Friend Me by John Faubion
“Friend Me” is a contemporary suspense filled novel that could be a harbinger of where current social media could take us if we are not careful. The idea of being able to create virtual friends who actually interact with their creators is unique and many people would jump on the bandwagon in an instant. However Faubion’s tale gives the reader a warning about what could happen when the person behind the scenes is both mentally disturbed and unethical.
The story of Scott and Rachel’s marital problems is one to which untold numbers of husbands and wives could relate – a husband whose work is so demanding that he is unable to spend quality time with his wife and children and a wife whose life is spent in the presence of young children with very little adult conversation. As a result both husband and wife begin to feel unappreciated and unloved and begin to grow apart. In the case of Scott and Rachel, they were both ripe for the picking when they discovered the virtual friend service. Neither of them expected their experience to turn into a living nightmare.
For me, the beginning moved a bit slowly and was filled with more details than I wanted. It took me awhile to connect with the primary characters. Scott and Rachel were obviously Christians who tried to live according to their beliefs and were genuinely remorseful when they failed. Their faith was an integral part of the storyline without being intrusive. After several chapters the plot began to move along and I wanted to keep reading in order to find out what was going to happen. The ending was climatic yet just a little rushed . Overall, I found “Friend Me” to be an interesting concept that made a suspenseful story.
Although the author was able to tactfully convey Scott’s improper relationship with his virtual girlfriend without unnecessary details, there are a few somewhat violent and/or disturbing scenes that I would consider mature content. I would advise parents to read “Friend Me” and judge for themselves whether it is appropriate reading for their teens.
This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When a lonely wife and her frustrated husband each secretly pursue companionship online, neither dreams that a real woman is behind their virtual creations, threatening their marriage—and their lives.
Scott and Rachel’s marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. As Rachel desperately tries to re-create a friendship with a friend who has passed, Scott becomes unfaithful and is torn between the love for his wife and the perfection of his cyber-girlfriend. But neither realizes that there’s a much larger problem looming…
Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant—and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the virtual friend software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all—Scott, his family, and Rachel’s life.
As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it’s a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it’s too late.
In today’s digital age, the Internet presents all kinds of opportunities to test our personal boundaries, and this exciting and suspenseful story raises important questions about the ethics of virtual relationships. Friend Me will open your eyes to a new—and terrifying—moral dimensions and how they play out in the real world.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Faubion has spent many years in Asia as a missionary with his family. Since returning to the United States, John has worked as a senior software developer for a large appliance chain. He teaches an adult Sunday school class and enjoys writing and driving his 1949 Packard automobile. John lives near Indianapolis with his wife, Beth, and their daughter.