. Athena's Books: Living Dead Girl...A Shock to Your System
Thursday, May 7, 2009

Living Dead Girl...A Shock to Your System

For those of you who have read previous YA novels by Elizabeth Scott...be warned. Living Dead Girl is not a teenage romance; it is a gripping, dark novel about a fifteen year old girl who has been living with her abductor, Ray, since the age of ten. Elizabett Scott does not shy away from an intense narrative that at times reads like an intimate dream sequence, or rather, nightmare. The ugliness of sexual abuse and abduction, as well as the sinister pleasure motivating pedophiles, will be a shock to many readers who have very little knowledge or experience with the subject matter. Childhood sexual abuse is something you hear about on the news or something that happens to someone else, but through the author's use of the first person point of view, this novel takes you further into the realms of darkness than possible on a news report. It is amazing how raw and brutal the narrative reads, and with that in mind, I feel the novel is inappropriate for anyone under the age of 16. I mean, I'm a lot older than 16, and I found many of the scenes to be disturbing. It's not that the scenes are explicit, but the bare, gritty details of those things Alice chooses to share are darkly intimate and painful. In Alice we hear the voice of an empty, soulless body only available for Ray, her abductor. Her mental state has been warped to the point that she will do anything to have someone else take her place. The only splinter of light in this novel is the end, although it is ambiguous and any hope taken from it will be on the part of the reader. I commend Scott for writing something so compelling and original. She has graduated from entertaining YA fiction to something more of literary genius.