Sunday, November 8, 2009

Living Dead Girl - Isn't that an oxymoron?


She is now 15 years old.

ONCE UPON A TIME Alice was not Alice.

"Alice" is now 15 years old and has been living with Ray, a middle-aged man, for about 5 years. During a class trip to the aquarium Ray abducted "Alice" and she became his "little girl." Ray repeatedly abuses "Alice" emotionally, physically, and sexually throughout the book. He even starves her in an attempt to keep her from developing properly, to keep her young. In order to cope with her horrific daily life "Alice" emotionally and mentally checks out leaving just a hollow shell - acting as a "living dead girl."

"Alice's" only form of hope comes as Ray killed the "Alice" before her when she was 15 years old. "Alice" wishes for the same fate only to find out Ray has a different plan for her: she will be a mother to "Annabel."

Not willing to continue her life as "Alice" any longer she forms a plan to escape Ray. Although nothing goes according to plan, Kyla is finally free at the end.

Although Scott's book is chopped full of disturbing acts, she has written this novel with care. Readers may be upset by the life "Alice" is living but the author is able to tell this story with great sensitivity. Young adults, who are mature enough to handle this story and its contents, would enjoy this story.
Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl has caused quite a stir with parents as there is many who are trying to eliminate this book from the bookcases of their childrens' schools. Unfortunately, child abduction and abuse are grim realities that many young adults have been exposed to, even if it be only through the media.


Amy said...

Love your title!

This sounds like a really good, yet depressing book. Based on your description, I'm not sure that I personally would feel comfortable teaching this book in a classroom. This might be one I simply recommend for independent reading to some of my more mature students.

T. Arnold said...

I remember this book on our list and not wanting to read it because of the contents of sexual abuse it contained. However, like you said this is reality. Child abduction and child abuse happens on a daily basis. It is encouraging to know that Kyla is free at the end of the novel. This may help others to realize that their situation is not hopeless either. I like how you put “Alice” in quotations because she is not really Alice, but who Ray wants her to be.

Anne said...

I do completely agree that this book should not be taught but still be available to those students who are mature enough to handle its contents.

Donna N said...


I have to agree that this book sounds very depressing and disturbing. I think I would not have enjoyed this book because of the content in it. I know our world is filled with these grim situations, but I don't I would want my kids to read this material.


Anne said...

This book was very sad and a difficult read. I also agree that the book should not be part of a curriculum but still avaliable for students who would like to read it and are mature enough to handle its content.
What I feel is the most important part is that this book was well written. It uses much imagery, has an interesting plot, an unimagineable ending, and invokes emotions of the reader.

Tom Philion said...

hi anne--wow, this reminds me of a news story I came across this summer while vacationing in California:

its scary and horrifying and makes you wonder about people....not something I especially want to read in a novel, but I have a feeling if I started this book, I wouldn't be able to put it down.

thanks for the review!

hutting said...

I agree with T Arnold' comment - I avoided this book on the reading list becasue it seemed like it would be very dark and painful to read. It sounds more graphic than Chinese Handcuffs.

Mallory Umar said...

The sad thing is that we see this stuff happening-and even if we don't see it-it is happening. It's scary to read about and think about, but there are many "Alice's" out there who go through life checked out for their own harsh reality. From modern day forced prostiution to child predators, the story of "Alice" is too well known.

Stephanie said...

Hey Anne-
I love this review. Again, I like how you used quotes to represent who/what Ray has made her become. Like stated, I do not think I would make this a mandatory read, but I would make it available to my students. Like Mallory stated, this stuff is happening. I would rather my students read about it in a well-written emotional story, than in a local news article.