Tuesday 5 September 2017

#BookReview Friend Request by Laura Marshall (@laurajm8) @GrandCentralPub #Giveaway

Friend Request by Laura Marshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


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.


One thing struck me as I read this book and that is that one should not post too many personal details about one's life on Facebook, nor should you befriend a person you thought was dead and that you feel guilty about. Now, many of us probably don't have to worry about dead old classmates coming back to life to haunt us, but it makes an excellent story in a book.

I have a bit of a hate/love relationship with damaged female characters in psychological thrillers. It's a pretty standard thing, and if you read many psychological thrillers will you encounter a lot of this kind of women that have skeletons in the wardrobe and who is driven to paranoia. However, if it is done well will the woman in question be someone you will cheer along the way. If not, well then you have a problem. I'm a bit torn in this book between liking and being a bit frustrated with Louise. I can honestly say that young Louise did I not like especially much, but I can still understand her situation. I have also been young and school girls are awful. The grown up Louise is a bit easier to like, although I often just wanted her to go to the police and tell everything, but that had made it to easy and not made it a good story if the character did that. Also, towards the end, I did understand her hesitance to do so.

Friend Request is a very good book, through flashbacks do we get to see what happened 1989 when Louise and her friends made Maria's life a living hell right until the very last night she disappeared. The ending of the book, the truth of what happened that night was something that I did not suspect until the very last moment before it was revealed. I just knew that something was wrong, and I was right about the direction the book would take. 

The book is very well written and I'm looking forward to reading more books from Laura Marshall.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!


Laura Marshall was shortlisted for several international awards for an as-yet-unpublished work for her debut novel FRIEND REQUEST. She lives in Kent, England.

TWITTER: @laurajm8

"Just try to keep the chills away.” —Cosmopolitan

"FRIEND REQUEST by Laura Marshall is a cleverly plotted, enticing mix of suspense, regret and redemption. Marshall skillfully skips back in forth in time, building unrelenting tension in this utterly riveting psychological thriller. After reading FRIEND REQUEST, I will never look at social media the same way again.”  —Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Not a Sound

"Suspenseful...Marshall leaps skillfully back and forth between past and present.”  Publishers Weekly

"A brilliant novel.” —Jenny Colgan, author of the New York Times bestsellers Little Beach Street Bakery and The Bookshop on the Corner

"An incredible debut novel that's not to be missed! Fantastic writing that instantly drew me in. I simply couldn't put it down - such a fast-paced, exciting thriller with some unexpected twists and turns. I loved it!” —Hollie Overton, author of the international bestseller Baby Doll

"Imagine getting a Facebook message from a school friend whose death you blame yourself for . . . That's the eerie premise for Laura Marshall's unnerving novel, FRIEND REQUEST, about mean girls and dark secrets.”  Good Housekeeping

"A read-it-in-one-sitting thriller . . . Twisty and gripping but always relatable, FRIEND REQUEST is the ultimate it-could-happen-to-you read.”  —Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said

"A strong thriller debut featuring a compelling protagonist whose self-discovery and mounting paranoia create gripping suspense.”  Booklist

"Laura Marshall ramps up the tension page by page until it's impossible to know who to trust. It's a book that should make everybody realize how vulnerable social media can make them. I loved it!”  —Rachel Abbott, author of the international bestsellers Only the Innocent and Sleep Tight

"Sharp, relevant and tightly plotted, and with a fabulous twist, psychological thriller fans should definitely say yes to this impressive debut.” Sunday Mirror

"Fast-paced plotting and a gripping conclusion make this one of the better offerings in this genre.” RT Book Reviews

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