Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

This has nothing to do with the review but I won an ARC of Love You Hate You Miss You from Elizabeth Scott on her blog. I am so excited. I'm gonna read it as soon as I get it! Thank you Elizabeth!


Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

I'm not sure what I was expecting but as soon as I read the first page of Living Dead Girl I knew that I wasn't going to get anything I could imagine. I started reading the book and after the first few chapters I wasn't sure if I'd be able to go on while I was still compulsively turning pages and devouring every word.

Living Dead Girl is Alice's story, but that's not her name. She was kidnapped when she was 10 years old and another girl was born in her place, the Alice that fulfills her kidnapper's every need. When she was 10 her biggest concern was whether or not to share her new lip gloss. Now Alice steals to eat and waits for the moment that Ray will murder her.

The prose is stark, sparse, told from Alice's point-of-view, a dead, hollow narrative that I have never experienced in a novel. I could hear her voice in my head and feel her pain and desperation. The violence in this novel is not graphically described but the imagery is strong enough to make you flinch and squirm anyway.

Most disturbing is the way Alice has evolved during her captivity with Ray. This is no longer a regular girl and how could she be? She is intricately connected to Ray and you see just how well he has molded her in his image and for his pleasure. The real beauty of this story is how self-aware Alice is about how she is yet powerless to stop it and something beyond resigned to her situation-- really the only way to describe it is in Alice's words: "Living dead girl."

The reason this book is so hard to read is because there's no humor, there's no lightness and even as I kept reading and searching I couldn't find anything resembling hope. Yet I recommend this book because the voice is unlike anything I've experienced before and I was utterly captivated by it. I can't imagine writing a book like this. You will definitely be haunted by Alice's story.

Give it a try but be prepared to have a very emotional reaction to what you're reading.


  1. This is a haunting book. I don't see how anyone who reads it won't be affected. I've read other novels from Elizabeth Scott--but this book is so different from her others. Just proves her range and what a great writer she is.

  2. I've heard how intense and disturbing the book can be. How you can't stop reading, even if you want to. I really liked your review, it made me want to read it more! Thanks