Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: September 2, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Alice is 15 years old. Though Alice isn’t even her real name. She was 9 years old when Ray took her from the aquarium she was at, on a field trip with her schoolmates. Since then, Ray has abused her physically, emotionally, and sexually. This is a bleak and desperate portrait of a girl with no hope left and nowhere to run.
Elizabeth Scott is one of my favorite YA writers. I’ve cut down the number of YA books I’ve been reading lately because I’ve found they haven’t really been speaking to me, but I will seek out Elizabeth Scott’s books as long as she is writing them. She always has an interesting story to tell, and I love that her books are so different from one another (Reviews of Something, Maybe, Love You, Hate You, Miss You and The Unwritten Rule). She is constantly pushing the boundaries, trying to improve her writing and storytelling skills.
Living Dead Girl is like no other Elizabeth Scott novel I’ve read. It’s a slip of a book, but one that packs an incredible punch. It isn’t enjoyable to read – in fact, it’s horrifying. I felt nauseous the entire time I was reading it. That being said, I could not put this book down. I had to know what happened to Alice, to know that she ended up okay. Scott knows how to keep her readers hooked on a story.
This was not a complicated book. While the subject matter was incredibly difficult, the book itself is stark and bare. Scott’s writing style is spare, in an effort to reinforce the bleak nature of the novel. There isn’t a lot of hope in this book, which makes it that much harder to read. It’s almost a flat book, but that’s not necessarily a criticism. Living Dead Girl is told from the point of view of Alice, and she narrates with such numbness that the entire novel is just haunting.
This was not an easy or enjoyable book to read. That being said, I think it was definitely worth reading, and am glad I picked it up. Additionally, despite the heavy subject matter, the book goes very fast. This would actually make a great book club read – it would spur a lot of discussion, and after it’s over, you’ll want people to share your despair with and inject some brightness into your day.