Friend Request Review
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For many of us, social media is a big part of our everyday lives. It’s where we catch up with friends and family. Where we get our news. Where we do our business. But in Friend Request by Laura Marshall, social media turns into something sinister.

The story finds single mom Louise Williams rehashing horrible memories from her teen years when she gets a friend request from former classmate Maria Weston. The problem is that Maria Weston has been dead for more than twenty-five years.

For years, Louise has blamed herself for what happened to Maria. She feared that what she and her friends did would eventually come out. So she’s kept herself closed off from others, carefully building walls to protect herself and those she loves. But now, one Facebook message threatens to destroy everything.

Friend Request is an incredibly paranoid story—the kind that will have you looking over your shoulder and second-guessing everything you do on social media. Louise has spent her entire adult life punishing herself for the things she did as a teenager, living in fear of what would happen if anyone found out. And that sense of dread turns into something bigger and more terrifying when she gets her request from Maria, which sends the memories flooding back.

With each message from the girl who’s supposed to be long-dead, the tension and suspense grow. And as Louise looks back to 1989—to the events leading up to that one horrible night—readers will be held in suspense, wondering what really happened to Maria and who’s behind the Facebook account.

Though the things that happened in Louise’s past are terrible, they’re also completely understandable. Most of us experienced similar pressures as teenagers: the need to fit in, the desperation to be a part of the right crowd. And that pressure makes a lot of kids do stupid things. For Louise, it took a dark turn, and it’s haunted her ever since, guiding her life and influencing her decisions. At times, that can make her a frustrating character—because she’s still so caught up in the mistakes of her teen years. But the decades of keeping secrets and hiding her past have clearly taken a toll on her, and as more of her story unfolds, her fears make more sense. And the building tension from the messages from Maria—along with the growing terror inside Louise’s mind—work together to make a tense and gripping thriller.

Social media horror stories are really nothing new, but Marshall crafts a tense and twisted tale with Friend Request. It’s the kind of story that will have you reading just a little longer before you turn out the light.

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