Saturday, April 9, 2011
Choker by Elizabeth Woods
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?
Creepy. That pretty much sums up this haunting debut from Elizabeth Woods. But it's one of those: keeps-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat, page-turning, sends-shivers-down-your-spine books! I was drawn to Elizabeth's characters, both Cara and Zoe; they were both such deep troubled girls. I was not expecting the incredible twist towards the end of this book at all. Cara's life is that of an average teenage girl, she likes a boy and has to deal with the petty and mean 'popular girls'. After the ordeal in the cafeteria and receiving the horrible nickname "Choker", Cara is at a loss for how to make her life better. Suddenly her old friend Zoe is back in her life and hiding from her parents after running away, Cara agrees to conceal her presence from her own parents. Zoe instills a strong sense of confidence in Cara and her life at school begins to improve. But terrible things start happening to some of the girls that hurt Cara and she suspects Zoe of foul play. Zoe is seemingly falling apart and Cara doesn't know how to help her friend. Zoe becomes angry that Cara is spending more time with her new friends, and Cara is in danger of losing everything she has worked for. When the truth comes out, Cara must face Zoe one last time, and turn her into the police, even though it is her greatest fear that she will lose her friend forever.