Review: Choker by Elizabeth Woods

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Choker by Elizabeth WoodsChoker by Elizabeth Woods
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2012-03-01
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 240
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy the BookGoodreads
two-stars
Sixteen-year-old Cara Lange has always been a loner, even more so since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, a few years ago. Cara mostly spends her time avoiding the popular girls who call her 'choker' after a humiliating incident in the cafeteria, and watching Ethan Gray from a distance, wishing he would finally notice her.Then one day Cara comes home and finds Zoe waiting for her. Zoe's on the run from problems at home, and Cara agrees to help her hide. With Zoe back, Cara's life changes overnight. Zoe gives her a new look and new confidence, and before she can blink, Cara is flirting with Ethan and getting invited to parties. And best of all, she has her best friend to confide in again.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 very strangely, and Cara begins to wonder what exactly her friend does all day when she's at school. You're supposed to be able to trust your best friend no matter what, but what if she turns into a total stranger?

I am on the fence as far as my opinion of Choker by Elizabeth Woods goes. Choker is one of those books that you pick up, finish in about 2 hours, and then think to yourself, what the heck just happened here.

We open with a prologue of main character Cara playing with her best friend Zoe. We see Zoe as kind of a loose cannon who dares Cara to take some depression/’zombie’ pills that Zoe’s mother has. Then we flash forward to the future. Cara is living in a new neighborhood. She’s having social trouble at school. The popular girls make fun of her because she choked on a carrot and her new nickname is choker. They sort of become excessive with making fun of Cara. Anyways, Cara also has a crush on this dude named Ethan who is pretty much a nice guy and dating one of the popular girls. As Cara is wallowing in her pain of being picked on, her friend Zoe, on the run from a bad family situation, shows up in Cara’s house one day. Of course, MYSTERIOUS things go down and Cara starts to suspect Zoe.

Well, friends, shit was CREEPY. No, really, it was. Zoe is not really the right sort of person to be friends with. She is possessive of Cara and gets jealous whenever Cara hangs out with other people. With this book, I could definitely feel the mounting danger.

However, I will say, although I could sort of see the ending coming, I still felt cheated by it. I mean, it felt like such a gimmick to me. I’m still not sure what the book is about now. Was it bullying or mental illness? Then, I have to wonder was the whole part on bullying worthless because of what happened to certain characters?

I will say, it’s interesting to see a YA book with an unreliable narrator, and this reminds me that I still need to read Liar by Justine Larbaleister, because it’s probably done better.

That stated, Choker isn’t bad, it’s actually rather engaging in the beginning. I just was not a fan of how it ended which is one of my own hang-ups, it may not be your hang-up so do give this book a try.

Other Reviews:

Debbie’s World of Books
Presenting Lenore
Bookalicio.us

two-stars

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by April (Books&Wine)

April is 26 years old. She is an educator. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

12 comments… add one

  • I didn’t see that ending coming at all! I was going a completely different direction so I was slammed with shock at the end! I liked this book so much because it reminded me of R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series that I loved to pieces when I was growing up. It’s a short, quick, psychological thrill ride. His books were the same sort of format. ;)

    Reply
  • yay the only other person who feels me!

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  • Oh, I loved Fear Street when I was younger. However, I guess I just did not care at all for the ending. I liked how thrilling this was, but ugh, I felt it was so cheap.

    Reply
  • jessica dowdy April 21, 2011 6:21 pm

    i have read the book myself and when i read where it said you will not be expecting the ending ata all i am usually good at finding out the ending but i didnt! it was amazing and so unexpected! i love this book!

    Reply
  • I completely agree, I enjoyed her writing but was disappointed in the ending.

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  • Right, it could have been amazing if not for that freakin ending. However, I’ve seen reviews where people liked it.

    Reply
  • WHy am I the ONLY one who didn’t see it coming? LOL

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  • Ha ha, you and Cat should form a club, people who don’t see the ending of Choker from a mile away club.

    Reply
  • Hahahah! Pam & I have our own club now! I feel special!

    Reply
  • Thanks for your review, April. I have this book – just got it recently, so I’m looking forward to reading it. It’s too bad that the ending is, in your opinion, very obvious though. Hate that.

    One thing though about the unreliable narrator, I’ve always been taught that whenever a novel is told from the perspective of a particular individual, then it’s usually unreliable. I’m not trying to say that the character is obviously lying or just has no idea what’s going on, but rather it’s really how they view the world. There is a perspective or implied bias that a character can’t get away from. Still, makes me curious to learn how this one is unreliable.

    Thanks again. :)

    Reply
  • I’ve seen another review related to yours.
    They said it was creepy.
    The only reason I was drawn to it was its cover and its tagline – both very intriguing.

    Thanks for the honest review!

    Reply
  • Followed your link from your Goodreads review of Choker. I found Choker to be completely predictable but have come to the conclusion that at 40 years old, I may be getting too old to read a lot of YA fiction. I am curious though if you ever got around to reading Liar by Justine Larbaleister? If not, I highly recommend it. Here’s a link to my review of it. http://kyliesreads.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/liar.html

    Reply

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