Parents' Guide to


By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Thriller has mature themes, but is more silly than scary.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (2 ):

CHOKER is a decent guilty pleasure for mature teens just starting with psychological thrillers. But savvy readers probably will guess the implausible twist well before the end -- and without that surprise, there isn’t much left. It’s easy to empathize with awkward Cara at first, but like all the book's characters she stays paper-thin. Zoe hints of dark secrets, yet her best friend shows little interest in what happened while they were apart, nor does she offer much more than a place to crash. It’s a cast of stereotypes: thrillingly dangerous Zoe; jock Ethan, with his “chiseled cheeks"; “prom-princess” bully Alexis and her faithful sidekick; out-of-touch parents.

The reaction to the nasty violence is superficial and often callous. For all the heavy topics dragged into the plot – bullying, teen identity, mental illness, violent deaths – the only character who seems touched by the chain of events is Ethan. In the end, he’s just another beam used to prop up a flimsy premise.

Book Details

  • Author: Elizabeth Woods
  • Genre: Horror
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: January 4, 2011
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 14
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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