Friend Me

FRIEND ME middle grade thriller by Sheila M Averbuch


My local independent bookstore is Portobello Bookshop – please support them if you can.

Also at ¦ Scholastic Ireland ¦ Scholastic UK ¦ Scholastic US ¦ Barnes & Noble ¦ Waterstones ¦ Blackwells ¦ Edinburgh Bookshop ¦Target ¦ Amazon FRIEND ME ¦ IndieBound ¦ Audible audiobook

* Starred review, School Library Journal (audiobook version)

An Amazon Best Book of the Month

What happens when an online friend becomes a real-life nightmare?


FRIEND ME is my middle grade thriller debut and it published on 10 November 2020 with Scholastic Press in the US. Read on to learn more about the story, or you can also explore the book on Goodreads and Edelweiss +

Roisin hasn’t made a single friend since moving from Ireland to Massachusetts. In fact, she is falling apart under constant abuse from a school bully, Zara. Zara torments Roisin in person and on social media. She makes Roisin the laughingstock of the whole school.

Roisin feels utterly alone… until she bonds with Haley online. Finally there’s someone who gets her. Haley is smart, strong, and shares anti-mean-girl memes that make Roisin laugh. Together, they are able to imagine what life could look like without Zara. Haley quickly becomes Roisin’s lifeline.

Then Zara has a painful accident, police investigate, and Roisin panics. Could her chats with Haley look incriminating?

Roisin wants Haley to delete her copies of their messages, but when she tries to meet Haley in person, she can’t find her anywhere. What’s going on? Her best friend would never have lied to her, right? Or is Haley not who she says she is…

With twists, turns, and lightning-fast pacing, this is a middle-grade thriller about bullying, revenge, and tech that young readers won’t be able to put down.      


* “A suspenseful novel that takes a not-so-distant futuristic approach to online bullying and mean girl behavior, middle school students will all be able to relate to the characters in this book. A valuable addition to any [collection].” – School Library Journal, starred review (audiobook edition)

“Readers will sleep with the lights on after consuming this fast-paced thriller.” – Kirkus Reviews

“[A] cyberthriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.” – Publishers Weekly

“Averbuch constructs a complex scenario that is both over-the-top and entirely plausible…The book’s balance of real-world emotional issues and only-a-little-futuristic technology delivers an engaging story that will appeal to fans of both sci-fi and contemporary fiction.” – Horn Book

Friend Me is a heart-racing escalation from toxic teen power play and the dangers of social media to a darkly searing near-future thriller. A stunning debut.” — Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity

Book Launch Party


Arlo the dog isn’t sure why I’m so excited about something he can’t eat: my first glance at FRIEND ME