Thursday, March 10, 2011

Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Summary (courtesy of GoodReads):   What if the only friend you could trust turned out to be dangerous? A new thriller from debut author Elizabeth Woods!

And here's what I thought:   Well, that summary is short and sweet, isn't it?  And it totally doesn't convey how creepy this book is.    I'm going to try to avoid any spoilers, so my review is going to be a bit short, as well.    This is a psychological thriller of a book, where the reader picks up bits of clues to figure out what's really going on in the story.   As you see from the first sentences, the book begins with Cara and Zoe at nine years old.  However, the book really begins when Cara is 16.  She's a bit of an outcast at school, especially after a disastrous choking incident at school.   Luckily (?) for Cara, her best friend from childhood, Zoe, shows up one night.   Zoe has apparently run away, and asks Cara if she can stay with her, hidden in her room (easy to do, since Cara's parents are workaholics who aren't home much).  Cara finds strength and self-confidence once Zoe's around, but oddly, the better Cara feels, the more resentful Zoe seems to grow.  An odd friendship, yes?

This is one of those stories where things aren't what they seem, and the longer the story goes on, the weirder things get.  You start wondering what's really going on with Cara and Zoe, and if Zoe has some kind of plan for Cara.   The even, increasingly quick pace of this book just intensifies this.  And what happens?   Sorry, not telling -- you'll need to read the book.

I wouldn't say this book is perfect.  I liked the idea of the story, but at times, it felt a little uneven.  Cara's character sometimes seemed a bit off-balance -- she'd suddenly do something that wouldn't resonate with what I thought she was like.   There were sometimes a few things which seemed inconsistent, and which threw me off track (and distracted from the story).  And I never quite understood just how obtuse Cara's parents were.  But, I liked the idea of the story, and how I was kept guessing at what was really happening (and what the ending was going to be).   

First sentences: "Come out, come out, little frog.  We've made you a nest.  It's under a log."  Zoe's clear voice piped through the shaggy thicket of honeysuckle.  Nine-year-old Cara stuck a leaf in the little heap of grass and paused to gaze at her best friend.

Thoughts on the cover:   Simple, with what look like frosty tree branches encircling the title, spelled out with a rose's stem.   It's an odd color of pink -- a bit like if you used a Crayola pink carnation and salmon to blend together to make the cover.   Doesn't really convey the creepiness of the story at all --- not sure if this a good thing or not. 


gabrielreads said...

I just wanted to let you know that your blog is beautiful. I love the photo at the top. I haven't had a chance to read much of it yet, but I'm following you so that I can in the future.

brandileigh2003 said...

Thanks for honest review. I enjoyed overall too.
Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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