Monday, 29 August 2011

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
First published by Simon Pulse in 2008 (this edition by Simon Pulse in 2009)

Description (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.

My thoughts
Just by reading the blurb, you can tell that this book does not deal with a light subject. As is pretty obvious, the main character in this book is called Alice. What is special about Alice is the fact that she was taken away by a man called Ray when she was ten. At the time of the narration, Alice is 15 and has been with Ray for five years.

In Living Dead Girl, we get to see the world though the eyes of an actual living dead girl. As Alice may be alive, but she might as well be dead. She just lives every day as it comes, waiting until the nightmare ends. The abuse in the book takes on many forms: psychological, sexual, physical. And, of course, Alice has to put up with it, because that is the only way she will be able to survive and ensure the survival of the ones she loves.

As a character, Ray seriously gave me the heebie-jeebies (if that is how you spell it). He is a very creepy character and you can't think of a reason why he would be doing all that he is doing to Alice. That is, until Elizabeth Scott masterfully adds in those little tidbits of information which lead you to think 'ahhh...'. He is obsessed with youth and weight-watching (not his own) and is rather dictatorial, stopping at nothing to get what he wants. He is mad, but you really must try and see him for what he is: a tormented soul. Not that that should be construed as an excuse.

The book deals with other issues other than straightforward abuse. There is paedophilia, there is rape and there is also murder. All three of them presented just as they are. There is no sugar-coating of these issues and rightly so. But what is even more disturbing than all those three issues put together, is what they can reduce a person to. Seeing as by the time we get to the middle of the story, Alice is fully prepared to help with the recruitment of another girl to take her place and, seemingly, rejoices at it.

Other than the simply wonderful prose, what made this book so easy to read, despite the fact that it deals with horrifying issues, was the fact that it is split into a fair number of rather short chapters, some even consisting of no more than 10 words. This, I believe, allowed the author to veer slightly of subject, even if it were only for a matter of a few sentences, just so she could interject with some piece of information to make the tale even more horrifying and gruesome than it already was.

Living Dead Girl is a book that will creep you out, but it will also make you think. Elizabeth Scott has a truly unique voice and is definitely one of the authors I will be keeping an eye out for.

Rating: 8/10

Elizabeth Scott was born in Virginia in 1972. She has a degree in European Studies and has held a variety of jobs over the years, including being an editor and an office manager. Now, she works full-time as an author of young adult novels, including:

You can find out more about Elizabeth Scott and her books from her official website.

Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011


  1. Seems like this book deals with some serious issues.Great review!

    Tia @ Falling For Books

  2. See, it's a good'un. I really feel a pull towards these heavy books which make you think - somehow, I find them feel good (probably knowing that it's not my life, I guess). Great review :)

  3. I thought this book was amazing because a lot of teen girls go through that. I especially love the end, because it made me want to think,"At least she got what she really wanted, and that can happen to anyone." I just think it was really touching, and if it could be, i think it should be made into a movie, because this is just a book that tells you all of the horrible things ONE person can do, its bascially like a ture story. But this is DEFFINITELY an amazing book. Great job, Elizabeth Scott!


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