her to try to find out what happened all those years ago. However, when she does try to speak to those involved, she finds that they are, understandably, defensive about the past. This is a fast paced, well plotted debut novel. Despite the fact that Louise has behaved unwisely in her life, she is a sympathetic main character and it is obvious that her own lack of self esteem and confidence still affect her as an adult. I thought this was a good read and look forward to reading more from this author.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    March 26, 2017
    Really rather excellent psychological thriller here from Laura Marshall. Its so relevant actually - the whole social media thing considering we all live out our lives virtually these days - what would you do if you received a friend request from a dead person? Even without the back story that means Louise is already guilt ridden, it would give you pause right?Loved how this played out. I also liked its twisty sense of reality. Great stuff. Full on review nearer to publication - but put this in y Really rather excellent psychological thriller here from Laura Marshall. Its so relevant actually - the whole social media thing considering we all live out our lives virtually these days - what would you do if you received a friend request from a dead person? Even without the back story that means Louise is already guilt ridden, it would give you pause right?Loved how this played out. I also liked its twisty sense of reality. Great stuff. Full on review nearer to publication - but put this in your diary psychological thriller fans.
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  • Zuky the BookBum
    July 18, 2017
    Buddy read with Nicki! Read both our reviews together, here!Honestly, I went into this one just because I needed to read it before publication, but I wasn’t exactly excited about it. I just thought it was going to be another throwaway thriller – fun while I was reading it, but nothing special. I was certainly surprised when I went into it and it sucked me in straight away! Unfortunately, its ending was a major let down and I can’t see me using this as a recommendation when someone asks.One of th Buddy read with Nicki! Read both our reviews together, here!Honestly, I went into this one just because I needed to read it before publication, but I wasn’t exactly excited about it. I just thought it was going to be another throwaway thriller – fun while I was reading it, but nothing special. I was certainly surprised when I went into it and it sucked me in straight away! Unfortunately, its ending was a major let down and I can’t see me using this as a recommendation when someone asks.One of the great things about this novel is that there are lots of characters to try and pin the blame on. You think you’re happy with a theory you’ve come up with and then all of a sudden something pops up with someone else and you get suspicious again. I love novels like this where you can’t make up your mind on who you think the bad guy is!I also enjoyed the writing in this one. I’m not saying it’s anything super special, it’s reasonably simple and there aren’t a lot of beautiful descriptions of things, but it’s easy to read and definitely keeps you reading. I also thought the characters in this novel were very believable which isn’t always the easiest to do, so props to Marshall for that!Now, for the negative. Agh, both me and Nicki were so disappointed by the ending of this one! Personally, I felt that all the build up to the reveal led to something very mediocre. Nicki came up with such an excellent ending about Maria that I was so sure she had got it right because it would have been amazing! But, alas, It was not what we thought and turned out to be something much more boring.I don’t want to give anything away by saying too much but at the end, there are two reveals and one of them felt like it was put into the story just for the sake of having another “dun, dun, dunnn” moment. It was still good for concluding the novel but it was a bit left field.I also think some parts of the book dragged out a bit and could have been edited back. It would have been punchier and quicker had a few bits been taken out.I don’t hate this novel, but I also don’t love it. It was definitely a page turner to begin with, but it slowly got less interesting and then ended on a downer. I would have definitely given it 4 stars had it not been for the ending.Thanks to Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.
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  • The Book Review Café
    July 8, 2017
    All my reviews can be found at http://thebookreviewcafe.comFriend Request deals with a very relevant and current subject, and one we all pretty much use in our daily life’s, the addictive but dreaded Facebook, we all reveal details of our life, what we ate, where we went on holiday, things we’ve done, but do you ever think about who could be reading your posts, looking at your photos without your knowledge? Are they really who they say they are? Well once you’ve read this book the paranoia will All my reviews can be found at http://thebookreviewcafe.comFriend Request deals with a very relevant and current subject, and one we all pretty much use in our daily life’s, the addictive but dreaded Facebook, we all reveal details of our life, what we ate, where we went on holiday, things we’ve done, but do you ever think about who could be reading your posts, looking at your photos without your knowledge? Are they really who they say they are? Well once you’ve read this book the paranoia will kick in and I’m sure like me you will be checking your privacy settings and friends list time and time again!When Louise Williams receives a friends request on Facebook, a normal day occurrence for most of us, but for Louise it’s not everyday you get a request to befriend someone who has supposedly been dead for over twenty years! It’s apparent from the start that Louise is hiding something regarding Maria’s disappearance, the what and why’s are intricately revealed layer by layer in this tense psychological thriller.Friend Request switches between the present and 1989 which reveals the events leading up to Maria’s disappearance, by using this ploy the author heightens the suspense and there’s a undercurrent of disquiet and foreboding running throughout this novel. As Maria’s messages escalate Louise is forced to examine what happened all those years ago, memories that she was preferred to keep buried.At this point I must admit I found it hard to like any of the characters in this novel, now normally this can spoil the read for me, but fortunately it actually heightened my enjoyment as I couldn’t help but hope some of the characters would get “their just deserts”. Friend Request is a chilling psychological thriller that explores many relevant issues, with an highly original plot and taut with suspense Laura Marshall has written a very accomplished debut psychological thriller. A great read for the summer and one I would highly recommend.
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  • Blair
    March 23, 2017
    I couldn't resist the premise and tagline of Friend Request. Maria wants to be friends [on Facebook]. But Maria is dead. Isn't she? I mean, doesn't that just sound like the 21st-century Point Horror book you never knew you wanted? I thought it would be schlocky as hell, ridiculous and unintentionally funny. It turned out to be much, much better than that, but just as gripping and entertaining as I'd hoped. The story is exactly what it sounds like. The protagonist, Louise, receives a Facebook fri I couldn't resist the premise and tagline of Friend Request. Maria wants to be friends [on Facebook]. But Maria is dead. Isn't she? I mean, doesn't that just sound like the 21st-century Point Horror book you never knew you wanted? I thought it would be schlocky as hell, ridiculous and unintentionally funny. It turned out to be much, much better than that, but just as gripping and entertaining as I'd hoped. The story is exactly what it sounds like. The protagonist, Louise, receives a Facebook friend request from a girl she knew at school. The thing is, Maria Weston has been missing, presumed dead, for 27 years; what's more, Louise has never recovered from the guilt she feels about her role in bullying Maria. The book alternates between Louise's present-day mounting paranoia about the friend request and the ensuing messages she receives from 'Maria', and her schooldays in 1989. We learn about Louise's friendship with the manipulative Sophie; how she was forced into tormenting Maria in order to keep hold of her own position in the 'popular' clique.Laura Marshall is great at depicting precarious teenage relationships and the lasting effects of bullying. Despite becoming a mother and having a successful career as an interior designer, Louise has never really put those days behind her, and is still beset by the insecurity Sophie and her cronies instilled in her. She is far more nuanced a character than I expected to find in a story like this. Marshall is also utterly brilliant at red herrings. I haven't read a crime novel or thriller in recent memory that's done a better job of misdirection; I had about five theories and only one of them was half-right. The plot is tense and just-one-more-chapter compulsive: once I'd started I couldn't stop, and the further I got, the more I absolutely had to finish it.A fantastic thriller that rattles along at a, well, thrilling pace, Friend Request is fun and totally addictive, but it's also thoughtful, well-written, and doesn't sacrifice the plausibility of characters' behaviour for the sake of outrageous twists. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I received an advance review copy of Friend Request from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
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  • Dannii Elle
    July 24, 2017
    Review to follow.
  • Tracy Fenton
    March 19, 2017
    As a huge fan of psychological thrillers and Facebook this book appealed to me immediately and I started it almost as soon as I was approved on Netgalley. Louise is a divorced, single mum who receives a friend request from someone she thought she’d left behind in her past over 25 years old. The fact that the friend request is from a girl who died and Louise has carried the guilt and secrets with since, only increases her paranoia and fear. Told through Louise’s point of view and switching from p As a huge fan of psychological thrillers and Facebook this book appealed to me immediately and I started it almost as soon as I was approved on Netgalley. Louise is a divorced, single mum who receives a friend request from someone she thought she’d left behind in her past over 25 years old. The fact that the friend request is from a girl who died and Louise has carried the guilt and secrets with since, only increases her paranoia and fear. Told through Louise’s point of view and switching from past and present, this story has many layers and underlying themes including bullying and trying to fit in and being accepted at school. I raced through this book and was constantly trying to guess who/why/where and how. This is a gripping page turner and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers, Little, Brown Book Group UK
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  • Joanne Robertson
    July 5, 2017
    One of the first things I did when I finished this book was to go on Facebook. Not to write a review or to share how much I enjoyed this book but to check my privacy settings!! The scary side of social media is shown off to sickening levels here when you realise just how much you leave yourself open to online! Now I know we have all Facebook stalked ex partners and friends (NO??!! Just me then??) to torture ourselves gazing at their Facebook perfect lives, with their subtly placed lifestyle boas One of the first things I did when I finished this book was to go on Facebook. Not to write a review or to share how much I enjoyed this book but to check my privacy settings!! The scary side of social media is shown off to sickening levels here when you realise just how much you leave yourself open to online! Now I know we have all Facebook stalked ex partners and friends (NO??!! Just me then??) to torture ourselves gazing at their Facebook perfect lives, with their subtly placed lifestyle boasts and carefully chosen, filtered photos but after reading this book you will rethink your online presence. Louise Williams has left herself open to more than she realises when she shares her normal everyday life on her Facebook page. Struggling to move on after her divorce has left her a single mum to 4 year old Henry she is shocked to receive a friend request from an old school friend especially when that friend is dead. Louise is keeping secrets about what happened the night Maria Weston went missing but it looks like they aren’t as hidden as she might have hoped.  A school reunion may provide some answers but are they the ones Louise wants to hear?Wow! This is one brilliantly twisted, knicker-grippingly suspenseful psychological thriller that fits perfectly into my favourite genre! I thought I had it all figured out, spotted all the clues and was sitting smugly thinking “I’ve got this one” but no, I was way off the mark! If you want an unputdownable, relentless but highly relevant nail biter then Friend Request needs to be on your Kindle right now! If this is the standard of her debut novel then I can’t wait to see what Laura Marshall has up her sleeve for any future books she writes. This is the exact quality of writing and plotting I want to read when picking a psychological thriller and it’s set the bar pretty high for the rest of my summer reads!Friend Request is a dazzling debut, compellingly written with a thought provoking and credible storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent reading it and highly recommend it to fans of this genre. It’s a good ‘un!!!
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  • Angela
    July 2, 2017
    Remember the peer pressure at school? You were a nice person really, but those popular girls you so wanted to impress and be part of, they made you say and do things you didn't want to do; do things you knew you shouldn't do. That's just how Louise feels in trying to be best friends with gorgeous and popular Sophie. Then Maria, the new girl at school who quickly became Louise's best friend, she disappears after a party, falls off a cliff into the sea. No body was ever washed up or found. Twenty- Remember the peer pressure at school? You were a nice person really, but those popular girls you so wanted to impress and be part of, they made you say and do things you didn't want to do; do things you knew you shouldn't do. That's just how Louise feels in trying to be best friends with gorgeous and popular Sophie. Then Maria, the new girl at school who quickly became Louise's best friend, she disappears after a party, falls off a cliff into the sea. No body was ever washed up or found. Twenty-six years later, Louise gets a friend request into her Facebook account from Maria Weston, coinciding with a school reunion in a couple of weeks time. From chapter 2 we go back to 1989 when the group of teenagers were at school and what started as mild bullying and peer pressure started. The two timelines neatly explore the girls personalities and the back timeline answers questions and gives explanations of the present timeline.I found much of the book to be quite gripping. The question on both the characters and the readers mind continues through to almost the end of the book – is Maria Weston alive and has she come back to seek revenge? There are lots of tense moments, never any dull ones, and the telling of the story, the plot, is very well thought out and realistic. I can hardly believe that Friend Request is Laura Marshall's debut novel, she reads like a seasoned author. I can only expect that future works will be even better.
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  • Nicki
    March 22, 2017
    Divorced single mum Louise Williams is shocked when she receives a message from someone from her past.Maria Weston wants to be your friend.But Maria disappeared on the night of a leavers party over twenty years ago and everyone believes that she is dead.Louise has lived her adult life knowing that she is responsible for Maria`s disappearance,but now Maria is back,or is she?This multi layered,multi themed story is told from Louise`s point of view and flips back and forth between the present day a Divorced single mum Louise Williams is shocked when she receives a message from someone from her past.Maria Weston wants to be your friend.But Maria disappeared on the night of a leavers party over twenty years ago and everyone believes that she is dead.Louise has lived her adult life knowing that she is responsible for Maria`s disappearance,but now Maria is back,or is she?This multi layered,multi themed story is told from Louise`s point of view and flips back and forth between the present day and Louise and her friends school days back in 1989.To be honest I enjoyed the mystery and intregue of the present day chapters more than the slow build up to what happened on the night of the leavers party during the chapters set in 1989.The characters in both time frames were well developed,realistic,completely untrustworthy and most of them were unlikable for various reasons.There was a number of intense,edge of the seat moments in the present day chapters and the final reveal of what happened to Maria was truly chilling and shocking.Although I liked some parts more than others I still enjoyed reading this page turning debut thriller.Many thanks to little Brown books UK for a arc of this book via netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
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  •  j e w e l s (Books Bejeweled)
    July 20, 2017
    See all my obliquely twisted plot reviews at https://booksbejeweled.comMaria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Innocent enough, right? WRONG! Maria Weston has been dead for over 25 years.Ooooooh, that sounds creepy and believe me FRIEND REQUEST is a psychological roller coaster from start to finish. Louise Williams is a 40-something single mother of an adorable 4 year old boy. She is a reserved, quiet type that prefers to look at the world from the outside in. Especially from Facebook.Is s See all my obliquely twisted plot reviews at https://booksbejeweled.comMaria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Innocent enough, right? WRONG! Maria Weston has been dead for over 25 years.Ooooooh, that sounds creepy and believe me FRIEND REQUEST is a psychological roller coaster from start to finish. Louise Williams is a 40-something single mother of an adorable 4 year old boy. She is a reserved, quiet type that prefers to look at the world from the outside in. Especially from Facebook.Is she really that shy or is something going on here? My suspicious mind is always questioning the main character.  I can't help it! As secrets are revealed about Louise, the story's only point of view, we find she is carrying a huge amount of guilt from her high school days.  Her friend, Maria Weston, went missing that year and was assumed dead. Why does Louise feel so guilty about that? Hmmm.When Louise receives the friend request from Maria, you can only imagine how freaked out she becomes. Louise is a smart person, computer literate and she goes through all the expected steps to find out who sent the request. She becomes convinced this is not a "catfish" or a prank.  As she receives more messages, she keeps investigating and we start learning more about her past.The author, Laura Marshall, expertly carries Louise's story in alternating chapters entitled 1989 and 2016. In this style, we are given bits and clues and a red herring or two, and all the reader has to do is put this mystery together. Easy enough. Except this:  Louise may or may not be an unreliable narrator. I can't say. You will be wondering as I was all through this book and I take my "no spoilers" oath seriously. So I cannot tell you. Sorry/not sorry. The ending is an ugly surprise, not my favorite ending of all time, but it definitely is a plausible one. I can highly recommend FRIEND REQUEST. Add it to your TBR.
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  • Imi
    June 17, 2017
    Thoughts immediately after completing: I, like many people I believe, have a love/hate relationship with social media. The fact is, while social media and sharing has many benefits, in the wrong hands all that information can be terrifying. You lose out on so much by not being "connected", and it's becoming that you no longer have a choice to disconnect. This really means you have to take the good with bad. What I'm trying to say, is that the premise of this mystery thriller offered so much pos Thoughts immediately after completing: I, like many people I believe, have a love/hate relationship with social media. The fact is, while social media and sharing has many benefits, in the wrong hands all that information can be terrifying. You lose out on so much by not being "connected", and it's becoming that you no longer have a choice to disconnect. This really means you have to take the good with bad. What I'm trying to say, is that the premise of this mystery thriller offered so much possibility, the idea behind it being so close to home to all of us. This could have been a really fantastic and terrifying thriller if plotted well.Well, it wasn't. Repetitive and poorly paced, the story never took off and even if it had, I found out very early on that I really didn't care. The protagonist, Louise, was infuriating, and I found her fears and insecurities both unreasonable and ridiculous at times. I don't think this is being marketed as young adult, I've seen no mention of that anyway, but it really should be as the whole plot revolves around petty high school drama. That wouldn't have really bothered me personally (although it was not what I was expecting), but what did bother me was the fact that present-day Louise, in her 40s, is still dwelling on her school-girl days and has not moved on in the slightest. It's just a bit sad, really, that she has not gained any perspective with age and still frets constantly about what people thought of her back then. I couldn't connect with her at all and that, along with some cheesiness and overall dull prose, put me off the book all together. Thoughts one month on: I've not been able to publish this review until today, 2 weeks before publication, at the request of the publisher. Thinking back on the book, nearly one month later, and in particular the ending, I have to say the ending was pretty good. If this were any other mystery thriller, one that I'd enjoyed reading just a bit more, then I would probably be praising the ending. Thinking back, it was a fairly realistic and believable conclusion, given the circumstances, something I've really wanted from many books of the genre I've read recently. The problem was that by the time I'd reach that ending, I really didn't care anymore, having not enjoyed the rest of the book much at all, so that made it hard to appreciate the ending. Honestly, although I've been tiring of the ridculous, OTT twists and turns of many mystery thrillers, at least the experience of reading them is fun? Not something that can said about this one, at least not for me personally.
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  • Paula Phillips
    July 16, 2017
    I was in the mood for a mystery read, and Laura Marshall's debut captured my attention with the title Friend Request. As we live in a technology based world, it makes sense that Social Media tools make its way into mystery novels. This book is set in 2016 but flashes back to the class of 1989. It starts with the present time and Louise getting a Facebook friend request from Maria Weston. The photo is taken from the profile is their high school photo but it can't be Maria can it as she died durin I was in the mood for a mystery read, and Laura Marshall's debut captured my attention with the title Friend Request. As we live in a technology based world, it makes sense that Social Media tools make its way into mystery novels. This book is set in 2016 but flashes back to the class of 1989. It starts with the present time and Louise getting a Facebook friend request from Maria Weston. The photo is taken from the profile is their high school photo but it can't be Maria can it as she died during their last year of high school in 1989. Louise flashes back to her first meeting of Maria Weston and how Maria wanted to fit in, but the girls made it difficult for her. As the book progresses someone is sending Louise messages and taunting her, is it Maria or is someone wanting to toy with her? During the book it is also the ten year High School reunion and Louise has shown up as is her ex-husband Sam and their group of friends. Louise was best friends with Sophie back in school, and it looks like Sophie was sent the same friend request. What will happen when one of Louise's classmates is found murdered the morning after the reunion? Has someone come to exact revenge for what happened to Maria Weston and as we go further into the novel, we find out the truth about what happened that fateful night of the 1989 Leavers party and who saw Maria Weston last that night she disappeared? If you are in the mood for a good mystery using Facebook and High School Reunions, then check out Friend Request by Laura Marshall today.
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  • Giedre
    April 12, 2017
    The premise of this book is really intriguing- Louise receives a friend request on Facebook from Maria Weston, but Maria Weston has been dead for decades! What is going on? Who is behind this?!The book started off really good. Writing is smooth, the mystery is quite involving and the whole Facebook thing is just so close to home that it makes you think. But 20% or so in, and it dwindled down... It became repetitive and the main character so annoying. Her fears sounded quite unreasonable to me an The premise of this book is really intriguing- Louise receives a friend request on Facebook from Maria Weston, but Maria Weston has been dead for decades! What is going on? Who is behind this?!The book started off really good. Writing is smooth, the mystery is quite involving and the whole Facebook thing is just so close to home that it makes you think. But 20% or so in, and it dwindled down... It became repetitive and the main character so annoying. Her fears sounded quite unreasonable to me and the whole twist at the end was just too far fetched. I felt my disappointment growing with every page, but I kept going as I wanted to find out who is behind it. So this book does have a capacity of holding one's interest is just too bad about it being too repetitive and main character so useless and annoying. 'Friend Request' is very addictive and well-written. I would recommend it to occasional reader. Thanks Netgalley for advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jessica (Jess Hearts Books)
    June 4, 2017
    This book was right up my street! We all do things we regret as teenagers but what if the past came back to haunt you, literally? Friend Request is perfect for anyone who enjoys books on the subject of toxic friendships, social media, regret and vengeance.
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  • booksofallkinds
    July 23, 2017
    FRIEND REQUEST by Laura Marshall is a very current, fresh, and compelling psychological thriller that will reel you in from the very first line and keep you interested to the very last sentence.Louise Williams is a divorced, single mum who runs her own business and is slowly building up her confidence after all that she has been through. But when she receives a Facebook friend request from an old school mate Maria Weston, all of her insecurities and fear from the past spring to life again. Louis FRIEND REQUEST by Laura Marshall is a very current, fresh, and compelling psychological thriller that will reel you in from the very first line and keep you interested to the very last sentence.Louise Williams is a divorced, single mum who runs her own business and is slowly building up her confidence after all that she has been through. But when she receives a Facebook friend request from an old school mate Maria Weston, all of her insecurities and fear from the past spring to life again. Louise has tried hard to forget about that time of her life and how is this even possible? After all, Maria has been dead for over twenty-five years...With the perfect timing of her old school reunion, Louise must revisit her teenage years and all of its ugliness if she is to protect herself and her little boy, but as she starts to delve into the past and what happened to Maria, danger seems to be waiting. FRIEND REQUEST by Laura Marshall jumps from past to present, giving the reader the full experience of what happened to the characters - from bullying to that desperate search for popularity, we feel it all alongside those that it is happening to. There is a tense atmosphere present on every page and I found myself urging Louise to face the past head on yet there was still something extremely unlikeable about Louise's character, and most of the characters in this novel. If you are a fan of psychological thrillers then FRIEND REQUEST by Laura Marshall is well worth a read. *I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley.com
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  • Stacey Dirt))
    July 19, 2017
    **4.5 Stars** What if your entire life hinged on an irresponsible decision you made as a teenager? And what if you spent your entire life pushing everyone away in the hope that you can keep one life-changing decision secret, hidden from everyone but a select few who know what happened? This is essentially the premise of Friend Request. The book follows the life of Louise, who, against her better instincts, desires to be part of the popular clique in high school as a teenager. To be part of this **4.5 Stars** What if your entire life hinged on an irresponsible decision you made as a teenager? And what if you spent your entire life pushing everyone away in the hope that you can keep one life-changing decision secret, hidden from everyone but a select few who know what happened? This is essentially the premise of Friend Request. The book follows the life of Louise, who, against her better instincts, desires to be part of the popular clique in high school as a teenager. To be part of this group, she is pressured to try drugs, drink alcohol, and change her looks. Sophie, beautiful and glamorous, is predictably the leader of the clique, and Louise wants nothing more than to be Sophie's best friend and confidant. To gain Sophie's unfettered attention, Louise bullies girls who aren't in the clique. One fateful night Louise, Sophie, and their male sidekicks, Matt and Sam, take things way too far.The book picks up nearly 20 years later with Louise living a safe, solid middle- to upper-class life. Louise has divorced from Sam, one of the male clique members. She has cut ties with the clique, and the poor choices she made as a member of it. She has an adorable preschool-age son who she loves and cannot imagine life without. She will do anything to keep her son safe from her past discretions, especially when they begin to rise to the surface.Louise's tightly controlled world is upended when she receives a Facebook friend request from one of the girls she and her clique relentlessly teased: the friend who disappeared the night the clique's prank went awry and was never found or seen again. This missing friend, Maria, knew (or knows?!) everything about Louise's past sins, and threatens to unravel the quaint but comfortable life Louise enjoys with her 4 year old son.I loved this book's heart pounding plot. I also loved that this book raised philosophical questions about the emotional and physical turmoil of youth, both of which can painfully linger long after high school has ended. Can we escape who we were as teenagers, or will that period of life forever define us? Should someone (Louise) suffer eternal guilt for a horrible decision she made as a teenager?Throughout the book, I kept second guessing the characters surrounding Louise and asking questions about the event that left Maria missing. Is Maria alive? What exactly happened the night of her disappearance? Thank you to the author, Laura Marshall, NetGalley, and the publisher, Grand Central Publishing, for the advanced reader copy of this fantastic thriller!
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  • Scott
    July 25, 2017
    I won a proof copy of this novel in a Goodreads giveaway thanks to the generosity of the publishers. I thought the concept was great with a nice twist at the end. Some really interesting thoughts on what we share on social media and how it can adversely affect us. A definite recommendation for fans of The Girl on the Train and thrillers.
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  • Voracious
    April 15, 2017
    Review to follow
  • Yolanda Sfetsos
    July 26, 2017
    This is a thriller that caught my attention after I received an email from Hachette Australia. The premise sounded interesting, so I was very excited when I received a copy.Louise Williams is a single mother with her own interior design business. She adores her four-year-old son, only has one real friend and a handful of colleagues she barely keeps in touch with. She mostly looks through Facebook to anonymously watch other people's lives, and only sees her ex-husband when she delivers their son This is a thriller that caught my attention after I received an email from Hachette Australia. The premise sounded interesting, so I was very excited when I received a copy.Louise Williams is a single mother with her own interior design business. She adores her four-year-old son, only has one real friend and a handful of colleagues she barely keeps in touch with. She mostly looks through Facebook to anonymously watch other people's lives, and only sees her ex-husband when she delivers their son for visitations.Her life isn't exciting, but it's orderly and helps her move on from the haunting teenage events that never left her.So when she gets a friend request from a girl she used to know in high school, her world is turned upside down. Maria Weston disappeared in 1989 and was presumed dead, so how can she be sending any messages? A simple message that affects Louise so much memories begin to drown her just as the paranoia of being watched threatens to engulf her.When she decides to attend her high school reunion, everything intensifies. Because trying to piece together what really happened that night while desperately keeping her very incriminating actions secret, might put herself and son in grave danger...Yikes! Wow. Okay.I really enjoyed this book. It was very addictive, well written and SO interesting. Seriously, one of my favourite things about this story was the honest simplicity of Louise's everyday existence, and how the reader is so easily fooled into believing her life is average and boring, when it's anything but. There's so much hidden beneath the surface, and the pace of the revelations is perfect.The characters are also an amazing feat. I mean, asides from Polly--who is awesome and such a good friend--there was so much to dislike about the characters. Even Louise frustrated me so much that sometimes I couldn't believe what she was actually doing, and hated how easily she lets others dominate her. But as the story moves along and we get to know her better, every reaction makes total sense. Louise might be all grown up but she never overcame her many teen failures and weaknesses. Her interactions with an old school 'friend' (because Sophie was never much of a friend)  confirms this.Although the majority of the story takes place in 2016, there are several very insightful chapters that jump back to 1989.Friend Request is an engrossing and very suspenseful story that hooked me in and kept me riveted to every page. It was seriously addictive, got into my brain and I couldn't wait for the secrets to be revealed. When they were, I wasn't disappointed.This is a seriously awesome book, with several unexpected twists and turns.Also, I love the cover. It's so creepy!
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  • Denise
    July 26, 2017
    How far would you go, and what would you be willing to do to protect your biggest secrets?Imagine checking your Facebook account and finding a friend request from someone you knew back in high school. A name that brought back a past that you thought you had successfully escaped. And it is especially jarring because that person is dead -- right?Louise gets such a request from Maria Weston -- a girl she bullied in high school back in 1989. In addition, there's an invite to a reunion of their class How far would you go, and what would you be willing to do to protect your biggest secrets?Imagine checking your Facebook account and finding a friend request from someone you knew back in high school. A name that brought back a past that you thought you had successfully escaped. And it is especially jarring because that person is dead -- right?Louise gets such a request from Maria Weston -- a girl she bullied in high school back in 1989. In addition, there's an invite to a reunion of their class. Newly divorced from Sam and taking care of her son while running a home-based business has been hard. Louise is scared and worried -- she has to find out if Maria is still alive and why Maria is sending messages. Her secrets have to stay buried.This was a fast-paced drama focusing on the danger of secrets and the issue of bullying that gets out of hand. "I don't even know if there is such a thing as the truth when it comes to relationships, or only versions of it, shaped by love and fear and the way we lie to ourselves and others." The cast of characters was interesting and some more fully developed than others. I enjoyed it!Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the e-book ARC to read and review.
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  • Sarah Davies
    June 11, 2017
    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 the girls Louise hangs out with 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 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 the girls Louise hangs out with 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 she'd severed ties with 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's pretending to be her--is known to all.This was a great book all around, as I was lucky enough to win this as a Goodreads giveaway prize, and the story sounded intriguing, so having the book delivered to me on Saturday morning and then reading the book within less than 24 say's it all really!!The story has a fantastic mix of mystery, intrigue and suspense and still keeps you guessing to the last couple of pages.Stunning storyline that got me hooked from the first couple of pages, with a fantastic mix of characters that keep you guessing until the end! A really good page turner!! 5* Recommended Read!!!
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  • Rebecca
    April 1, 2017
    Full review to follow.
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