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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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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 is 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 the girls Louise hangs out with 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 she'd severed ties with 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's pretending to be her - is known to all.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 10 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 05, 2017|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #111,597 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,072 in Coming of Age Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,312 in Family Life Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,468 in Psychological Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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Louise gets a message that Maria Weston wants to be friend on Facebook. But Maria died in 1989. The memories from that year of school and the prom, that Louise has been trying to forget come flooding back. Who is this person? Do they know the truth of what really happened at the Prom in 1989? Louise always thought that just her and her friends Sam, Matt and Sophie knew what happened. But what if someone else knows. It could ruin Louise and she could go to jail and lose her son Henry.
This books jumps between 1989 and 2016.
The 1989 chapters follow what happened during the school year after Maria transferred to the school with Louise. And at first she was friends with Maria, but Louise so wanted to be in the popular crowd, and when rumors started going around about why Maria had to transfer, Louise joined her friends in bullying Maria. And man did they bully her. And at the Prom Louise and her friends did something horrible to Maria. And then Maria went missing from the prom and it was assumed that she had fallen off the cliff behind the school and died. This part of the book brought back memories of when I was in HS, Not that I was bullied or bullied anyone. But just the memories of how we all wanted to fit in.
The 2016 chapters are the present (duh) and all the fall out that is now going on with Louise from the friend request from a dead girl, as she tries to piece together what happened all those years ago and what is going on now. She cannot really talk to anyone about the request and what happened 27 years ago. She has not kept in contact with her friends from school. And her friends now have no idea what she had done and she does not want them to find out. And I get it, you messed up royally in school but when you keep getting messages from a dead girl and then they start including your son, I think it is time to come clean for his safety.
Like I said, I liked the book but didn't love it. I liked the chapter from 1989 better than the 2016 ones.
The book started off good, but then it got to the point that it felt like it was dragging on and on. And I really did not like any of the main characters. I didn't guess what was really going on until just before it was revealed. And even though when it was revealed I was like Whoa didn't see that coming, and while I liked the turn the story took, the whole "reveal" part just kind of fell flat.
As a long-time reader of the suspense/thriller genre, I can definitely say with some authority that Laura Marshall is a bright, new voice in literature. This is a very well-written, well laid out novel. It bounces back and forth between Louise's perspectives in 1989 and in 2016. I always find this to be a very effective technique. Also included in the book are the occasional inner-thoughts from an unknown source. I truly thought I knew who this source was...I was totally wrong (well done, Ms. Marshall)!
While I was able to figure out one portion of the story, the other twist completely escaped me. I LOVE when a book stumps me. Honestly, my one and only complaint is this...if you're getting threatening messages from a Facebook "friend," why not just delete and block them? Of course, I guess that wouldn't make for a very interesting story, eh?
Overall, if you're looking for a very well-developed whodunit, this book is for you!
It is a story told in two different time frames. 1989 when unkind bullying of a teenager (Maria) takes place at school and 2016 when one of the people(Louise) who bullied her gets a friend request from Maria. The problem is that the night of the leavers’ party 27 years before, Maria went missing and pronounced dead by the police.
Louise continues to get disturbing messages via Facebook from Maria and this forms the thrilling part of the story as the reader is drawn into the events that have shaped the lives of those involved. I liked the character of Ester who shows that it’s not impossible to rise above unkindness and go on to good things. The best revenge truly is to become successful.
This is on one level a good read for those who think bullying is a harmless childish stage that will be grown out of. On another level, it is a lesson to keep one’s business reasonably private instead of publishing it for all to read. The desire to have countless ‘friends’ and evoke an unrealistic portrayal of one’s like in the pursuit of making oneself more desirable also forms an undercurrent. In 1989 this took the form of being in the popular clique at school. In 2016 it seems to have been taken over to a certain degree by Facebook.
Deeply disturbing and enlightening at the same time, don’t believe that people just get over hurt they experience as youngsters. Neither do those close to them.
Top reviews from other countries
I really could not relate at all to Louise, the main character. I felt she was very weak, a bit pathetic and had no substance. I could not muster any sympathy or empathy for someone who was so awful and self absorbed during the sections set during 1989. But the very worst thing about her was that she was a woman in her 40's still obsessing over something that happened 25 years ago. Once the threatening messages started, I was amazed that she made no effort to block/report the messages or protect herself and/or her son. Her stalker was also unrealistically omniscient, which was a bit silly, really.
She didn't feel like a 'real' person and the other characters were just as 2D with not much fleshing out. The plot was very slow and not very thrilling - I thought I was at the climax, the reunion the story was leading up to, but I was only 50% of the way through and wondering what more there could be and when it would end (never a good thing to be thinking!). The book could have been half the length and a much better paced story. It reads like a short story stretched out into a full length novel.
What compelled me to write this review was the ending. I feel so utterly cheated that key information about a character was kept from the reader, just to make the sudden reveal at the end more shocking. This reveal makes absolutely no sense in the narrative the reader has been given and more annoyingly it is not new information, but something the narrator has know all along (and made a few very vague and deliberately misleading allusions to). Rarely have I ever been so dissatisfied with a book that I have read.