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?
Cara isn't the most popular kid around. She may be in track but that doesn't necessarily mean she can easily be friends with the other girls on the team. She's just too terribly shy and awkward. When she starts choking in the cafeteria and her crush literally saves her life it should have been a great, triumphant moment - incredibly embarrassing - but at least she gets to see Ethan Grey up close. Unfortunately his girlfriend Alexis, a real witch of a person, decides to make fun of her near death experience by nicknaming her Choker. Now everyone is staring at her in the halls and all of Alexis' friends circle her like they are her prey - taunting her and making her life miserable. Luckily Zoe, Cara's best friend, who she hasn't seen since she was a little kid, comes back into her life. Zoe ran away from home because of problems with her stepdad. Cara is able to get some confidence now that Zoe's back. But strange things start to happen now that she's back. Someone dies in a pool and another person goes missing. Could it possibly be that the Zoe she knew so long isn't the Zoe that came back to her?
It was pretty obvious what was going on here. A lot of people were in shock but I KNEW! And that wasn't a bad thing either. I was even more excited to read on and see if I was right because the truth is so deliciously wonderful and the ending. That ending! It's making me giddy all over again thinking about it.
For no reason whatsoever (other than Alexis being a horrible, catty person) Cara is bullied. Why no one defended her I don't know. I mean she almost died! I'm so sorry that it was your boyfriend who saved my life. If you cared enough you could have done it yourself. Although you probably would stare at me until I die... Alexis is that popular girl that's relentlessly mean just to be mean. You just want someone to just hit her over the head with some human decency. Maybe it will rub off on her.
Not surprisingly, Cara is a nice person. Her problem is that she can't stand up for herself. She'll get angry inside but she can never tell anyone off. I felt sorry for her because I was an even more shy kid in high school than I'm now. I know how that feels. And if someone called me out like Alexis did? I would be clinging onto the walls trying desperately to disappear just so no one would notice me anymore.
Zoe is a bit of an extreme person. She's pretty catty herself but she's against the bullying that's happening to Cara of course. She says it how it is. Zoe... gets complicated. There's a lot of suspicion on why she ran away from home and what's happening to her whole demeanor. The suspense in this story was top notch. I know I had my opinions on what was happening but it was still brilliantly unfolded in front of me. Woods brought a good amount of balance between what was happening in Cara's new and perfect life and her new and terrifying reality.
Ethan Grey - he sounds like he's a character in 50 Shades of Grey Ugh. Thank goodness he's a much nicer guy than I thought. He's not a bad boy either. He's just a nice guy who happens to be pretty darn good looking. I liked his interactions with Cara. I couldn't understand how this polite, sweet guy could be dating someone like Alexis. I guess since they have been going out since forever it's easier. But he should have dropped that girl a long time ago. I did want a little more romance when they met although it makes sense why there wasn't. There was the whole missing girl police investigation.
Overall: A great and thrilling read. Made me happy all over inside. Wickedly satisfying ending. Read if you need a little suspense in your life!