Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Where I Got This Book: Own
Rating: 4 Stars
Goodreads Summary: "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: Wow. This has to be the most disturbing book I've ever read. There is no way that you can read Living Dead Girl and not be affected.
I thought it was really effective how Scott opened up the book by having the first few paragraphs narrated by a neighbor. He's completely oblivious to the horrendous situation that Alice is in and actually comments on how ungrateful he thinks she is-like most daughters are, apparently-because she doesn't thank Ray when he opens the door for her. The reader becomes instantly aware at how skilled Ray is at creating this charming persona. Everyone falls for him and thinks he's so sweet and such a wonderful father. Alice is all alone in knowing what a monster he really is.
Ray has got to be the most hateful character I've come across in literature. He actually thinks that he loves Alice and that she should love him in return for all of the things he does for her. It's beyond disturbing. Scott doesn't gloss over the details but goes into all of the things that Alice is forced to do. She suffers every single abuse that a person can go through--sexual, physical, verbal, emotional. He starves her in order to keep her at 100 pounds, so that she still feels like a ten-year-old girl. So sick.
I'm not sure what to think about the ending. It didn't feel conclusive, and I would describe it as open-ended. There are two possibilities that the reader is left with for how Alice's horror story ends, and one is more pessimistic than the other. I don't know what it says about me, but I was leaning more towards the less happy ending. Just from the way it all played out, I thought that ending made more sense. I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I unfortunately have to leave my thoughts vague. I would love to talk about the ending with someone whose read the book.
Living Dead Girl is not for the lighthearted. This book packs an emotional punch, and the story will stay with you forever, so be prepared for that if you choose to pick it up.