Author: Elizabeth Woods
Read via: library
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?
I found Choker when I was looking for books to read for The Story Siren’s “Debut Author Challenge”. The cover was what initially caught my attention. I love the color and the way it is styled. The summary for the book is also fantastic! I went back and reread it after I finished the book and I was even more impressed.
The characters were phenomenal. I loved Cara and I felt so bad for her. The way she was treated by the kids at school was pretty bad, and her parents were also pretty sad. Zoe! Ah, Zoe. She was just nuts, but there were moments when you had to feel bad for her. Her back-story was pretty rough, so it was easy to excuse her behavior at times. Ethan, I was not overly impressed with. He, along with Alexis and Sydney, just came off as too clichéd. He was the nice guy, who was trapped in a relationship with the crappy, mean girl. It has been done too many times before. That was my biggest disappointment in the book; the fact that some of her side characters really lacked any depth. They were just stereotypes.
The story itself made up for these flaws though. There was so much tension and anxiety throughout it all. I was so engrossed with what was happening that I had trouble putting the book down. As I neared the end, I felt a little disappointed in the mystery. It seemed too obvious. I felt like I had it all figured out. Then I read the last few chapters, and I fell in love with this author. I was completely and utterly shocked, heartbroken even. I will not spoil the amazing ending, so I will just say that this was well worth the read. The end of it will stun you.
There were a few things, like the previously mentioned characters, that could have been better, but it is also important to note that this is a debut book. I was very impressed with this, especially because of that, and I will be watching for what the author does next.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Cover Rating: 4 out of 5