Do You Trust Your Friends with Your Life?

By Diana Lopez

Point, 17.99, 240 pages

Choke by Diana Lopez is a must-read novel for parents, teachers, and teenagers everywhere. This reviewer had never heard of choking games, but it’s a very real issue for teenagers today. The choking game is a new way that teenagers are getting ‘high’. They choke each other or themselves until they pass out, and then the blood and oxygen returning to the brain provides a rush. This book is about Windy, an average girl who longs to be part of the popular crowd. Her life changes when a new girl, Nina, arrives at school. Nina is cool, pretty, and popular, and she becomes friends with Windy. Nina introduces Windy to choking games by explaining that it is how you become ‘breath sisters.’ Nina compares it to becoming blood brothers, and Windy chooses to participate once. As the story progresses, Windy is faced with following the in-crowd and playing the choking games, or returning to her average existence.

“‘You did great,’ Nina said. ‘Maybe next time you’ll go all the way.’ I couldn’t speak yet so I gave her a questioning look, because I wanted to know what all the way meant. ‘You’re supposed to pass out,’ she said. ‘That’s how you get the rush.'”

This book comes with a strong lesson due to the consequences that Nina experiences after playing the choking games one too many times. This is a great story of choices, consequences, friendship, and being true to one’s self. The writing flows well, and the story is incredibly engaging as well as informative.

Reviewed by Jina Oravetz

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