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Choker Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 4, 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In this creepy psychological thriller, something disturbing is happening in the background while 16-year-old Cara narrates, oblivious; and readers will relish hunting for the clues. Cara is relieved when her best friend, Zoe, whom she hasn’t seen since moving away in fifth grade, appears at her house needing a hiding place. Cara is ridiculed at school—after a disastrous cafeteria incident, the mean girls call her “choker”—but Zoe always knows what to do. With her help, Cara successfully makes over her image, but the better Cara does, the more resentful Zoe becomes. When one mean girl drowns and another disappears, Cara starts wondering why Zoe has returned, and what she is hiding from. Right from the prologue, when young Zoe cajoles Cara to eat her mom’s “zombie” pills, it’s clear that their obsessive relationship is twisted, but Woods plays with readers’ expectations well enough to keep us guessing at Zoe’s true nature. Terrific pacing and mounting suspense lead to a resolution that may not surprise savvy readers but is nonetheless chilling. Grades 9-12. --Krista Hutley

About the Author

Choker is Elizabeth Woods' debut novel. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144241233X
  • ASIN: B00740INGC
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,033,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Maybe I've watched too many horror movies, but I predicted the ending to Choker within the first couple of pages. It particularly reminded me of one of my favorite Japanese horror movies, A Tale of Two Sisters. Just replace a sister with a best friend, add in a love interest, and some school, and bam! You've got Choker. Just not as creepy or gruesome. If only the movie cover looked like the book. I'm such a [...]for a pretty cover and some chapter art.

Did that mean I enjoyed the book any less? Not really, surprisingly. Elizabeth Woods does a wonderful job capturing the feel of being the high school loner, and the tension is almost palpable at times. I had a hard time putting this down once I finally started reading it. The characters all fulfill the roles they need to perfectly. Ethan, the love interest, draws your sympathy for just being such a good guy. Alexis is the total high school prom queen [...]everyone runs into. Zoe is, of course, creepy. And Cara. Well, Cara is a little difficult to understand on one read through.

One small thing that annoyed me in Choker were specific references, such as "iTunes" and "Kristen Stewart" and "Oprah". Unless I'm reading historical fiction and it's all about specific details, I really tend to feel like it dates a book like this, and adds in some unnecessary things. It's like me saying I'm sitting here writing this in my Hello Kitty nerd pj's, listening to the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows soundtrack, and watching the newest episode of What Not to Wear. When, instead, I could just say I'm sitting here in my pj's, listening to some music with the tv on in the background. Maybe it doesn't bother other people, but I personally don't like reading about brand names and current celebrities in my books.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
WARNING: BOOK CONTAINS DETAILED ANIMAL ABUSE AND MURDER

How far will we go for a best friend? And how far should we?

In fifth grade, Cara moved away from her best friend Zoe and she hasn't had a friend like Zoe since. Bullied by the popular girls and ignored by everyone else, she has a crush on a cute guy on her track team. After a particularly difficult day, Cara returns home to find Zoe sitting on her bed. Zoe has run away from home, snuck into Cara's house, hoping Cara will let her stay and not tell anyone. Soon afterwards, one of Cara's bullies has committed suicide under strange circumstances and another is missing. Zoe's acting erratic and Cara fears her best friend may be involved.

CHOKER has a great plot with a few glaring flaws. I cannot, will not read about animal abuse. Zoe's pathology could have been told just as well without using graphic, or any, animal abuse. It felt gratuitous. I skimmed over the parts (yes several parts). The book was told from Cara's third person POV, but I think the story would have been more compelling in first person because Cara felt distant. Cara and Zoe were complex characters, more complex than readers are ever privy too. I would have liked more. Elizabeth Woods has crafted a unique, fast paced psychological thrilled that held my interest. I would have figured out the twist about 75% through the story had I not been spoiled in another review.

I can only recommend CHOKER with the caveat of several instances of animal abuse that seem to come, without warning, out of nowhere (except the last one). I wish there had been a warning in the blurb about the animal torture on this and every other book for kids, teens and adults. I took away a star for this reason. 3 star (four if you want to add the animal abuse star I took away).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This one had me quite curious going into it. I didn't know what it was about. All in all, it was a good read, a little predictable, but still worth the buy.

It just hasn't been the same for Cara. Not since she had to move away from her best friend Zoe. Whats worse is that the girls at school make fun of her because she was choking at lunch one day so now she's stuck with the most awful nickname of Choker. Oh so lame right?! All Cara wants is for Ethan to notice her. He is the one who seemed to save her from her awful choking incident after all. If Ethan could just pay attention to her like she was a popular girl...

After another horrible day at school Cara feels like she just can't take anymore. That's when she finds Zoe waiting for her. Zoe has always had problems with her mother's boyfriend and is now on the run. Cara is willing to do whatever it takes to help. It doesn't matter how much time has past since they've seen each other, they are best friends once again! Zoe is to hide out in Cara's room. Cara will sneak her whatever she needs. It will work perfectly right?
The best thing of all is that now, Zoe is helping Cara dress to impress Ethan and helping her get in good with the 'in' crowd. All is good right? Did I mention that now those girls teasing Cara are missing? Zoe is acting odd and nothing seems to make sense anymore. Who's a girl to trust? What's a best friend for after all?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yea! A book to recommend to my teens who do *NOT* want a vampire or supernatural book. Cara and what her life is like at school provide the story's basic structure. Unfortunately, Cara also happens to be one of those kids that just really doesn't seem to fit into school life very well. A lot of what happens to Cara is outside her ability to control (she is bullied and tormented) but just as sadly, it often seems that Cara's lack of confidence and social skills make he so ill-at-ease with daily situations it's like she becomes her own worst enemy. Story is written so that you *think* Cara's life is going one way...but be prepared for a nice, juicy twist. If you're a reader that just loves a surprise, this is NOT a book to read the ending pages first. On the other hand, if you are a reader who likes to see how an author puts things together in an interesting way and knowing the ending won't spoil the pleasure of the book, by all means...see if you can figure out what's what.
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