Book Reviews by Well Read Reviews

REVIEW: #69 Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
ISBN: 1416960600
Pages: 176
Rating: ★★★½☆

Synopsis: (Taken from Amazon.com)

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends — her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice’s story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

Review:

This book, Living Dead Girl,  has a touch of genius — touching on a topic in all its honesty that is both unsaid and harsh. We are taken into the life and mind of a teenager, abducted when she was a child while on a Field Trip with her school. Forced to be called “Alice” and dress and act like his incestuous daughter.

“Alice” is raped repeatedly day after day — but why doesn’t she attempt to escape, you ask? Some would say psychologically she had bonded to the captor, but I did not feel this way at all. Her hate for him was apparant, and her fight for survival was immense. “Alice” did what she had to do to survive the day in and day out torment of Ray.

Ray has a disgusting and vile fascination with little girls — and “Alice” knows her time with him (and her life) is expiring as she is growing older and cannot control how tall she grows, or her womanly cycles. In Living Dead Girl, we are brought on “Alice’s” journey to find a replacement for her so she can make her escape.

I was torn with this novel. On the one hand, I couldn’t put it down. On the other hand — the way it was written, it must be for young teenagers. The wording was very simple and descriptions easy to imagine. The writing level was well below college-level. More likely at a middle school level. However — the context of the text was way, WAY, too adult to have a child read. So who EXACTLY is this book geared towards?

Unless you want to look at the simplicity of the writing as the thought process of a teenager who was kidnapped (and therefore without schooling) since she was 10 — then it would make some sense. But because I am so confused as to who the intended audience is for.. I can’t exactly say it was “phenomenal”.  In bookstores, Living Dead Girl is considered YA, although I think it’s way too deep and inappropriate for children (or young adults/teenagers) to read as it discusses rape and fellatio — as well as the obvious age difference [i.e. adult with child]) It seems immoral to subject young readers to such a twisted text.

Do children need to know of such possible dangers? Sure — but in such detail? I don’t really think so. It gives me a slight “ick” factor. Then again — I was reading V.C. Andrews, “Flowers in the Attic” in the 8th grade and that (just as well) touches on absuse as well as sex and incest. So maybe — I am thinking too much about it. I have no absolute idea. I just know that Living Dead Girl was intense and a read I wouldn’t allow my below-high schooler to read.

The last issue I had with the book is the ending is rather vague. While discussing it with a reader, we both discovered we had completely different interpretations on how the book ended. One of us thought she lived, while the other thought she died. Neither of us fully understand the truth.

While mentioning @EScottwrites (the author on Twitter) and asking her about a possible sequel –she said she had no intentions but has learned to “Never say ‘never’.” It’s hard to ask an author via Twitter what happened to the character without spoiling it for others.

But if you HAVE read Living Dead Girl, I would like to hear what you think. Did she live? Die? What do you think happened with “Alice” next?

If you enjoy this blog, please subscribe. It’s FREE!
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!
About Allison

Allison is a stay at home mother to two little girls (Carli & Kate). She enjoys a lot of things including reading and sewing. Allison is also a CLEC (Certified Lactation Educator/Counselor).

Comments

  1. You know, I thought the writing was simple because it was told from Alice’s point of view. It made me feel like she was speaking to me, and in that way it was rather haunting. My interpretation of the ending is that she died, and that’s what I’ve seen mostly believed, but I can definitely see how perhaps she lived. It was rather ambiguous, though!
    .-= Heather @ Book Addiction´s last blog ..Heather: Circle of Friends, Book 5 by L. Diane Wolfe =-.

  2. Melanie
    Twitter: MelanieFoust
    says:

    I’m a big fan of the Elizabeth Scott books I’ve read thus far, and I’ve been planning on reading ths book for quite a while now. I’m definitely not a fan of vague endings, though. Makes me want to through the book at the wall. I guess I’ll have to read and see!

    Thanks for the review.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter =-.

  3. Fabulous #review!! RT @wellreadreviews: NEW: "REVIEW: #69 Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott" http://tinyurl.com/y8bqxvu

  4. This is already on my wish list. But I don’t care for vague endings. I really want to know what happens.
    .-= Medeia Sharif´s last blog ..Justina Chen Headley, Carolyn Mackler, & Sylvia Plath =-.

  5. I’m in 8th grade and I read this book. Yes, it’s disguisting. Yes, it ends vaguely. And yes, The writing wasn’t “college level”, or “phenominal”. But that’s because it was written in the form of a girl’s mind who had the mind of a 10 year-old, since she never went to school again. The author was brave to have written this novel. Most people are scared to describe the horrors and details of rape and such, so they don’t describe it. I really don’t understand how it is such a big deal that this book is for YA. It’s not going to poison the teenage mind, it warns us, actually. I’ve always felt sad and disturbed whenever hearing of young girls getting kidnapped. And I’ve also always wondered why they have not tried to escape, or tell anyone. For exampe, the movie “Precious” frustrated me. If she would have told somebody what was happening, she would’ve been out of that mess easily. So whenever I saw movies or read books where the main character doesn’t tell anybody what’s happening to them, I get so angry. But “Living Dead Girl” let me see inside the mind of an abused young girl. It let me see inside the mind of a girl who thought she could not escape because Ray constantly threatened her. It let me see inside the mind of a girl who’s heart was once beautiful and happy, but darkened over time by a disturbed man. This girl was not who she once was. She had become “Alice”. It seems as though in the end her heart is completely black, considering that she’d rather have another little girl take her spot and go through what she’s gone through, than stay with Ray as his “little girl”. But she did care after all. She did come around. And she did change her mind and try to get the little girl to safety with the help of the girl’s older brother. Five years. Five years of dying inside. Five years of being physically and mentally abused. Five years of getting raped. Five years of surviving through all of that- only to die.

    • Allison
      Twitter: WellReadReviews
      says:

      Very good point, Serena. I guess I was quick to forget what it’s like to be a teenager. I am sure I read much worse and turned out just fine. ;)

  6. This book reminds me to Natascha Kampusch who has similar experience. She was kidnapped and could finally escape after several years. Good that this Natasha has finally happy ending.

  7. Sounds haunting… like the type of thing I shouldn’t read before bed if I don’t want dreams of being kidnapped! :)

Speak Your Mind

*

CommentLuv badge

By submitting a comment here you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.