Thursday, May 5, 2011

Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Book Summery (via Goodreads):
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?

Book Review:
This book is slim, totaling just slightly over 230 pages. Don't let it's dainty size fool you. Ms. Woods' story packs a punch. I easily identified to Cara. She's an outcast, longing to be a part of something bigger than herself. Who doesn't relate to that on some level? During high school no less! Her parents are too immersed in their own careers to be a steady and conscientious part of Cara's everyday life. I'm still struggling as to whether to believe if they are just intensely career-driven or, rather, if they're using their jobs as a means to shunt their attention away from Cara. I do believe their absence is a key component of the story, nonetheless. Cara finds comfort and strength in recently her reunited friend Zoe. Now, hold on tight, because the story is about to get a whole lot more enthralling from here. There were many things that I liked about this book. The plot was interesting, the characters were engaging, and the story moved at a nice pace. However, I did ruin this book for myself, somewhat before I ever picked it up. It only took a review or two for me to gather what "the big plot twist" was, which took a little zest out of the story (for me). That being said, I am glad to have read this book and fully enjoyed it. I wasn't able to find much information on Woods, but I do hope that she continues to write. She has a unique and captivating voice. Overall, Choker was a beautifully told physiological thriller that was reminiscent of I Am the Cheese and Shutter Island.

Favorite Quote:
"Cara stared at him. The Ethan of her dreams had disappeared. He was just another person who was sad. She was kind of glad, actually. Dreams disappeared when you woke up. The real thing was better anyway." (p. 156)

Cover Art Commentary:
At first I didn't care for the cover. However, after reading the book, I've come to appreciate it more. I like the simplicity of the design and color scheme.

Overall Rating:


  1. This book wasn't added on my tbrlist, I wonder why! It sounds amazing and it's pretty short. Which is a plus if youre limited to 3/4 hours of reading p.w. ;)
    Great review, another one to add to the long, very long list.

  2. I love the cover too and have been wanting to read this book too.Great review

  3. The twist totally surprised me but I hadn't heard about the book before. Glad you still enjoyed it!

  4. Glad you liked this one...:)

    I for some reason didnt, not sure why this didnt click with me because the story was clever...great review!!

  5. I've been wanting to read this one mainly because of the cover. So pretty!

  6. I ended up doing the same thing except I read halfway and flipped to the end and found out the ending. Totally regret doing it afterwards too.

  7. Sounds interesting!
    I have know idea what the big plot twist is about, so the story isn't spoiled for me yet! :) (thanks for not posting spoilers)

  8. i hadn't heard of this one, but the cover caught my attention. it's gorgeous, and the storyline sounds really interesting, too. i haven't been reading as much YA lately, but i might just have to pick this one up!