Author: Elizabeth Woods
Pages: 240 (hardcover)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
Challenge: 2011 Debut Author Challenge
Startlingly strange and creepy, Choker will keep you at the edge of your seat as you unravel the mysteries hidden with in. I was absolutely blown away by it’s incredible plot line, enthralling characters, and the suspense that Woods builds up. It was dark and gloomy at times with Woods delving into topics of depression and low self-esteem.
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?
So much was going on…. The plot line was full of action. My head was spinning the whole time because even though I was so confused with everything, I still got what was happening. I honestly don’t know if that is even possible, but it did happen with Choker. We’re introduced with Cara who is really troubled, but then her friend, Zoe appears and changes start happening. Though, not positive changes only, but bad and negative changes arise, and Cara thinks Zoe is in fault.
Cara was always troubled… she was many things. Her personality was really bizarre. Though, it was understandable. Bullies were there and just had to ruin her life even more… the girls from her school irritated and annoyed her non-stop. Not surprisingly shy and weak, she never had put her foot down. She also was always dismal and down… lost… reluctant…. And she wasn’t comfortable with her own self. Another part that I love how Woods added into her character was the fact that her parents were inattentive. It doesn’t occur so much in young adult so it was a surprise to see.
The friendship between the two, Cara and Zoe was just so wacky and weird in many ways. It was really interesting to see how their friendship would progress and turn out because the two had extremely different personalities. Zoe was bold, daring, and wild, while Cara was shy, awkward, and quiet. Their friendship was extraordinary and peculiar, especially how the happier Cara becomes, the stranger Zoe becomes.
I don’t even want to get into that ending… that ending was just wow. I never saw it coming and nor did I ever think of it at all. I was very shocked and stupefied. It blew me away.
Choker is a striking and captivating thriller from Woods. Woods has amazed me with her talent and ability and I can’t wait for her forthcoming novels. Get ready to get choked by Choker.