blo Teens Read and Write: Book Review: CHOKER by Elizabeth Woods

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review: CHOKER by Elizabeth Woods

by Elizabeth Woods
pub: Jan 2011
genre: Teen Fiction/Thriller
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?
This is one of those gems I almost missed. The cover seems light and sweet. The summary gives a hint that there's some murder mystery going on but nothing too bizarre. And then I started reading. Okay, so the beginning doesn't even prepare you for what's to come. But then BFF Zoe shows up and the world becomes a dark place. 

Dark and creepy whispers into CHOKER, scratches at the back of your neck so the hairs start rising. This isn't a paranormal, which makes it even worse. The deviant stuff going on is real. I wasn't expecting a psychological thriller but that's what you get.

Suspenseful, but I wouldn't say it jumps over the line to horror because the gruesome details are kept to minimum overall. Twisted and disturbing the plot keeps you hanging on for answers. And just when you think you've got it all figured out, you get a wham-bam of an ending. I was shocked and creeped out all at once!  

The truth is I can't say too much without giving the good stuff away. So here it is. CHOKER surprised me. I haven't seen or read a lot of straight psychological thrillers in YA so if you're looking for something fresh, and like dark and twisted tales about crazy mind-warped killers, you should pick it up. I found it a refreshing treat. Okay, that makes it sound all light and cute. It isn't. But a great creepy thriller? Absolutely!


CarlyB said...

I LOVED this book!x

Liz @ Cleverly Inked said...

Got to have this. It seems freaky but I'd give it a whirl

Anna said...

Sounds AWESOME! Adding it to my Goodreads wish-list and really hoping to get my hands on it real soon!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I'm so glad you liked this one. It was a dnf for me. In a past life I did some psychology work, so there were issues in it I couldn't get past and for me, it was a predictable story. However, I do know that was just me. :) I totally agree that it was a very creepy thriller book for YA.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Ooh, I'll have to check Choker out. I've seen some mixed reviews, but a refreshing psychological thriller is right up my alley. Great review, Alyssa!

Blodeuedd said...

Not that big on creepy, but still sounds different. And not what I would expect from that cover

Tales of Whimsy said...

O I like books that take me off guard.

Jenny N. said...

A genre I don't read a lot of so was suprised that I ended up liking the book. Great review!

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

I've been turned out to reading this one only because I've read some not so favorable reviews, but this review actually picks up my interest again. I like fresh and surprising, so I may have to give it a go after all. Thanks, Alyssa.

Shantal said...

I've heard such great things about this, from your review it sounds like it's a nice interesting and different read :D

Ladytink_534 said...

Awesome! I'll have to see about checking this one out some day.

Aylee said...

I just started reading this one. Enjoying it so far but I think I've already figured out the ending unfortunately. Still I love creepy reads like this one!

Tasha said...

I hadn't heard of this before but now I really want to read it. Thanks for sharing.

Stormi said...

Sounds like a cool book, I am putting it on my wishlist.

I gave you a award on my blog.

Anonymous said...

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I have a kind of new blog, please come and comment on it.

YA Book Queen said...

I've been in the mood for something eerie and thriller-like, so I'll definitely see if my library has this. Great review! :D

iLuvReadingTooMuch said...

OMG I love the cover of this book!

Congratulations! You won the "Seven Facts Award" on my blog! Check it out at

Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic

Anonymous said...

Great review- Im reading this right now and it is super creepy. From the cover I was not prepared for what Im reading.....!!

Unknown said...

Honestly, the cover reminded me of Shiver... but it does sound pretty good, glad you shared this one... I would have missed it. Now, I want to read it... Good thing I got another B&N gift card, hope there's an ebook for this one. Oh, there is!

Dottie :)

Lola said...

Fantastic review! Can't wait to read this one! :)

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