Saturday, March 12, 2011
Book Review - Living Dead Girl - a novel by Elizabeth Scott
From inside cover:
"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 speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she want... more »s.
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 book six months ago after getting it from PaperBackSwap. And for six months I considered whether nor not I would review it. Today I decided not to, because the book had stuck with me in such a powerful and painful way. But here I am now offering a review. This is why and this is the review:
Living Dead Girl is an intense, graphic and frightening story that sadly though fiction is a telling of a truth we all know is out there. I have never read anything that felt so real and was so painful. It is a story about Alice, a 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped at age 10 (when she was Kyla - the kidnapper named her Alice) by a pedophile. The reader walks with Alice through her tortured life. Feeling her pain even more at this point than the often numb young girl who is doing what must be done to survive.
My heart went out to Alice, and I know that there are many Alice's out there. Many young children whose lives have been consumed by some of the most twisted individuals to walk the earth. Living Dead Girl painfully lets the reader into the very sad existence of a stolen child whose identity has been systematically dismantled while she has been forced into a nightmare reality. This story was so painful for me that I wanted to just push it away. I truly did not know whether or not to share this review, because it was so painful. I had read reviews of this book long before I read it, and each was very good and clear with their opinion. Amazingly, nothing really prepared me for what I was going to read.
According to School Library Journal it is recommended for grades 9 and up. Publishers Weekly recommended age 16 and up. My recommendation will take a lot longer than just listing an age. Mainly it is only this, Living Dead Girl is a disturbing novel. It is extremely well written and heart wrenching. It definitely impacted me. It disturbed me. It made me sad. It tore me up. It is a book that certainly opens the eyes to the nightmare of an abducted child.
I do not have a daughter, but I do have a son. This is a book that I would not give him to read. He is 16. What this book did for me is it gave me enough new perspective to revisit the dialogue we have had in the past about abduction and about what he should do if he ever notices something that seems not right about a child or a child's guardian. For me that was the important aspect of the book. It got me to talk with him again about not just about the "bewares" of life but the "be awares" of life if that makes sense. It was totally disturbing for me, and I don't think he could handle actually reading it. No...I know he wouldn't. I know him well. I would recommend it for an adult only. At the very least I would recommend that a parent should read it first, and decide if it is something that they think their child can handle. We all know our own children best.
I want to again clarify that I think Living Dead Girl is well written. It is just one of the most painful stories I have ever read. The author did an amazing job taking me to a place I hope to never revisit.