Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: January 4th, 2011

Sixteen-year-old Cara Lange has been a loner ever since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, years ago. She eats lunch with the other girls from the track team, but they're not really her friends. Mostly she spends her time watching Ethan Gray from a distance, wishing he would finally notice her, and avoiding the popular girls who call her "Choker" after a humiliating incident in the cafeteria.

Then one day Cara comes home to find Zoe waiting for her. Zoe's on the run from problems at home, and Cara agrees to help her hide. With her best friend back, Cara's life changes overnight. Zoe gives her a new look and new confidence, and next thing she knows, she's getting invited to parties and flirting with Ethan. Best of all, she has her BFF there to confide in.

But just as quickly as Cara's life came together, it starts to unravel. A girl goes missing in her town, and everyone is a suspect—including Ethan. Worse still, Zoe starts behaving strangely, and Cara begins to wonder what exactly her friend does all day when she's at school. You're supposed to trust your best friend no matter what, but what if she turns into a total stranger?
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Yet another book that I picked up for the cover.  So simple and elegant... You would never guess from looking at it, what this story is about.  NOT that I'm complaining!  For a book that is only 233 pages long, it sure packs a lot punch as far a mystery, action, and intrigue are concerned!  This will not be a very long review because I don't want to give anything away, but I will tell you that this book tops my list called, "Books That Made Me Say "WHAT!?!?" at the End".  

There are only a few characters in this book, but as the reader, you will develop feelings toward all of them, although I found that my feelings flip-flopped a lot as the book progressed.    A run down of the important ones:
  • Cara- Our protagonist.  She is pathetic.  I just felt sorry for her for most of the book; socially awkward and a seasoned pro at second guessing herself.  I was happy to see her come out of her shell a bit and have some success socially, but I still felt sorry for her because she never left her awkwardness behind.  
  • Zoe is Cara's childhood BFF-  This girl is just a hot mess and so bad for Cara.  She is everything Cara wishes she could be personality-wise, but she's also creepy and manipulative.  The girl scared me... 
  • The love interest, Ethan-  The out-of-reach popular jock that also has a soul; the one every dorky girl in coming-of-age novels has the hots for.  Ethan is a decent guy and I felt bad for him throughout this book. 
  • Cara's parents- Self-absorbed and detached.  I honestly hated their guts.  The type of parents you look at and wonder why they ever had kids.
  • The Mean Girls- There are a few of them.  Their names are not important. Of course, one of them is Ethan's girlfriend.  Cara is their target for torture at school.  One ends up dead, another goes missing.
As for the story, well, I can't say much.  It starts with the incident that earns Cara her unfortunate nickname, and rolls right from there into the arrival of Cara's long-lost best friend Zoe.  After Zoe's arrival, bad things start happening in Cara's town.  I went through the book thinking how predictable it was.  I was wrong.  My advice?  Stick with the story.  Let the creep-factor set in good, and let me know what you think once it's over.  I had goosebumps (literally).  This book is a fast-paced page-turner that will have you saying, "WHAT?!?!?!" at the end.  Read it!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:  Probably 8th grade and up.  There are a few mature themes in this book, plus some teen drinking, and language.  Ages 13+


  1. what a great review. You have made me want to go out and read the book now, and I don't have the time to add another book to my every growing pile.

  2. Awesome review!! I think this one is on my list. I defs can't wait to read it!

  3. I haven't read this one yet, but our reviewer Brittany did. She said the same thing about the characters, I think I'll have to try it too!

  4. Oooh, this has intrigued me! I haven't heard of this book but like you, I enjoy the cover. You've made me so curious what the ending is now! I'll have to put it on my to-read list.


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