Thursday, March 26, 2009

Living Dead Girl- my thoughts

Living Dead Girl

Author: Elizabeth Scott
Genre: Young Adult
Published: 2008
Pages: 170

From the inside jacket:

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.

I read this story in one day not because I was in love with it, rather because I needed it to end. Don't take this the wrong way. It was a good book, but the subject matter made me uncomfortable and sick to my stomach. I know that this happens to kids, both boys and girls, all over the world. I realize that there are sick and twisted people that walk among us. But this book brought these people off of the pages and into my world. The book starts out fast and furious and never lets you go. I found myself being truly disgusted with Ray and wanting to kill him with my bare hands. He used psychological terror and deprivation of food to control "Alice," to make her bend to his every whim and sadistic pleasures. Your heart will literally ache at the abuse she endures and how she feels absolutely hopeless. The hardest part of the entire book, for me, is when Alice realizes that the only way out for her is to help Ray find a replacement Alice and how happy that thought makes her. This is not an easy read for anyone and if your child is thinking about reading it I would totally recommend that you TALK about this book with them. Read it before them so that you know what's going on. There is plenty here to discuss and to be totally honest, this book could give you or your child nightmares, especially if you read it before going to bed. I found so many powerful passages but I don't want to weigh this book review down with those so I'm just going to highlight a few that really were gripping and stark.

The day I got too tall to wear the white dress with short, puffy sleeves and little tucks along the chest, he filled the kitchen sink with water and shoved my head into it.

"You'll hold her," he says, and everything I own is easily pushed down, away, clothes falling off me like water. "You'll hold her, and I'll love her."
He grins at me. "You'll like that, won't you?"
I nod because he wants me to. I nod because I will. She will get his love and I will hold her down to take it all because then there will be none for me.
I cannot save myself, and I do not want to save her.

Other reviews:

The Story Siren
Heather @ Book Addiction ***This review is what prompted me to read this book ***
Dewey's Thoughts @ The Hidden Side of a Leaf
Lenore @ Presenting Lenore
Maw Books Blog
Jenn's Bookshelf
Bookshelves of Doom

For other passages I marked please see my other blog, Quotes and Passages.


  1. You did a great job of reviewing what is obviously a very disturbing book. I still want to read it but it may be a while. Not sure I could handle it right now. REad something light now, you probably need it.

  2. Wow Stacy, you did an amazing job writing this honest review. I don't know if I could get through a book like this. I just can't stomach this kind of psychological terror and abuse. This sounds so extreme for a YA novel.

  3. I know what you mean. I read it in about an hour while on vacation in France. Afterwards I saw the site of the D day invasion and the war memorial. It was a somber day.

  4. I really want to give this book a go. I think you gave it a great, very honest review. I'm glad you made it through it.

  5. This looks good..thanks for posting the excerpt. I can't wait to read it.

  6. One day. One day I will pick it up. Thank you for your review, Staci.

  7. I would probably do the same thing, read this book in one day. But not any time soon, I don't think I could handle it right now.

  8. I read this book quickly too and found it very dark. But also incredibly thought provoking.

  9. I've heard a lot about this book and Heather's review made me interested in reading it as well. The subject matter does sound difficult though.

  10. I've given you an award Staci! Check out the details on my blog.

  11. Wow. That must be some book. You did a great job with the review. I imagine you'd have to read that book pretty quickly. I may, one day pick it up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Staci.

  12. YIKES! This is on my TBR list, so I'll probably pick it up from the library one day. I love psychological thrillers; however, this one just may be a little difficult to swallow.

  13. Thank you for such an honest review - after reading it, I'm not sure I could read this book. I had a difficult time getting through the Lovely Bones (by Alice Sebold) and Living Dead Girl sounds much more detailed.

  14. I'm not sure I can read it, Staci. Just the subject matter - unless there was some attempt made to explain why this kind of evil exists, I wouldn't be able to read a book of fiction about it. You don't say in your review if there is, so can I ask if there was any attempt by the author to show or have Ray explain why he is that way? Otherwise, I think you've done a great job reviewing a very difficult book.

  15. Imagine having to defend Ray. I've not yet had a case this bad, but I wonder how I would receive this book, from a criminal defense attorney's standpoint. It's on my list, regardless.

  16. I don't want to read this book right now, but maybe someday. I appreciated your review.

  17. Yeah, I don't think I could read this book.

  18. sounds like a great book. gonna add it to my list. :)

  19. I haven't yet decided if I want to read this book. It is tempting, but it sounds like a difficult one to get through. Great review, Staci.

  20. Great review, Staci. And thanks so much for linking to mine!

  21. Wow. It reminds me of a darker (much darker) version of the Lovely Bones.

    I'm surprised it's YA? Definitely go pick up some lighter fare, there are good happy stories to be read!

  22. Joy- it is difficult to read....not a fun topic at all.

    Myckyee- Lovely Bones was good and it just didn't seem so dark and graphic as Living Dead Girl.

    Lexi- um, I couldn't even begin to imagine having to defend someone like Ray. I hope you never ever have to defend a person like that! Let me know what you think about it!

  23. saveophelia: I think you should read it and I'm looking forward to hearing what your thoughts are about this.

    Sadako- Let me know what you think when you read it!

  24. I've heard that this is a good book. It sounds difficult to stomach, though. Thanks for the review.

    Diary of an Eccentric


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