About the Book
Maria wants to be friends.
But Maria is dead . . . isn’t she?
When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past, her heart nearly stops.
Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.
Maria Weston has been missing for over twenty-five years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers’ party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life with a terrible secret.
As Maria’s messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress. Trying to piece together exactly what happened that night, she soon discovers there’s much she didn’t know. The only certainty is that Maria Weston disappeared that night, never to be heard from again – until now. . .
As soon as read the premise for Friend Request I knew it was one I had to get my hands on as soon as possible. It sounded so creepy and intriguing, and I’m pleased to say that I very much enjoyed reading it.
This is very a prescient novel with the way social media plays such a huge part in our lives now and it’s so easy to see a new friend request and because we recognise the name and profile photo we believe it’s who we’re told it is because how would we know otherwise? Louise gets a shock when she gets a friend request from an old school friend, who has been missing for twenty five years but she feels compelled to accept it and to find out what is going on. This really unnerved me because a few years ago I got a friend request from a boy I’d known at school, the photo was of him as a teenager and the name was correct… except I knew it couldn’t be genuine because my mum still lived in the town I’d grown up in and she knew he’d been tragically killed in an accident soon after we left school. It was very creepy. Obviously I reported the profile and it was eventually removed but it did make me wonder how many people, perhaps people who no longer had connections to our home town, would have been taken in by the profile. So it felt totally believable to me that Louise would want to know more about her old friend.
Friend Request is told in a dual timeline: one strand is the present day where Louise is increasingly unsettled by strange happenings and also dealing with messages supposedly from Maria. The other strand is back in 1989 and leads up to what happened to Maria’s disappearance. I loved how the picture of events was gradually built up and found this novel near impossible to put down as the tension ramped up.
A school reunion is organised and Louise feels compelled to attend, and this is the part of the novel where we also get the leaving party from 1989 so all the main people in the novel are at these parties across the years and I loved how it was all played out. It gave a sense of past and present being overlapped and you get a real sense of who these people were as teenagers and how quickly people can revert to those personality traits in stressful situations. By this point I didn’t trust anyone, and I wasn’t even sure Louise was telling the whole truth so I was on the edge of my seat reading it.
I read this book as I was trying to get out of a bit of a reading slump and it definitely got me out of it because I just didn’t want to put this book down until I knew what was going on. I read in two sittings and immediately recommended it to a friend who was looking for an unputdownable novel.
I recommend Friend Request, it’s a fast-paced novel that will keep you questioning who you can trust right through to the end!
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.
Friend Request is out now and available here.
About the Author
Laura Marshall grew up in Wiltshire and studied English at the University of Sussex.
In 2015 she decided it was time to fulfil a lifetime’s ambition to write a novel, and enrolled on the Curtis Brown Creative three month novel writing course.
Her first novel, Friend Request, was runner-up in the Bath Novel Award 2016 and shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize 2016. Friend Request was published by Little, Brown in the UK in 2017 and became a number one Kindle bestseller.
Laura lives in Kent with her husband and two children.
20 thoughts on “#BookReview: Friend Request by Laura Marshall @laurajm8 @LittleBrownUK”
Oh how creepy that you had that friend request!
It was really unnerving and I never found out who was behind it. Such a horrible thing to do.
Was going to say the same, that’s horrible:( This has been on my Kindle for so long and I keep bumping it up and then getting thrown away from it again. This weekend. Definitely!
It was horrible, and so creepy as I never found out who was behind the profile. Friend Request is a great read though, I definitely recommend bumping it up your TBR pile soon. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
I really hope I do, have heard so many gushes about it (you’ll guess I still haven’t got to it a week later!)
Oh, that really is eerie that you got that friend request, Hayley! How awful! The book, though, sounds intriguing, and that’s a really interesting premise for a story. I’m glad you thought that the pace was right, and the characters interesting.
It was really unnerving when it happened, and even now I sometimes wonder who was behind it because we never found out. Friend Request was such a good read – I always enjoy picking a book up and being so gripped I read it in just one or two sittings.
Uh, what a creepy story with that request you got. I sometimes receive Skype messages from my dead friend (spam, but still creepy)
I got this book too, can’t wait to read it 😃
It was so creepy, especially as I never found out who was behind it. I’m sorry that you still get messages from your friend’s Skype, it’s unnerving when these things happen, isn’t it? Friend Request is a good read though, I found it hard to put down. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂
Shocking that you received that friend request, how awful. I’ve had a copy of this book for ages. I really must bump it up the book pile!
It was really unnerving, especially as I never found out who was behind it. Friend Request is a really good read though, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you get to it.
Fab review! Wow, this blurb is so intriguing and with your brilliant review, I think I need this Friend Request!
Thank you! It’s a really good read, I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it. 🙂 x
Hm. This one sounds very timely – especially after that unnerving encounter you had… I’m glad you enjoyed it so much and it helped you out of a reading slump – they are always so miserable! Have a lovely weekend:)
Thank you. Reading slumps are awful, it’s really miserable when you just can’t get into any book. Always a relief when they end! Hope you’ve had a good week 🙂
Thank you, Hayley. Yes – it’s been a good week:)
This sounds very creepy and how amazing that you’d had a similar experience. Glad you’re out of your reading slump; not good things to be in!
It was creepy to read the opening pages of the book after what happened to me. It was a good read though, I enjoyed it.
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Oh my goodness that is so, so creepy Hayley!! 😱 Great review though, I’ve fancied this book for a wee while.