Review: CHOKER by Elizabeth Woods

Elizabeth Woods
233 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: January 4th, 2011
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating:  LIKED

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?

Never judge a book by its cover. That phrase has never been truer.

Choker was absolutely creepy. On her blog, Good Books and Good Wine, April said it was creepy too. But as I was reading Choker, I kept wondering why she said it was so. Until I reached the end.

I finished it around 11 o’clock, at night. I kept hearing sounds everytime my eyes were about to close. Yes, it was *that* creepy. To me, anyway.

Cara Lange moved away from her best friend Zoe when she was in fifth grade. Middle school was horrible and now, high school is pretty much the same for seventeen year old Cara. Especially after she chokes on a baby carrot during lunch. From then on, Alexis (your typical high school meanie) and her best friend (who happens to be Cara’s neighbor), Sydney, start calling Cara, Choker. It gets on her nerves, but she doesn’t say anything, she usually just keeps to herself.

When she gets steps out of the shower in the evening, she nearly screams when she sees Zoe sitting on her bed. It seems Zoe did something bad at home, so she came to Cara, who has to hide her without telling her parents. Cara is overflowing with happiness, Zoe always knows when to show up, when Cara needs help.

Then things start to go wrong. Sydney is found the next morning, floating dead in her pool. A few days later, someone else turns up missing. Who is doing this to them? Cara can’t help but think its Zoe, but is it?

You have to read it to find out.

I was very impressed with the way Elizabeth Woods was able to describe her characters and plot in depth with only 233 pages. I kept thinking back to Cryer’s Cross as I read Choker, maybe it was the length, or because it was narrated in the third person. But Choker had more depth to it than Cryer’s Cross. I found myself relating to Cara in many situations, and the plot was clearly written.

As I read through, I kept thinking: I know how this is going to end. Boy was I wrong! Nothing, and I mean nothing, prepared me for the ending. I have to say the ending is unique and nothing like I expected, but I was a little disappointed at the way things ended. But it was definitely a good read all in all!

Add CHOKER to Goodreads


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

February 20, 2011



  1. Reply

    Gina @ My Precious

    February 18, 2011

    This one sounds fantastic from your reviews. It has a lot of my favorite elements of a great read: especially the unexpected twist at the end. However, some folks were really turned off by it, even stopped reading because parts were too graphic (in regards to animal cruelty) so I'm a little torn…

  2. Reply

    Julia :)

    February 18, 2011

    I've got this one on my debut author challenge list. It sounds AMAZING. I love books that are kind of creepy and have crazy twists at the end. Can't wait to read it. :)

  3. Reply


    February 18, 2011

    I just read this. I wasn't sure what to expect going in. A little creepy.

  4. Reply


    February 19, 2011

    Oh, this sounds seriously creepy.

  5. Reply

    Samantha LeAnne

    February 21, 2011

    This one sounds so good. Creepy in a good way! I've heard such great things about Choker and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

  6. Reply

    April (BooksandWine)

    February 25, 2011

    Yeah, it was creepy for sure! Although, I didn't love it or really even like Choker for that matter, I am glad that it did appeal to you and that you loved it!

  7. Reply


    January 7, 2012

    Choker looks totally AWESOME! I love mystery books that are like Clue.

  8. Reply

    Chi Kittie

    January 27, 2012

    Thanks for a amazing review. This book looks awesome, although I found it did have some mixed feelings towards reading it but from what I see you enjoyed it.

    – Beckie

  9. Reply


    December 12, 2012

    I really like this cover!! The premise sounds really fascinating too. Glad you really enjoying it :)