Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Pages: 233
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: January 4th, 2011
IBSN:  9781442412330

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?

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

The synopsis to this book makes it sound light and fluffy: best friends reunited, lusting after the unattainable boy, popular mean girls. Cliche, right? Wrong.

Choker was incredibly creepy. For the most part, Cara is narrating oblivious to the background story. Zoe runs away from home to her, and Cara doesn't care why, she just cares that her best friend's back. And who can blame her?

Cara was a realistic and likeable narrator, though unreliable. Insecure and quiet, she's easy to relate to.

The plot was skillfully written. You think you have it figured out - hell, I thought I had it figured as soon as I read the blurb - but the ending completely throws you and makes you rewind in your head to find if that's even possible.

The writing style was spare and emotive. The third person narration gave the story a creepy and detached feel, but didn't stop me from connecting with the protagonist.

Definitely a book you can't judge by its cover, I give Choker a 5 out of 5.

Recommend it for fans of: Entangled by Cat Clarke and Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James.