Friend Request

Narrated by: Elaine Claxton
Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
4 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Maria wants to be friends.

But Maria is dead.

Isn't she?

When Louise Williams receives a message from someone left long in the past, her heart nearly stops.

Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook.

Maria Weston has been missing for over 25 years. She was last seen the night of a school leavers' party, and the world believes her to be dead. Particularly Louise, who has lived her adult life with a terrible secret. As Maria's messages start to escalate, Louise forces herself to reconnect with the old friends she once tried so hard to impress. 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....

Please note: The original recording was replaced on 11/10/2017. If you own this audiobook, simply re-download it from your library to access the new recording.

©2017 Laura Marshall (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

Critic Reviews

"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)

What listeners say about Friend Request

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping

Just loved this book. Had to finish it ASAP! Very well written, it constantly keeps one in suspense.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a memorable thriller

This book is fine but not particularlty outstanding. Not bad exactly, just ok. Not at the the top of my 'Everyone I know must read this 2018' pile.

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  • Grab This Book
  • 10-20-17

Clever thriller with some unexpected twists

Another audiobook review and this one made for uncomfortable listening. Returning visitors will perhaps know that I find stories about bullies hard to read. Well Friend Request looks at the impact of school-girl bullying as it occurs and the consequences of one prank going too far.

The blurb for this story sold it to me. A Facebook friend request from a long dead friend sends Louise Williams into a turmoil. Maria wants to be her friend. But Maria wanted to be friends with Louise in 1989 and Louise let her down and chose to hang around with the popular girl rather than the girls she could relax and enjoy spending time with. Then something really bad happened and Maria died – so how can she now want to be friends?

Readers know that Louise has done something terrible in her past and that it still haunts her. Over the course of the story we (through a number of flashback chapters) see how Louise conducted herself at school. It makes for awkward reading at times as Louise was no angel and some of the things that she agreed to do in order to retain her status among her friends made her cringe as she recalls them. Made me cringe hearing about them and I got really annoyed with her.

In the present day Louise is a single mum and her 4yo son is her world. Her best friend is determined that Louise should start dating again but she is equally determined that Louise keeps away from her ex. When you read a thriller and there is a young child so integral to the plot you cannot help but worry if something bad may happen – tension I could have done without while I tried to cope with my stress over the bullying!!!

I loved the balance of past and future and there are subtle clues over what may lie ahead but you want to keep reading to find out what went wrong in the past. You also want to know how Maria can suddenly have arrived back in Louise’s life and who else may have heard from her. With a School Reunion looming is it really a good idea for everyone to revisit memories of days best forgotten.

I did mention that this was an audiobook read for me so some thoughts from a listener…narration duties were well handled by Elaine Claxton. She was very listenable and brought the story to life, particularly when covering the chapters from 1989 and she makes her voice younger and softer which was particularly effective. At over 11 hours in length this was one of the longer stories I heard last month but it didn’t feel it – it zipped along at a good pace and I didn’t experience a feeling of padding or mid-story drop off as I have with some of my other recent audiobooks.

For this story of school days which may be best forgotten the report card is very positive. I thoroughly enjoyed having Friend Request for company and would not hesitate to recommend it.

35 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Fabian
  • 08-12-17

lived it kept me hooked

this was a really good book. the main character is quite deep and has a lot going on in her life and a good thriller. kept you guessing till end.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Natalie
  • 11-18-17

I kept looking behind me walking the dog...!

I'd been dying to read this book since I first read about it. I love a good thriller/mystery and one to do with social media sounded right up my street.

Louise received a curious friend request from a former schoolmate...who died over twenty years ago. Bringing back memories of her childhood and what she did to fit in with the cooler kids, Louise starts to wonder if Maria Weston is actually still alive and planning revenge.



This story did get REALLY creepy at times. I listened to it in audiobook form and actually managed to freak myself out while walking the dog in the dark. Hearing a story about someone being followed actually isn't fun on a dark winter morning. It was so well written I'd actually turn around and speed up my steps!

I was constantly guessing throughout this story. Not once did I come up with a theory anywhere near what actually happened, but looking back, there were a few tips and clues hidden in there.

The actress reading this story was likely one of the best I've listened to. She had this brilliant way of making her voice sound younger or older, so even if I got confused with the past and present tenses, it was quite easy to keep up with what was going on.

The story has a great 'careful how you talk to people' moral. It was nice to know that some characters who were not treated well in school were successful in later life. 

It's nice to have an 'up to date' story with social media involved. Even as someone who does try to be very careful with their social media security, it made me a little edgy.

The characters were really well written, without giving too much away, I really liked the person who ended up being behind it all. The reason for their doing so was brilliant too.



It took me a few chapters to get into this story, the first few were a little boring for me. However, once it did get going it was really gripping.

The ending wasn't my favorite. I personally think that some of the stories I came up with in my head would have been a little more interesting, but it was one that I couldn't at all guess and it didn't end on a horrible cliffhanger. 


Although it wasn't the best ending ever the story really had me thinking and it was really enjoyable. I loved listening to it.

11 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Anderson
  • 12-29-17

not the most interesting story

bit of a boring story the readers voice is too melodic to instil any sense of drama

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • PAUL
  • 02-14-19

a page turner

great book it keeps you hooked from the beginning till the end I highly recommend it

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • I'm all ears
  • 08-03-17

Great listen - Need more like this

Really enjoyed listening to this story, it kept me interested, a lot of audiobooks leave me bored half way through.

The reader could have just been a little more expressive when reading certain parts, which would have kept me in more suspense, but all seemed to be in one tone. But this didnt ruin the book

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jackie West
  • 12-16-17

Good

Good story page turned couldn't wait to finish but felt they was some unanswered questions. Modern idea but needs to be expanded.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lozinge
  • 02-07-19

Exciting & Thrilling

Lots of twists and turns. Great read full of suspense. Loved it would definitely recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sjpsam
  • 02-22-19

thriller

gripping thriller.....outlines the teen peer pressure to fit in. ....fantastic read, you'll not retreat it

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-04-19

Friend request review

Took a while to fully get into it but once in, I didn’t want to stop listening and there were times where I got frustrated with Louise which isn’t a negative. On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed it.

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-17-17

Don't waste your time with this bpok

There is only one word to describe this book: boring. Sorry for being so blunt.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbie Roberts
  • 08-03-17

Gripping thriller

This was recommended on Marian Keyes' vlog and it's easy to see why. It's a beautifully written gripping story.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-13-18

Good idea for a storyline

Great topical subject and interesting characters but found main narrator a little self absorbed & those parts slowed a good story down a little

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-17

Don’t recommend

Didn’t enjoy the story. The narrator was fine, but the plot was average and the main character frustrating in her stupidity. I honestly couldn’t wait to finish it because I was just over it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jolene
  • 09-13-17

Fantastic

Loved it. It was not what I expected. Full of suspense. Didn't want to stop listening.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda
  • 09-11-17

Good book

Funny moment in the story where the presenter clears her throats and repeats her line. Missed the edit cut ;)

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-17

Worth it..

A great book that kept me engaged from start to finish, with twists and turns that kept me guessing. Worth listening too

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-09-18

Ok story

The main character was annoyingly stupid and it was hard to feel any sympathy for her at all. The narrator was also extremely annoying. I am sure she is a lovely person but I found her very hard to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-10-17

Great story, well read

Loved the story all the way through. Was very easy to get into. Presenter did a great job

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brenda
  • 10-27-17

Good read

Keeps you guessing and the twists and turns to this story keep you wanting more.....

1 person found this helpful