Friend Me by Sheila M. Averbuch


SCROLL DOWN… to read the opening chapter!!

When Roisin and her family leave Ireland for good, she was unprepared for the nasty welcome from some of the girls at her new school in America. Navigating the corridors she encounters the harsh side of making new friends amid a completely different culture from the one she knew so well. Private messages, whispered secrets and humiliating social media posts follow her wherever she goes, constantly reminding her that she is not welcome. With popular girls, Zara and her gang, taking things too far and Roisin’s luck continually running out, she finds herself all over the apps once again.

Short of cash to buy new clothes to help ‘fit in’, Roisin agrees to test an on-line app where she’s rewarded with a payment the longer she uses it. It’s not long before she is befriended by Hayley, an on-line ‘friend’ who understands exactly how it feels to be ostracised and bullied. Her mum’s boss’s daughter, Lily, tries her best to befriend Roisin but something much more sinister than they could ever imagine was hard at work behind the firewalls. Hayley and Roisin become inseparable on screen and any hope of making new friends begins to disappear as she listens more to Hayley than to those, in real life, around her.

Hayley continues to dangerously manipulate Roisin, urging her to take matters in to her own hands and get rid of those who are being cruel, in more ways than one.

A school trip leads to disaster and Roisin becomes the main suspect of the sinister accident that she had no part in. Desperate to meet Hayley in real life to confront her about everything that has happened, Roisin soon finds herself trapped in a technological nightmare in a race against time to save herself and others before it’s too late.

This tension-filled, novel set around disingenuous friendships (or are they?) is brilliantly intertwined with phenomenal advances in technology that will make you reconsider how you use your devices. A stunning edge-of-your-seat debut by Sheila Averbuch with contemporary cover art my Mike Heath, is a novel that you will read again and again. Perhaps in disbelief that technology can evolve in a way we least expect or more to confirm to yourself that not all is what it seems underneath the keypad of your phone… the decision is yours!

Read Sarah Broadley’s interview with Sheila M. Averbuch, here.

And, as promised, dive into the opening chapter of Friend Me here, thanks to the lovely people at Scholastic. What a great opportunity!


Sheila M Averbuch
Cover Art: Mike Heath

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