Thursday, January 16, 2014

John Faubion's Friend Me ~ Reviewed

By John Faubion
Published by Simon & Schuster
ISBN#9781476738727
339 Pages

Back Cover: “You’re afraid you are becoming unfaithful, aren’t you?”

Scott and Rachel’s marriage is on the brink of disaster. Scott, a businessman with a high-pressure job, just wants Rachel to understand him and accept his flaws. Rachel is a lonely housewife, desperate for attention and friendship. So she decides to create a virtual friend online, unaware that Scott is doing the exact same thing. But neither realizes that there’s a much larger problem looming. . . .

Behind both of their online creations is Melissa, a woman who is brilliant— and totally insane. Masquerading as both friend and lover, Melissa programmed a search parameter into the Virtual Friend Me software to find her perfect man, but along the way she forgot to specify his marriage status. And Scott is her ideal match. Now Melissa is determined to have it all—Scott, his family, and Rachel’s life.

As Melissa grows bolder and her online manipulations transition into the real world, Scott and Rachel figure out they are being played. Now it’s a race against time as Scott and Rachel fight to save their marriage, and their lives, before it’s too late.

Review: I’m thankful for the review copy of this riveting, page-turning, novel. It’s an insightful tour through cyber space that shows just how easy it is to be sucked into an addictive secret world. This author shows the potential for wicked abuse of a secret Virtual Friend and how quickly this secret breaks down the family and a society as a whole. This book also shows readers how easy it is to take your virtual friend anywhere you go and how in this case it can be a “fatal attraction.” for real in Scott and Rachel’s situation!

I’m glad they had an interview with the author in the back of the book. The author was asked “When do you think Scott became unfaithful in the story? Answer: …when he as asked which he wanted a “male or female friend?” Scott replied “female”. At that point, he’d crossed over. He became unfaithful…when a husband chooses some women other than his wife as his confidant, companion, or female best friend; he’s turned down the road of infidelity.”

He goes on to say, “…we live in an age where people choose to exist in virtual worlds…we need to focus on real people, real lives. Real friends. Real love.”

This author pens a heart racing suspense drama that’s all too real. He talks about the seductive side of on-line friends that compromise our virtues one key stroke at a time. This author explores the definition of reality, morality, the imagination, and how our perception affects our heart and our personal relationships forever.

The story opens up with Melissa, the creator of Virtual Friends website. She has a dark side with an unbelievable past. I was nervous in the beginning of this story because this was the author’s debut novel and I didn’t know how creepy he would get. It’s dark in the beginning and in parts, very realistic and gives readers insight on how easy it is to get on a road in life that’s a fast track to losing everything they hold dear. Everyone is tempt-able, no one’s perfect. We need help and encouragement to keep the main thing the main thing in our lives, relationship with God, real people and real love. God is there to heal our hearts and situation no matter what we fall into.

I liked how this author tactfully dealt with these sensitive issues. He conveyed the message and/or situations without being too graphic. I liked that. This author has a faith message that’s natural to the story. It’s not heavy handed but makes you think. It shows how fast life can unravel and how God can heal deep hurts if you give him a chance.

There are discussion questions in the book that will get everyone talking. This would be a fascinating book for a book club pick. At the back of the book it has a page called Bonus Features its ideas for your meeting that will enhance your book club experience and further the discussion of this book.  The internet has affected our lives in so many good and bad ways. This book shows how we must guard our heart, mind and emotions. It’s easier than ever in the privacy of your own home or car to go to the dark side.

I would avoid talking about this book in a public setting as sensitive issues most likely will surface. This is a must read for our cyber culture society. This book will rock your world and give you hope in navigating uncharted territory on the web. I highly recommend this novel and look forward to this author’s next book. Friend Me is a story you’ll be reminded of every time you sit down at your computer! John Faubion is an author to watch.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins!

2 comments:

John Faubion said...

Nora,

Thanks so much for the great review! I hope people will be entertained, drawn into the story, and blessed by seeing how God can forgive any sin.

It's important to realize that everything I wrote is possible with today's technology. There are already many people who live "virtual lives" on social networks and websites like Second Life. People who rarely interact with others. This is real world for many.

This is my first book, so I'm very pleased to see such a positive review. Thanks again.

John Faubion
Philippians 4:8

Nora StLaurent said...

I LOVED your book John. I can't wait to read your next one. Yes, the situation in your book was all too real. That's what gripped my mind and heart. I enjoyed how you handled this topic and how you showed hope in the end.

Nora :o)