When I read the synopsis about this story I wanted to read it. I'm so glad I did. This story focuses on one of my favorite topics, social media. This story was very interesting in the use of artificial intelligence with social media. Knowing what Google and other software developers are doing now this isn't that far fetched.
The story brings out themes that are relevant in lives today. The desire for the perfect relationship that comes easy and serves ones' needs, with the staunch reminder that relationships take work on all involved. It also deals with how easily sin can happen and how easily we can justify that sin.
Rachel and Scott are very believable married couple dealing with the challenges of a high stress job and the stay at home mom.
This is an excellent thriller that deals with real life struggles that happen even within a Christian marriage. The author uses relevant scripture and godly wisdom in this story.
I could see this becoming a movie.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank Howard Books for the opportunity to review this book, the opinions here are strictly mine.
Wow! That is the first word that came to my mind as I finished reading this great suspense thriller by John Faubion. The first chapter will grab readers' attentions and the rest of the story will keep them captive until the action-packed conclusion. The story is set in Indianapolis, Indiana, and could be taken right from our own newspaper.
Scott and Rachel Douglas are a young, 30-something couple with two small children. Rachel is a stay-at-home mom, trying to lose the extra baby weight, keep the house up, look after her children and keep her man happy. She misses her best friend who died of cancer two years previous. She is skimming the Internet when she sees an advertisement for a company that offers a virtual friend. She decides to check it out and soon has her new/old best friend in her life again via computer technology. Scott sees how much this pleases Rachel and decides maybe he should have a virtual friend too. He wants someone he can tell everything to. However, he chooses a female virtual friend and from that point on things start spinning out of control. He neglects his children, his wife, his church and his job as he focuses more and more on Alicia, his virtual friend. He convinces himself that since she is not real, he is doing nothing wrong and nobody is getting hurt. He soon finds out he couldn't be more mistaken.
This story should also serve as a warning to those who have allowed technology to control their lives. It shows how easy we can be deceived by others and ourselves. We can rationalize our immoral behavior away, thinking we are keeping our secret. However, we all know that sooner or later someone is going to find out and then disaster strikes. I can so easily see this story happening in real life. Even though this is a fictional account, the possibilities in this scenario are very realistic. I just admired Rachel so much for her willingness to quickly forgive her husband because that was what Christ wanted her to do and how they stood strong as a united couple to battle the evil that had come into their lives. I also liked how Scott finally realized he had to man up and be the man God created him to be, to protect his family and to see them safe. I highly recommend getting this book. I'm looking forward to see what exciting new book this author comes out with next!
I sort of thought Friend Me started off kind of weird to me. Within the first fifty pages, though, I was hooked. I could not quit turning the pages. I loved the character of Rachel. As a stay at home mom. I could really relate with her.
I thought the book was really good and entertaining. I could not put it down. I had to know how it ends. Which, I was quite disappointed with and felt like the last 20-30 pages were rushed and confusing. That's why I give it 4 stars instead of 5. I do look forward to see what else this author comes up with in his next book.
I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
John Faubion's debut novel speaks to the heart of relationships, of the depths of marriage and the reality of what betrayal and unfaithfulness looks like to people of faith.
Not something we might expect from a former missionary unless we knew that missionary turned software developer.
You just knew a book like Friend Me had to come sooner or later in today's social media world. Virtual reality, while around for a while, melds dangerously with physical reality in this story. When loneliness and disappointment lead Rachel Douglas to experiment with a new website to re-create a lost friendship with a virtual online avatar, neither she nor her husband realize they are being played. Rachel's husband, Scott, is curious about his wife's activities, and checks out the site. Stress at work may be part of the blame, but giving in to temptation and a lack of respect and trust in the people around himÃ¢â¬âa heart of sinÃ¢â¬âis what leads him to create a virtual playmate. What is unfaithfulness? Faubion explores the issue in this book that's sure to generate a lot of good discussion.
Told from three viewpoints, the two protagonists, Scott and Rachel, and the antagonist who's the programmer, the reader is never in the dark about the depths to which each of them has fallen. Their deepest desires, their faults and their faith are all exposed as they strive for what they want.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that most married couples reach a point from time to time of feeling stale or even betrayed; of not wanting to share burdens, of keeping secrets and lying to each other. This story shows what that's like, and the hard work and discipline it takes to decide to practice marriage even when we may not always feel like it. Honestly Scott and Rachel were not always likeable and seemed to be graced by all good things, but that's the way of grace. They learned, they grew, they forgave and were forgiven.
An intriguing side note to the novel is Faubion's inspiration. The concept for virtual friend creation came to him as business idea. You'll want to read why he decided not to follow through. Readers of contemporary inspirational suspense will be fascinated with Friend Me, especially those who are curious about behind-the-scenes software development (not in-depth), and the possibilities of a frightening new computer reality that can so easily manipulate users with false perceptions and advertising.
If there was a way to recreate someone you had lost due to an unexpected death with the only exception being that they were not physically real, meaning you couldn't go see them, but in every other aspect they were as real as you and I, would you be interested?
What about having the perfect wife or husband? One you could create from scratch and be everything you ever wanted, a great listener, a romantic at heart, or someone who simply gave you everything you needed to hear and kept all your secrets? Perhaps a best friend you could confide in, but one that would only be there for you anytime you needed them? A sister or brother you always wanted but never had? Would you be interested?
Consider that such a reality could literally be just months away from being a reality. Just as convenient as Facebook is to your need to touch base with people, now you could create that virtual person who would act, sound and look like a real person. You might just want to visit the latest website known simply as Virtual Friend Me, an excited new social media site that offers something more than Facebook or My Life could ever dream of, and it's all Free. Of course if you want a more personalized friend whom you can "see" you might want to sign up for the Premium Plan for only $15.00 a month. It guarantees your "friend" will be there whenever you want, simply a mouse click away.
Now you've gotten a taste for the latest suspense thriller from author John Faubion who has created a concept that is chilling you can envision something like this truly on our horizon in the not so distant future. Now that Rachel Douglas has been having a difficult time with raising two children while her husband spends so many countless hours working at the office, it would be nice if she only had her close friend Suzanne to confide with, but she died. When she learns about a new social media site, she enlists her husband Scott's help to see if he is fine with her creating an online friend.
Knowing how alone Rachel has been especially with him logging in so many hours to making a dent working on his latest clients stock investments, he's been warned unless they start to see results, he will find himself out of a job. If only he had someone to confide in, like Rachel does with her new virtual friend. Someone he can confide in that won't see him as a failure if his latest investment idea doesn't work out as planned. What harm can there be if Scott creates a virtual friend as well. Only both Scott and Rachel get more than either one ever bargained for and it has them wondering just where they crossed over the moral line in regards to their marriage.
I received Friend Me by John Faubion compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. This is a chilling thought to know just how close we are in actually having a company create something like this. I could see so many people lining up to create their own "friend" without considering the implications of who is really on the other end with all the information you are feeding them to create that perfect friend. I think John pulled out all the stops on this one and makes you truly consider just who you are allowing to become your friend in all the social media platforms available today and in the very near future. You will not be able to put this one down until you know how it all plays out and John does an exceptional job at keeping the right amount of suspense going to keep you flipping pages! I loved this one and is a must read for suspense fans who love a twist to something that may not be that far off in our own future. I easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars.