Format: eARC

Friend Request by Laura Marshall

Posted December 26, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 0 Comments

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Friend Request by Laura MarshallFriend Request by Laura Marshall
Published by Grand Central Publishing on September 5, 2017
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Goodreads
three-half-stars
two-flames

A GRIPPING, DEBUT PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THAT PUTS A MODERN TWIST ON A CLASSIC CONCEIT.

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. Uncensored and unapologetic. Days into their acquaintance, Maria and Louise are quickly on their way to becoming fast friends.

Decades later, when Maria reaches out over social media, Louise's heart nearly stops. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface--those first days of their budding connection, the awful judgment of the young women who felt at the time like her sole gateway to belonging. The fateful, tragic night that would change all their lives forever.

Her entire adult life, Louise has known if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria's sudden reemergence threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she'd severed ties with to get away from the past. 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.

 

 
Louise Williams is a divorced mother who works from home as a freelance interior designer. She doesn’t have a lot of friends and devotes much of her life to 4-year old son Henry, living vicariously through the pictures and posts of her Facebook friends. Life’s fairly uneventful until she receives a friend request from Maria Weston, a girl from her high school days…she’s also been presumed dead for over 25 years. And, Louise has lived with the guilt of her role in what may have happened to Maria that fateful night she disappeared.

 
The story transitions between present day and 1989, that pivotal year when Louise’s life changed radically. Things lead to an upcoming high school reunion as the events of the past are slowly revealed. It was interesting how the challenges of teens two decades ago pretty much are the same today though the bullying methods are different with the introduction of social media. I struggled to have empathy for Louise because the choices she made at 16 years old seem to somewhat continue in the adult woman as she tries to figure out why she’s received a friend request from the dead teen. However, as the story progressed, I developed more understanding for her as she wasn’t a bad person, just someone who got caught up in her desire for acceptance.

 
The story is thought provoking in its attempt to contrast the human condition of teenagers and their adult selves and how those early behaviors shaped their life choices. Underlying all of that is the mystery of what happened to Maria, who’s behind the friend request and subsequent taunts. I had so many theories in play but none of them came close to the outcome, which was pretty chilling. The storytelling approach was effective, even though the pacing was a little slow. However, this was really very good for a debut novel.

About Laura Marshall

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.


Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

Posted December 20, 2017 by Anne in Book Review | 0 Comments

          Carrie Vaughn is an author I’ve always enjoyed. Her Kitty Norville series is one of the first urban fantasy ones I read.  Bannerless is more science fiction dystopia than supernatural.  The world-building is great; there are enough details to give a vivid image without being tedious. This world has social and political issues based on lack of resources and limited communication. The people’s behavior is a bit more like a small rural community. The system is a bit like a feudal one with committee members acting the role of the leaders. I didn’t know this was a series but I think this is excellent news. Enid, the main character,  is an investigator. I like her intelligence and compassion and sense of integrity. […]


Code of Honor by Tonya Burrows

Code of Honor by Tonya Burrows

Posted December 18, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Jesse Warwick is the HORNET Team medic who’s struggling with a lot of issues but mainly how to develop a relationship with his 15-year old troubled son, Connor, and how to cope with perceived medical failures in the field. Complicating his life even more is the new addition to the team, Lainie Delcambre, a woman who was part of his past and he can’t keep out of his mind and heart. She’s trying to fit in as the only female in the group.   This story took a while to get going as much time was spent developing these characters in the beginning, despite a great prologue. Though both were in earlier books in the series, Jesse and Lainie weren’t fleshed out much. […]


Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter, and Jeffe Kennedy

Amid the Winter Snow by Grace Draven, Thea Harrison, Elizabeth Hunter, and Jeffe Kennedy

Posted December 12, 2017 by Anne in Book Review | 0 Comments

  I was trying to figure out how I would get Amid the Winter Snow for review. And then Thea Harrison sent it to me!  I am so, so thrilled! This group of authors is outstanding. I had read almost everything by Thea Harrison and Elizabeth Hunter. I wanted to try Grace Draven and Jeffe Kennedy.   THE DARKEST MIDNIGHT, by Grace Draven             4.5 stars My first experience with Grace Draven is a standout. I read this with no knowledge of her other work, so I would say it totally works as a stand alone. The rich development of the world and characters engrossed me quickly. This is fantasy with a touch of romance, a coming-of-age story for the main […]


Close to Heaven by Pamela Clare

Close to Heaven by Pamela Clare

Posted December 11, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Joe Moffat is the owner of Knockers, Scarlet Springs’ town bar (the name relates to a mine mythology about Tommyknockers). He’s a really good guy but no one really knows much about him. Rain Minear has worked for him for 20 years as his general manager and hostess. He’s loved her for about as many years but has a strong code of ethics about workplace relationships, especially since he’s the boss. Little does he know that his feelings are reciprocated until a snowstorm breaks the ice, sort of.   Until this story, my image of Joe was that of a counterculture sort based on his look (long hair, easygoing manner). He’s anything but! Joe’s history was rather incredible, as was Rain’s who has […]


The Christmas Stranger by Anna Campbell

The Christmas Stranger by Anna Campbell

Posted December 8, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Margaret (Maggie) Carr is the housekeeper of Thornton Hall, located in the isolated woods of a small town in Yorkshire. It belongs to her deceased mother’s cousin, Dr. Thomas Black, who’s supported her over the last five years. Maggie’s facing another pretty lonely Christmas until architect Josiah (Joss) Hale shows up in the middle of a snowstorm. See, Dr. Black is trying to do a little matchmaking at the request of Joss’s mother. He just forgot to let Maggie know a stranger was coming.   If you’re in the mood for a sweet but sensual romance story set during the Christmas season, this will warm you inside and out. Maggie’s an innocent but she’s also bright, witty and resourceful. Joss is a big […]


Killman Creek by Rachel Caine

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine

Posted December 7, 2017 by Anne in Book Review | 0 Comments

                Hang on to your heart attack on this wild ride! I was on the edge, worried, terrified and I loved reading this! There were so many opportunities for things to go badly. The situation was tense and difficult from the start. Gwen leaves her children with local law enforcement friends to hunt down her serial killer ex, Melvin, who has escaped from prison. Sam goes with her as backup and because he wants his own pound of flesh from Melvin. Gwen has learned to defend herself and her children. She has trained them to be cautious and defensive. Sam has military background. They are all more prepared than most people. Gwen is such an amazing character; I admire […]


Mistletoe and the Major by Anna Campbell

Mistletoe and the Major by Anna Campbell

Posted December 4, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Edmund Sherritt, Major Lord Canforth, married his wife, Felicity eight years ago and two weeks later left to serve in several war campaigns. Now he’s returning to a woman he fell in love with but was unsure of her feelings for him. It’s been a long time and he doesn’t know if she’s even interested in continuing their relationship.   This is such a lovely story, the Christmas season being an ideal setting for Edmund and Felicity to reunite. Their first encounter upon his return was also fitting, with no one else around and both “unarmed” as it were as neither was prepared for the moment. I liked how we were given both points of view to see where each was coming from […]