Friday, February 11, 2011
by Elizabeth Woods
Simon & Schuster, 2011
Thrilling, twisted, taut, and tantalizing, this debut novel delivers shock waves! Sixteen year old Cara never really fits in; she sits with the other track girls at lunch but feels miles apart from their lively banter. What she longs for is to be popular and date someone dreamy like Ethan, a star track runner and boyfriend of mean girl Alexis. Unfortunately, Cara nearly chokes to death on a carrot in the cafeteria one day, and thenceforth the student body refers to her as "choker."
The bullying and teasing are too much for introverted Cara, and she longs for a friend. Then, her prayers are answered when her childhood friend Zoe appears unexpectedly. Cara agrees to help her hide out, and the two friends bond again. Once Zoe shows up, everything is wonderful: Cara does well at the track meet and flirts with Ethan. She changes her appearance and people begin to notice. Everything is going great until girl-next-door Sydney ends up drowned in the backyard pool. Then, another girl goes missing.
What is happening? And why are the police blaming Ethan? What is worrying Cara's mom and dad? Readers will be mesmerized by the solid story-telling and well-paced plot; the characters of Ethan and Cara are well-developed and unforgettable.
Choker is a real page-turner that will have teen readers up late into the night reading and relishing the rocking pace and seriously twisted ending. This one is unputdownable and not to be missed! Personally, I even had dreams about this novel after reading it.
The cover of this book and one sentence on the back cover, "What are best friends for?" really don't do this novel justice. Tell teen readers that this is one book NOT to judge the book by the cover.
Highly, highly recommended for ya collections. Grade 8 and up.
No sex; some language.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.