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  • ARC Review: Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver
  • Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Review: Karmic Hearts by Jhing Bautista
  • Review: The Conspiration of the Universe by Kenneth Olanday

Saturday, January 8, 2011

ARC Review: Choker by Elizabeth Woods

I couldn't have picked a book that is completely different than the one I've just finished reading (Crusade). I still have goosebumps running up and down my arms as I write this review. Choker is one dark, twisted tale.

Title: Choker by Elizabeth Woods
Pages: 240
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: From Publisher: GalleyGrab (Thank you, Simon & Schuster!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository


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?

While I breezed through this book, it's hard to ignore the fact that what will propel you to read to the end is that Choker is a seriously disturbing and twisted story. Dark couldn't even begin to describe the book, but it was very well written that readers couldn't help but flip through the pages and grip the edge of their seats in anticipation, or even maybe, in fear.

Do not let the cover fool you. Pink as the cover is, Choker is not a sweet or fluffy Young Adult romance novel. Behind that gorgeous cover is a story so disturbing you'd do a double take and say "what is up with the pink cover?"

Cara is a shy teenage girl who just wants to be normal. After she moved with her family and left her friend, Zoe, behind, she was friendless. School became difficult and now she's in high school. She's on the track team, but every single time she seems to be the butt of everyone's jokes and bullying. It didn't help that Cara is attracted to Ethan, the captain of the school's track team, who happens to be the boyfriend of the most popular girl in school, Alexis.

The title, "Choker" comes from an unfortunate incident when Cara was choking on her food, accidentally bumping on Ethan, who then helped her. Everybody thought she was faking it just to get Ethan's attention, and so with Alexis' help, Cara earned the infamous nickname the next day.

It was hard to imagine how Cara got through all the bullying in one piece. Or maybe she didn't. I know how difficult high school can be for some, though I'm glad I was part of the popular crowd, but it can still be tough. If only someone had helped Cara, stood up for her and even became her friend, things would have been different. All of the torture she received in school contributed in bringing "Zoe" back.

Yes, Zoe, Cara's best friend. The one she left behind all those years.

I can only think of a word to describe Zoe. Evil.

From the start, you can tell that something's not right with her. Everything about Zoe screams and reeks of darkness and evil. Things became highly disturbing for me when she started killing innocent little creatures like a mouse without a care in the world. And poor Samson. You can tell she had gone on the deep end when she killed the poor cat. It didn't come as a surprise when she admitted to have killed others. If you can take the life of those animals, what prevents you from taking the lives of other people as well?

Elizabeth Woods is a master of suspense! The pacing was enough to make the reader impatient and eager to find out what happens next. The build up was nice, and then suddenly bam! I found my heart racing a couple of times while reading.

Though the plot was predictable, there's something about Choker that makes it one hell of a read. The suspense will drive you crazy!

I felt sympathy and sadness for Cara's parents. They were both hard working, striving to provide for Cara, but if they have only paid more attention to their child, gave her proper love and care as all children deserve to have, then maybe she couldn't have turned out to be the person that she was.

There was a really good chance for romance in this book. It was one of the things that made me sad. Had Cara been a normal girl, she had Ethan for the taking. If only things were different...

The twist in the end is what made Choker a really good novel for me. I didn't see that coming, and it caught me off-guard. But that twist made every little thing you've read in the book click, like the pieces of the puzzle coming together. Kudos, Ms. Elizabeth Woods! Choker has murder and bullying and overall the darker side of a teen crafted into one awesome novel!

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:


  1. This book sounds amazing.
    Awesome review! =D

  2. This sounds really twisted. I really want to know the twist now!

  3. Whoa. You had me at 'dark and twisted tale'. Love your review! :)

  4. Thanks for the review! Choker sounds like my kind of book:) I love suspense and horror and the pink cover looks nice.

  5. Ok, you did it now. This one sounds sooooo awesome. I really want to read this one soon. I love books with unexpected twists at the end. This one sound perfect. A great review!

  6. why are you awesome in giving reviews? :)


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