Reading time: 4 – 6 minutes
Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
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.
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?