What’s it all about?:
Sixteen-year-old Cara Lange has been a loner ever since she moved away from her best and only friend, Zoe, years ago. She eats lunch with the other girls from the track team, but they’re not really her friends. Mostly she spends her time watching Ethan Gray from a distance, wishing he would finally notice her, and avoiding the popular girls who call her “Choker” after a humiliating incident in the cafeteria.
Then one day Cara comes home to find Zoe waiting for her. Zoe’s on the run from problems at home, and Cara agrees to help her hide. With her best friend back, Cara’s life changes overnight. Zoe gives her a new look and new confidence, and next thing she knows, she’s getting invited to parties and flirting with Ethan. Best of all, she has her BFF there to confide in.
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 strangely, and Cara begins to wonder what exactly her friend does all day when she’s at school. You’re supposed to trust your best friend no matter what, but what if she turns into a total stranger?
What did I think?:
A huge thank you to my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads for bringing my attention to this book, she knows my bookish tastes very well and when she says I’m going to like something, I know she’s probably right! Beware all who covet this book for the pretty pink cover however, looks can be VERY deceiving and if you think you’re going to get something nice and “fluffy,” well, you’d be wrong. Never fear, this will be a spoiler free review as always if you haven’t read it yet – but prepare yourself for something you may not necessarily be expecting.
Our main character is sixteen year old Cara who is having a bit of a rougher time than your average teenager. Her family have recently moved house and she has been taken away from her best friend Zoe. As the two were pretty much inseparable, this is a big deal for Cara and she is struggling to fit in and make friends at her new school. After an unfortunate incident where she chokes in the school cafeteria, the “mean girl,” (and one of the most popular girls) Alexis makes her life a misery, instantly nicknaming her “Choker,” a name which is quick to travel to the ears of all the rest of the kids at the school, making her a laughing stock. Worse still, Cara has a huge crush on Ethan – who first of all, doesn’t even know she exists and two, happens to be the boyfriend of Alexis. No chance there then!
Until one day, Cara arrives home to see her old friend Zoe sitting on her bed. Zoe has had problems with her stepfather and something has happened which has led her to run away from home. Ecstatic to have her best friend back by her side again, Cara agrees to hide Zoe in her room. Why couldn’t she tell her parents? There is a reason, believe me. With the appearance of Zoe comes huge changes for Cara – a new look, increased confidence, invites to parties and even Ethan starts to show a bit of interest in her. Yet at the same time, terrible and odd things start happening. First, Zoe’s behaviour changes. She becomes desperately possessive of Cara, disappears all the time and won’t tell her where she’s been and begins acting like a completely different person. At the same time, Queen Bitch Alexis and her closest friend are killed and Zoe begins to act very suspiciously…
I thought I knew what this book was going to be all about and at first, I thought I could predict where it was going. I did happen to figure out what was going on about thirty pages from the end but it didn’t dampen my enjoyment of this story at all. I was surprised about just how dark it got in places – urrrrgh the scene with the cat….that’s all I’m saying! Elizabeth Woods certainly knows how to weave a thrilling narrative with a brutally toxic environment that I’m sure many of us can appreciate from our own teenage years. I think YA fans will absolutely love this novel and it’s a strong example of the genre. For anybody who doesn’t enjoy young adult fiction, yes it may not really be your cup of tea but I think it would definitely appeal to the target audience and that’s why I’m rating it as high as I have.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):