Monday, July 12, 2010

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: Older Teens-Adults. NOT recommended for the younger crowd.
Number of Pages: Hardcover- 170 pages

"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 lice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.
- Summary from Goodreads

It was Alice's story. It was one I have never heard. And yes, it is one that I will never ever forget...Hauntingly captivating, this book continuously left me shivering, even when beams of light slipped through the blinds masking my window. I only read this book during the daytime.

Elizabeth Scott writes in the perspective of “Alice”, an emaciated 15-year-old whose life took an unthinkable turn for the worse at age ten. Her monstrous captor, a middle-aged man by the name of Ray, forcibly changes her, physically and emotionally, to meet his needs. Everyday since the day she was abducted, Alice lives in worry that she would have to “make up” for her mistakes to Ray. Everyday, Alice gets a little taller and Ray punishes her for growing up and not being his little girl anymore. Everyday, she is starved to keep her weight under a hundred pounds; just the way Ray likes it. Worst of all, suicide is not an option, for it would result in the murder of her parents. Alice is bound to a life of abuse and she can do nothing about it. She is a living dead girl.

As I read on, hatred for Ray bubbles inside me, until I feel like tearing up the pages to bits, hoping that would somehow prevent him from hurting Alice even more than he already has. I believe what makes the book so chilling, is that fact that there are twisted people like Ray out there in the real world, and that the events taken place in the book are entirely possible. It pains me to think that many girls have probably suffered the same torment as Alice has.

This book was a new experience to me. At many points, I had to just slap the book shut, close my eyes, regain myself, then finally open the book again and continue reading. I have the tendency to always picture the scenes as I read them, and because of that, I had to just hide the text under the book cover for a moment and try to put the images aside. It felt too disturbing to continue, but then I was so engrossed in Alice’s character, that I just had to read on to learn about her fate and make sure she was okay.

Apart from the intriguing characters and scenarios, what really moved the plot forward was her writing. Dark and humorless, her writing is what made this book so gripping. Her chapters are short. In fact, the whole book is pretty short. But that makes it all the more powerful. Her words are not sugarcoated, and so fewer words make a bigger impact. Adding unnecessary words would strip away the haunting feel of the book. Elizabeth’s writing is very descriptive (sometimes too descriptive) forcing readers to paint pictures in their minds and in this case, I’m not sure if that is a good thing.

It’s hard for me to say whether I really enjoyed this novel or not. While the writing is superb and compelling, the disturbance is quite overwhelming. This is not a book that I would re-read over and over, but that does not change the fact that it is good. It contains all the aspects of a great novel: elegantly crafted characters, intriguing plot, and powerful voice. And yet I’m not sure if I really enjoyed the experience. I recommend this book, for it was and unique ride. I give this a rating of 3.5 hoots, but this is one of those books that you have to judge for yourself.

Cover: 4/5 – The innocent orange bow gives the book a sweet feel, but against the hard black back, it looks as though there is something sinister lurking behind the seemingly ordinary front. The cover is artsy and simple, but looking deeper, it gives the reader a little knowledge on what to expect. Just judging the cover, it would spark an interest in me at the bookstore.


3.5 Hoots

Source: My lovely local library that I rely on oh-so-much.


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    And... if you love books, don’t forget to read The Holy Qur'an please...
    The Holy Qur’an (112:1-4) had stated, that God is Allah, the One and Only. Allah is God, on whom all depend. Allah begets not, and nor begotten; and none is like Allah.

  2. this book disturbed me too. I sort of wish meera read it now so that she will also get disturbed...but alas, no avail. great review! ya go gurll! I also think it's the type of book where readers will have to decide for themselves.

  3. oh wow this books sounds amazing and really thought provoking thanks for the insightful review!

  4. I WISH MEERA READ IT TOO that would've been soo funny. She would've been corrupted.

    and @blueicegal: thanks for such a nice comment!