My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Here's a funny story. Once upon a time a delightful young girl named pdbkwm was looked up books. She read one called "Living Dead Girl" and was blown away by the novel. She decided that she wanted to read more from the author, so she searched for more books. There was only one problem. She forgot the author’s last name. Instead of searching her library's history, she decided to guess and well, to make a long story short, she stumbled onto Choker and thought, "Hey, this is a different author, but the premise sounds just as delightful. I think I'm going to have to read this."
Moral of the story, sometimes you mess up the author’s name and stumble onto some awesome finds.
Anywho! I mentioned all that because I’m on the fence.
Choker has a lot of good things going for it. It's a fairly well written debut from Elizabeth Woods, it has a plot that is very different from the usual YA novels that I read, and it has a beautiful cover.
But while I found the novel entertaining, I also felt like once you figure out the plot (which happened early on) the book kind of loses its appeal. Many of the reviewers (good and bad) have mentioned that the book is creepy, but I didn't feel the same way. In fact, some things were kind of predictable.
Did I like it? Yes.
Did I get sucked into the mystery? No.
Did I continue reading? Yes.
And that's why I'm torn. Yes, it was predictable, and yes the mystery is incredibly obvious, but I kept reading just to see what Woods would do.
This is the debut novel of Elizabeth Woods and I think she has a bright future ahead of her. The writing was well done and I never got bored or felt like the story dragged on. It was face paced where it needed to be and it slowed down when it was on an important scene. There are some problems here and there, but it's easy to look over that. The writing is simple, yet it has an air of tension throughout. I enjoyed it.
This might be because I haven't read many books lately, but I liked that this was different from the other YA novels that I usually read. It’s not original, but it is different and I liked that. It kind of makes me want to go out and find more books like this. Well not exactly like this, but the same sort of genre. We need more YA thrillers out there.
If you don't know what's going to happen, this will be a great book. But if you figured it out, and you might because the clues start dropping early on, then the suspense and creepiness factor really go down. This won't make you stop reading, because you'll want to know what happens next, but it does take away some of the appeal and punch of the novel.
There's a good amount of characters in this novel, and yet, there isn't. The story is mostly about Cara and Zoe's friendship, but I felt like other than those two, everyone was very one note. Alexis and Sydney, Cara's bullies, were the typical clichéd popular girls who torment those underneath them. Ethan, Alexis' boyfriend and Cara's crush, was perfect and sweet. There are girls in the track team, but we don't really know much about them and they're kind of interchangeable.
Zoe and Cara, despite their importance in the novel, also suffer from this too. Not as bad as everyone else, but I did want them to be fleshed out some more.
Normally, the third person style wouldn't bother me, but I think if this was written in first person I wouldn’t have felt such a disconnect from Cara. When she would go on about her school and life and Ethan and Zoe and her bullying and whatever, there was a distant between us that never really got solved even after I finished the novel.
I realize that I praised the writing earlier so this might sound like a weird complaint, but regardless of whether this written in first or third person, I just wanted to get a better sense of Cara. And at the end of the day, that is the most important thing.
I'm still on the fence. I'm still torn. And I'm still undecided on whether I should give this 4 stars for keeping me entertained or 3 stars because it was predictable and the characters were lacking.
Let's just give it 3.5 stars. I think that works.
3.5 stars out of 5