Tuesday 25 May 2021

Review | Friends Like These by Sarah Alderson

Published by Mulholland Books on December 13, 2018

I love a thriller set around social media and so when I was looking for my next book to read, Friends Like These by Sarah Alderson really stood out to me. This is one crazily tense story, with a whole rollercoaster of twists throughout. The book did seem a bit confusing to begin with and it took me a little bit of time to get into it but when I did, I was absolutely hooked and flew through the book in less than a day. When I got to the end, the beginning made a lot more sense to me and I realised just how cleverly written the entire novel was.

We’re all guilty of being swept up in social media. When you click on a friend’s page on Facebook and then end up scrolling through photos and comments from people when you have no idea who they are. It’s so easy to fall into that rabbit hole, without really considering the actual person on the other side of the screen. After all, some people just aren’t what they seem online.

For Lizzie, she is definitely guilty of cyber-stalking, especially after a drink or two. One day she swipes right on an all too familiar looking guy on Tinder – the ex-boyfriend of Becca, one of her former colleagues. Lizzie and Becca were no more than work acquaintances. They were polar opposites. But after a shocking accident resulted in Becca leaving the business, Lizzie is intrigued to see just what Becca is up to a few years later. After finally finding her on Facebook, she types out a bitchy message about her to her friend Flora, only she accidentally sends it to Becca instead. And let me tell you, I will definitely be double checking all my messages in future to make sure they are going to the right person!

Friends Like These was so addictive. This was a dark yet often witty read with dislikeable characters who mess with your mind. The actions of these character spiral out of control and the drama had me racing through the book feeling anxious and apprehensive about what was to come yet dying to find out all at the same time.

Both Becca and Lizzie are people that outsiders would judge. Becca would be judged based for her beauty and hated on for her overuse of #blessed hashtags online, showing off about her perfect life. Lizzie would be judged for, in her own eyes, being fat and frumpy. But social media is the place where people share only what they want others to see. This novel draws upon that wonderfully, showing just how somebody can pretend to be whoever they want to be when they’re behind a computer screen. I loved the exploration of both these women. They were truly fascinating characters, manipulative but highly entertaining.

There is definitely no filler in this book. So much is going on and it kept me on my toes throughout. Set at a fast and frenetic pace, Friends Like These was truly intense with exhilarating twists and compelling characters. The story had me gripped, and the clever ending sent a shiver down my spine.

Review copy provided by the publisher - this was my honest review.   

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