Saturday, August 17, 2013
“She isn’t real. . . right?”
A lonely wife and a frustrated husband create virtual online friends, trying to deal with the pressures of a marriage gone flat, and a high-pressure job.
Torn between his love for his wife, and the perfection of his virtual girlfriend, he becomes unfaithful.
Neither dream that behind the screen is a single real woman, masquerading both as friend and lover. She is determined to have the man for herself, so his wife must die.
First, let me just say that I love the cover. It shows in a very suspenseful way how what comes out of the internet/computer can shatter your life. That was definitely true with this book. I loved how suspenseful it was and how creative the author was when he developed the story. What an imagination! But it was believably done.
The writing was very good for a debut novel, too. I didn't read anything boring that made me want to skim the pages. The author used the context of a virtual connection with a person to show how it can be dangerous, and maybe even more when they aren't "real." You can certainly make more excuses. Like the husband trying to convince himself that wanting to spent time with a virtual person wasn't a threat to his marriage because the "other woman" wasn't real.
I loved how the author also showed the way women tend to interpret this kind of behavior... like "What did I do wrong?" and "Wasn't I enough for you?" But it's not typically about the woman's flaws but the weakness men have that draws them away. This is quite deep for a male author. He seemed to understand the woman's psyche quite well. Most of the time while I was enjoying the story I forgot that the author was a guy. Not that the story was in any way soft. He had me on edge a lot of the time.
The author showed the rationalization and progression of what seems like an innocent activity... at first. He also showed the way sin snares all of us and pulls us deeper until the very thing we thought we wanted threatens everything about our lives that we love. How true that is. It often starts with something basic like neglecting to read the Bible and grows from there.
The husband knew the scriptures and God often brought them to mind to warn him, but like most humans, he thought he could handle it. And like the enemy does so well, he convinced the husband that his sin would not hurt anyone. That's the biggest lie of all. The scriptures say "your sin will find you out." If you are a true believer, you can bank on that. And the ending was awesome.
There were a multitude of twists and turns in the story, but the ending was like the proverbial frosting on the cake. I really enjoyed this book. It had enough gritty realism to make it believable. I loved how the hero had realistic thoughts about everything.
My endorsement will say this... "Friend Me is a unique twist on a stalker story that begins with an illusion and ends with more reality than any of the characters are prepared to deal with. Intelligently written and spiritually sound, this story is a cautionary tale and one guaranteed to warn people who think they can play with fire and not get burned. For those who have learned to steer clear of cyber-temptation, this book will definitely reinforce that notion. A great debut novel that kept me riveted to the very end."
Friend Me will officially release in paperback in February 2014 via Howard/Simon and Schuster.