Friday, May 27, 2011

Book Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Photo taken from Barnes & Noble
Book Info
Title:  Living Dead Girl
Author:  Elizabeth Scott
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Language: English
Format:  Paperback
Pages:  176 pages
ISBN - 10:  1416960600
ISBN - 13:  978-1416960607
Source:  Purchased, National Book Store


From Goodreads
"Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.
Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.
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."

Call me sick/insane/crazy, but I loved this book.  I've read some of the other reviews and they were unanimous in saying that this book was very disturbing and should not be marketed as a young adult book.  I agree.  This book should have been up there along the likes of Room by Emma Donoghue, or Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.  It's that good, and it's that adult.  This is no teen's book.  If younger readers get hold of this, they better be prepared.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott is short, brisk, and detached, but very thought-provoking, poignant - and in a way - frightening.  Frightening because this is a story that has happened, is happening, will happen, and something that we never, ever want to happen to us.

"Alice" has been living with Ray for five years.  She was kidnapped when she was only ten years old.  Now that she is fifteen, she is half-hoping that she will finally be released or killed - she did not care which - as she knows that Ray will have no use for her anymore.  But Ray has one more task for her, a far more cruel demand than the daily abuse she suffers - to find another young girl to take to Ray and train according to his tastes.

Told through Alice's point of view, the voice was very much that of a living dead girl.  It sounded detached, numb, and flat, but the thought between the lines hung in the air as she related her story in terse, stilted tones.  After all, who needed an emotional tone when vivid descriptions of the abuse was written for everyone to read and imagine?  It was like witnessing first-hand the daily suffering of this traumatized-beyond-hope victim, even the most objective and apathetic reader would be moved.

Alice herself sounded frightening as her morbidly hopeless demeanor showed itself throughout the pages of this book. She was no more like a normal girl, let alone a normal person.  She was so heavily manipulated by Ray that she would not even think of escaping during her solitary trips for her wax jobs, could not even lie to him, and the worst she has ever done to rebel was to steal small amounts of food.  A marionette with invisible strings, with the body of a real girl.

This is a very strong book that will overpower any reader with fear and a strange compulsion to see what happens next until the book ends.  Scary, scary, scary.  No need to even keep the lights on.  This story will linger on in your mind for days, even weeks, in a none too pleasant way.

So you ask me:  If this book was so frightening, why do I love it?  It's for the pure and simple reason that the writing was so effective that it was able to achieve the exact amount of emotion and fear in order to relay its message across.  No need for extra descriptions, no need for added footnotes, everything was flung into the pages in the simplest, briefest way possible, and we all know simplicity is easier to understand and absorb.

The only downside?  When I just got this from the store, as was my custom, I unwrapped it and took a peek at the back page - not to read the ending, mind you - but to read those additional information about other books written by the author, a sneak peek at a new book, etcetera.  But what greeted me when I opened the back page was not a book teaser/author information, but the ending itself.  And it was so glaringly out there you could not ignore it.  The printer could have added a few flyleaves to guard from possible spoiler episodes.  It did not ruin the ending for me, although it would have been better if I did not get to read the ending first.

Read Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott at your own risk.  Prepare to be scared, traumatized, and blown away.

If you have any questions on this particular rating, please refer to my ratings system here.


All opinions expressed in this book review are my own and not influenced by any party in any way.

Please contact me for questions, comments, and suggestions.  

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to read this before... I REALLY want to read this now. Great review! And that SUCKS about the ending, grr that kind of thing is so annoying, especially since this is a short book anyway.


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