About the Book: (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)
Author: John Faubion (Information taken directly from LitFuse Publicity's Promotions page.)
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.
Format: trade paperback
Genre: Christian, Suspense, Fiction
Source: Litfuse Publicity Group book blogger campaign
Published: Simon and Schuster / $14.99 / 2014 / ISBN:978-1-4767-3872-7
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Buy the Book: Amazon / Christianbook / Other Sellers
Read an excerpt here.
Why I Read this Book: I am a fan of all things mystery and suspense because I enjoy the aspect of trying to figure out all of the "pieces" and how they are interwoven to form the story. I saw the request for reviewers of Friend Me, and once I read the synopsis, I was hooked! After all, who wouldn't want a friend that was low maintenance and cared about the things happening only in my life?
What I Liked: The concept of virtual friendships and relationships has always intrigued me because I am a recluse at heart. I love the idea that I could type information into the computer and "create" a personal friend that I could "talk" to about my day-especially when it's been extremely stressful and my regular friends are tired of listening to me whine.
Scott and Rachel are ordinary people who are trying to make a living for their small family. Their relationship is not as exuberant as it used to be and they're drifting apart each day. Hmmm...sounds like most marriages out there--which is what I like about this book. Mr. Faubion makes his characters as realistic as possible--even down to their thoughts and actions on a daily basis.
As I learned more about Scott, Rachel, and their virtual "friends," I was sucked more and more into the manipulation and was trying to figure out how to warn them of the impending disaster about to take place in their lives and possibly keep them apart forever.
Another dimension of the story was that of the Christian family values. I loved the fact that Scott and Rachel were depicted as having problems and succumbed to temptations like the rest of the Christians in the real world. Too many times, Christianity in novels is portrayed as having the perfect life and that nothing goes wrong for the characters. I'm glad that Mr. Faubion didn't shy away from the hard questions--what constitutes cheating and is it considered cheating if the person isn't real?--and offers a way for the characters to be redeemed, just as Christ did for us.
What I Didn't Like: Knowing the dangers of the "Internet" is something that is foremost in my mind--especially as a single female. I used to play Second Life, and while roaming around in the virtual premise of the world, it was still creepy to think that the "virtual people" there were really other individuals on their computers playing and talking with me at the same time. Having experienced that cyber-world, I can completely envision this scenario taking place, especially with more and more people learning how to program and "create" virtual worlds at younger and younger ages.
As a single woman, I am constantly being pressured to form more "meaningful relationships" with the "friends" I have online. Reading Friend Me gives me the exact reason NOT to give out as much personal information to these virtual friends because sometimes relationships, whether real or imagined, are taken to the extreme. Faubion's imagined scenario scared me a little too much and I am now going to be a less likely to trust virtual programs/people due to imagining the "psycho" behind the computer at the other end.
Overall Impression: Friend Me is John Faubion's first novel and he definitely hit a home run! The suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will not want to put this book down until you have turned the last page! Run to your nearest bookstore or have Friend Me rush delivered to your door--you will not be disappointed!
Rating: 5 out of 5
Let me know what you think! Happy Reading!