Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Book Review: Choker by Elizabeth Woods

ChokerChoker by Elizabeth Woods
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
Publish Date:  1/4/2011 (Today!)
Hardcover, 240 pages
2011 Debut Author, Young Adult

My rating: 5.0/5.0

My Thoughts:

Trying to write a review for this book is difficult. Not because it's bad, no it's absolutely wonderful, but I don't want to give anything away. Choker is an amazing debut novel from writer Elizabeth Woods. It takes you the reader to the heart of bullying. What it is like to be the one that is bullied. It doesn't matter that you have money or live next door to one of the most popular girls at school or even if your parents are friends with all the popular people's parents, you can still be the one that is bullied and that is what Cara goes through.

Cara comes across as a very sympathetic character and after the bullying incident she becomes even more so. You can see that she just wants to blend in and not be noticed either way. She has a boy she has a crush on but of course he is one of the popular girls' boyfriend. I really felt for Cara. Then Zoe comes back and Cara really seems to come out of her shell. It's an amazing transformation, but then things start happening in their otherwise quiet home town.

I won't say anymore about the plot, but just know that the plot grabs you and drags you in and does not let you go until the last page. It was gripping, it had me on the edge of my seat and though I kind of suspected where the book was going, it still came as a shock to me in the end. Ms. Woods paces this book perfectly, building you up in the first few chapters, hooking you until you can't put the book down.

I also enjoyed the characters. As I mentioned before, I like Cara and enjoyed watching her development. Ethan was also a great character who starts off appearing shallow but through the book you learn more about him. Zoe was a great foil for Cara and made an interesting read, though I never really liked her (and I don't think you were supposed to).

Wonderfully written, heartfelt and realistic, this is a world to be scared of, but it is a world that exists. Bullying is not just for boys, but for girls as well and Ms. Woods handles this subject brilliantly. The book shines even through the creepy parts and it is one that I won't be forgetting anytime soon.

About the Book:
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?

Publisher Page for the author

FTC Information: I received this eARC from the publisher Simon and Schuster.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.