Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Choker by Elizabeth Woods

Cara is a loner. She doesn’t have many friends at all. She left her best friend Zoe behind when they were just kids and she’s never replaced her. There could be no replacement for Zoe. But Cara wishes she could see her again, especially now.

Cara’s high school life consists of living in the fringes of society. She is part of the track team, but not quite part of the girls. But an incident in the cafeteria escalates Cara into running and hiding, especially from Alexis and Syndey, whose mission is to make Cara’s life miserable. They have everything going for them, especially Alexis, who’s dating Cara’s fantasy boyfriend, Ethan, who’s more than real. She doesn’t understand how someone that nice could be with someone that nasty.

Living beside Sydney doesn’t help either. Cara gets to watch the parties, the friendships, the life she’d love to lead through her bedroom window. It’s not enough that people in school don’t include her, but her parents are always absent as well, working through the nights in their law firms and leaving Cara by herself.

But one day, Cara comes home, and Zoe’s there. Her best friend, who’s run away from problems of her own asks Cara to help her, hide her, protect her….and Cara is ecstatic to have her best friend back in her life again. It’s easy to help Zoe with her parents gone, and Zoe more than helps Cara with her self-esteem and problems at school. And slowly, Cara’s life begins to blossom, from making friends, to even catching the attention of Ethan….

But then, one night Sydney mysteriously drowns. Accidental or deliberate? The town is rocked to its core, and Cara begins doubting how harmless her best friend is. It isn’t until Alexis shows up missing that Cara’s doubts become stronger. Is Zoe to blame?

Elizabeth Woods makes a stunning debut in her first novel. A glimpse into the life of a girl who’s been bullied and separated, Woods, connects the reader to the character through those emotional ties that are so important. The twist in the book is subtle and Woods manages to reveal it slowly but steadily throughout the narrative. This novel will keeper readers entranced until the end. Perfect pairing with de la Pena’s I Will Save You. Recommended.

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