Review: Choking Game by Yveta Germano

Review: Choking Game by Yveta GermanoChoking Game by Yveta Germano
My Rating: two-stars
Published by Midnight Hologram, LLC on October 12th 2014
Genres: Friendship, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 325
Format Read: Paperback
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Goodreads. This does not affect my opinion of the book in any shape or form.

A must-read for teens and parents, regardless of their children's age. Choking Game is a chilling, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting story of an alliance so unique, it redefines the meaning of hope.

It is the inner journey of a depressed teenager whose mind is all made up but whose inner voice insists on asking questions and debating MJ's answers to make sure suicide is the only option left. Nothing in MJ's typical middle-class suburban life seems out of the ordinary, but deep inside, MJ is tormented by a series of sad events. Combined with difficulty to make friends, the death of an only friend in a choking game incident, and a nasty rumor that spread through social media, MJ's mind is choked by the outside world he did not create. As the imaginary noose around his neck tightens, his inner voice becomes louder, more annoying, relentless and even cruel; anything to make MJ see the other side of the coin he flipped. And when a quiet boy and a riveting new girl in school connect with MJ, a rare light blazes through the dark world of MJ’s teenage depression.

Inspired by the tragic death of a young boy who made the mistake of playing the dangerous choking game, the book deliberately does not mention whether MJ is a teenage girl or a boy. It allows readers to see the character for themselves, to feel MJ’s struggle, and to experience the journey into the depth of his soul and the world we live in.

Choking Game was alright. It wasn’t amazing….and I wouldn’t quite call it terrible.

The good:

  • Unique plot and concept: not something written about often, not knowing whether MJ was a boy or girl, the usage of colours to describe feelings and emotions
  • A little humour and a few plot twists

The bad:

  • Quite a few spelling and grammatical errors (as far as I know it wasn’t an uncorrected proof that I received) For the heck of it, I made a list:
  1. Page 6: virtual word -> should be virtual world
  2. Page 56: There is a space before period
  3. Page 106: If my eyes aren’t deceiving me, there’s a double space between “thing” and “no one”
  4. Page 109: Then instead of than
  5. Page 204: You’re instead of your
  6. I also think there was a few run-on sentences and sentences missing a comma in the middle of it
  • There was also a few minor detail errors (Some tweets in the book are over 140 characters, the limit on Twitter, and Snapchat videos can only be up to 10 seconds, not 15 seconds like the book states. Not that it matters really, though)

The book started rather slowly, but since I won it and the book is special to Yveta, I didn’t want to abandon it. After about two thirds into the story is when it finally got interesting. While the conversations between MJ and her soul were a unique concept, it really made the book drag on in my opinion and some of it was a bit of unnecessary. By the time MJ became friends with Angela and she began telling her story, things really picked up and I couldn’t stop reading from then on. But like I said, it took a long time to get to that point of the story.

There’s also one bit in the story that confused me, unless I missed something. One moment MJ was in school, and next thing she has a rope around her neck at home or something?? The transitions between who’s talking and where MJ, Luke, and Angelica were wasn’t always clear.

Overall, it was a semi-enjoyable story. Personally, I would not really recommend it.

And it goes without saying, but I’ll mention it anyway: don’t ever play the choking game!



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