Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Choker by Elizabeth Woods

13 Apr 2012

Title: Choker
Author: Elizabeth Woods
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Release Date: April 2012 (AU); August 11th 2011 (US)
Format: Paperback 
Source: Publisher for review (Thank you!)

Sixteen-year-old Cara Lange has always been a loner, even more so since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, a few years ago. Cara mostly spends her time avoiding the popular girls who call her 'choker' after a humiliating incident in the cafeteria, and watching Ethan Gray from a distance, wishing he would finally notice her.

Then one day Cara comes home and finds Zoe waiting for her. Zoe's on the run from problems at home, and Cara agrees to help her hide. With Zoe back, Cara's life changes overnight. Zoe gives her a new look and new confidence, and before she can blink, Cara is flirting with Ethan and getting invited to parties. And best of all, she has her best friend to confide in again.

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 very strangely, and Cara begins to wonder what exactly her friend does all day when she's at school. You're supposed to be able to trust your best friend no matter what, but what if she turns into a total stranger?

Truthfully, I had pretty low expectations when I read this; having heard that this is a creepy read, but with a 'let-down' ending, I didn’t expect much. But after finishing this at 1:30 last night, I literally slept with the lights on. No kidding. That’s how freaked out I was. I guess I finally understand why so many people thought the ending was a huge disappointment, but personally, I thought the ending was perfect. Though there wasn’t exactly an unpredictable twist, the revelation never crossed my mind, and upon finishing it, I actually went “Wow. That is screwed up, but seriously smart!” I really liked how the book had closure, yet there’s also room for readers to wonder what would happen afterwards.

This review wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our main character; Cara and her best friend Zoe. Cara’s been always been an outsider at her school; she’s never really belonged after moving away from her best friend, Zoe. I guess I felt sorry for Cara throughout the entire book; she was always alone, and when Zoe suddenly appeared out of the blue, claiming to have run away and asking to stay at her house, she happily agreed to hide her best friend, and not once did she suspect anything. Yet, sympathy aside, it was a tad difficult to actually like the girl. Perhaps it was because of her reluctance to stand up for herself against the school “bullies”, and even her best friend- it was obvious their ‘friendship’ was unhealthy and dominating, yet Cara was just too afraid to say ‘no’ and confront Zoe. So, basically I was really annoyed with Cara at times; but just this once, the intriguing mystery overshadowed my dislike for our main character.

Intensely addictive, and incredibly creepy, Choker, is (for me, anyway)an unforgettable 2012 physiological thriller. I know for a fact, that I’ll be sleep deprived for at least a whole week, since I’ll be too freaked out to even turn the lights off. If you’re looking for something creepy, a book that messes with your mind, then I highly recommend reading Choker!


  1. I remember seeing this but with a different cover. Now I am totally curious. This must be creepy good if you slept with the lights on. I really want to check it out and see what the hype is about the ending. Great review, Shirley.

  2. I haven't given this book much thought but you've made it sound really interesting and creepy, I'll definitely have to read it during the day!

  3. Shirley! Yay! I am SOOO glad you liked Choker! I mean, I wasn't a fan of the twists, OR of Cara, but OMG WAS IT CREEPY. I finished it at midnight, and if my husband hadn't have been in the room, the lights would've been on throughout the entire house. I had nightmares all night and slept with the covers over my head. INSANELY SCARY.

    FAB review, and I am really, seriously stoked you loved it :D

  4. I have heard mixed thoughts on this book but I am intrigued enough to check it out. For a start, I actually really enjoy being creeped out! That sounds strange but it's always great when a book manages to do that. ;) I'm glad the mystery of the plot was great enough to overshadow your dislike of Cara. Great review!

  5. First of all, I love the new cover for this one! It's more interesting than the pink one I've seen previously:) And while I don't love being scared, this one sounds like a good kind of creepy - I like that you called it "smart". I'm really curious about this one now when I had no real interest before. Fabulous review Shirley!

  6. Since you like to read, I wondered if you might be interested in finding out more about cryptic crosswords. This is a link to a post I did recently which looked particularly at clues that involved anagrams. Cryptic Crosswords - Anagrams

  7. You know you're AMAZING when you can make a girl want to pick up a book she wasn't planning on reading before! (Yes, I'm talking about you, Shirley! :P) I had REALLY low expectations for this book too so it was really far down my million-mile TBR list (if at all), but your review is like one of those doctor heart-starters for my interest in this! I'm the kind of girl who looooooooves creepy, and even though I'd probably be frustrated with Cara too, I want to know what the mystery smart-but-screwy ending is! x)

    Amazing review, Shirleeeeeeeey! There you go, causing me to rearrange my TBR list again LOL! :P <3

  8. It's been a long time since I've read anything that's scared the crap out of me, so I think I'm going to look into finding and picking this book up lol. I want a scary book!

    Jenny at Books to the Sky

  9. This book is very screwed up but it's also a great twisty story that gets you thinking. I really enjoyed this book and that ending . . . wow. Anyway great review! Glad you enjoyed it!

  10. I've been hearing SO MUCH how creepy this book is!! While there is a ridiculous amount of mixed reviews - some love, some hate, some in between - the one common thing through is that they were freaked the hell out. I LOVE THAT :D I have no idea how I'll feel about this book, I guess I'll have to read it to find out. I do like that while you disliked the man character, the plot and mystery still managed to make it enjoyable. I mean, it's GOTTA be good.


  11. I am so worried to start this book but I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'll try to find some time to read this book and since it's not thick, hopefully I can read it soon! Awesome review! <3


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