Choker

Elizabeth Woods, Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1233-0
Life has not been easy for 16-year-old Cara, who's all but ignored at school and at home, with attorney parents who are almost always at work. After popular girls Alexis and Sydney begin to taunt her with the nickname "Choker" following an incident in the cafeteria, Cara is at her breaking point when her childhood friend Zoe shows up out of nowhere, saying she ran away from her abusive stepfather and begging to hide in Cara's room. At first it is comforting to have Zoe around, but it soon becomes a chore to cater to her unpredictable moods and jealous behavior. The speed with which the book's events take a turn for the worse and then for the better—within a week, Cara almost chokes to death, Zoe shows up after a seven-year absence, one mean girl dies, another disappears, and Cara's social life improves drastically—may clue some readers in that something is up; a twist ending redeems debut author Woods's psychological thriller somewhat. But an overall lack of plausibility robs the story of much of its tension. Ages 14–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/22/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-4424-1235-4
Ebook - 233 pages - 978-0-85707-287-0
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-4424-1234-7
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