Saturday, January 15, 2011
Choker is a quick, unsettling read, but overall it feels a bit lacking. As a reader, you can't help but feel sorry for Cara—she is bullied at school, overlooked by her track teammates, her parents are always absent, and her own mother seems to love her cat more than her daughter. When Zoe arrives, it's almost easy to forget her unsettling behavior and underhand jabs at Cara when Cara undergoes a slightly clichéd transformation, complete with a new look and a pep talk to boost her confidence, and actually begins to make friends and put herself on Ethan's radar. This part of the book isn't so interesting, but what keeps you reading is the unease Cara begins to feel around Zoe, and then curiosity—just what did happen to those mean girls? The more savvy reader will pick up on the big twist about thirty pages before its reveal, but even if you don't guess at it beforehand, it doesn't turn out to be very satisfactory as Woods ends the book with a lot of questions about logistics, and the lack of certain characters' reactions and other repercussions make the denouement seem hollow. Choker is a good choice if you're looking for a quick mystery with a shocker ending, but the fact that Woods didn't really deal with a lot of meaty issues she brings up makes this book fall flat.
Cover Comments: I love the cover--the pink and white are so pretty, and I like the starkness of the black. It works well together, and I think it conveys the overall mood of the book, how something pretty and light could contain something unexpectedly rotten.
ARC provided by publisher.