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. 240 pages
No sex; some language.
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, MLIS, Library Media Specialist
visit her ya novels blog at https://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/
At age five Cara, who is now sixteen had to leave her best friend Zoe when her parents moved to a new town. Life has been hard for Cara and she is a loner and social outcast at school. One day in the cafeteria Cara trips and chokes on a carrot. After that the bullying gets worse as some of the most popular girls at school nick name her Choker. Just when Cara seems to be at her breaking point Zoe turns up in her bedroom needing a place to stay. Zoe is running away from her abusive step-father and has nowhere to go so Cara hides her in her room.
Now that Zoe is back she helps Cara transform herself with a new hair style and better clothes. Things are looking great for Cara. Ethan Gray starts paying attention to her and she is going to parties. She is doing better in track and everything seems to be going well.
Then when one of Cara’s tormentors drowns and another ends up missing Cara’s life starts to fall apart.
The more popular Cara gets the more jealous Zoe gets. Does she play a role in the drowning and disappearance? Why is Zoe acting so strange? Things are becoming sinister and what is Zoe really doing everyday while Cara is at school?
This book had a slow start but then took off. It was sort of creepy in places but you never wanted to stop reading it. It is a book that will stay with you long after you read it.
233 pages 978-1442412330 Ages 14 and up
Reviewed by: Joleen Waltman, Librarian, Idaho USA