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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Friend Me - A Profound Psycho-Thriller


Virtualfriendme.com promises the perfect friend - always just a click away; always caring and totally concerned about you and only you.

Lonely and under appreciated wife and mom, Rachel Douglas, stumbled across Virtual Friend Me while on Facebook. Curious, she decided to set up an account and create a virtual friend modeled after her best friend, who had died several years ago.

Impressed with how real her new computer generated friend was, she shared the site with her husband, Scott, who became equally intrigued. 

So much so, that he decided to create his very own friend on the sly– a woman he named Angela. Angela, who looked like a model, who was delighted to hear about his day, and who lived to tell him how amazing he was. This virtual vixen made him feel like the most incredible male in the world.  His wife, it seemed, had recently rescinded her My Husband Is The Best fan club membership, and Scott needed a little female encouragement.

And what was the harm?  She wasn’t real, after all.  Right?

What Scott, didn’t count on, when he created his online dream girl, was falling in love with this cyber-Stepford Wife.  His relationship with Rachel continued to slide downhill, and because of some questionable dealings at work, he was in danger of losing his job.  And what complicated matters more – Angela was more real than he believed.

Friend Me, a novel by newcomer John Faubion, is a timely psychological thriller that is taut and suspenseful.  A cautionary tale of contemporary disconnect from flesh and blood humanity in favor of a fantasy Internet community.

Friend Me is a real nail biter to the end, but what I love even more than the many steal-your-breath-away moments, are the insights into our logged-in society.  Faubion masterfully captures our obsession with online lives - hours spent on social media connecting with people we don’t even know - creating relationships with personas that we only know through pithy tweets or Facebook posts while our own families become more and more distant. 

Faubion doesn’t stop there.  He paints a portrait of a Christian couple gradually moving apart.  Increasingly frustrated, Scott and Rachel don’t find solace in each other but online. 

But Friend Me is not a preachy, stuffy novel.  It moves quickly with moments that defy you to put the book down.  And Faubion’s scissor-wielding, cyber-psycho is one creepy chick.

Friend Me kept me in suspense and got me thinking as well, a great combination.  I’m hoping and praying Faubion has more in store for his readers.   With his first book showing such promise, it would be a shame to let the friendship fade.








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