Choker by Elizabeth Woods
Release Date - January 4, 2011
Publisher - Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages - 233
My Rating 8/10
Here is the GoodReads synopsis -
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?
The book opens with a flashback to when Cara and Zoe were young girls. The tone of the novel is immediately set and you know what kind of journey you’re about to take.
I really enjoyed the writing style. It kept me turning the pages and wanting to find out what happened next. The mystery of what was going on kept you reading. This is a good thing as some of the characters I felt were not flushed out as much as I would have liked.
I did feel sorry for Cara. I was transferred back to high school and recalled how awful it can be for some people. The author did a great job at showing us how little self esteem Cara had. You really saw that she just wanted to blend in and almost become invisible. The choking incident where she gets her nickname just makes things worse for her at school.
Zoe is exactly what you would expect. She was sweet and Cara’s best friend one minute and creepy the next. Zoe is the more outgoing and outspoken of the two girls. She seemed like she could control Cara in a way. As the story goes on her behaviour gets more and more strange and erratic which leads to Cara questioning what Zoe has done.
When I was about halfway through the book I figured I was going to give it a rating of about 7. It seemed to be very predictable and had very little in the way of surprises or anything really different that made it stand out. I then got to the last couple of chapters and had the entire thing flipped on me. The ending is simply jaw dropping fantastic. It’s something I NEVER saw coming and it bumped my review up to an 8. It’s one of those great end twists that when done properly can stay with you for awhile. It has you rethinking the rest of the book and searching for clues that you might have missed. I have to applaud the author for a well planned and perfectly revealed twist.
The cover of this book does not reveal the darkness inside. Don’t let delicate and pretty cover fool you. Choker is full of scary, shudder inducing moments that I loved. If you enjoy a little bit of a scare this is one you should add to your reading pile.