"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

This book has certainly caused a lot of buzz. You've probably heard of it. Like 33 Snowfish by Adam Rapp, which puts us readers into the lives of abused, sexually exploited and damaged kids, or Doing It by Melvin Burgess, that delivers us teen sexual fantasies with more detail than any of Judy Blume's most censored material ever did, it expands the limits of Teen fiction. I feel that, like 33 Snowfish, it does so successfully and seriously.

Our 15 year old narrator, known as Alice, was abducted five years ago from a school field trip. Since then she has been raped, abused and completely controlled by Ray, who is unstable and certainly capable of murder. Alice's brightest hope is to die, but then one day Ray decides that she should help him pick her replacement, a sweet little girl who will never be allowed to grow up. Alice will accept any means to free herself from Ray. Or so she believes.

It is horrific stuff and Scott tells her story without flinching. She also completely gets inside her character. I kept wondering why I was subjecting myself to something so disturbing, but it seemed important that I finish. There was no bizarre plot twist (I'm think Breathe My Name by R.A. Nelson), no scenes of hyped up drama. The story itself is riveting enough, and although it's terrible to ingest, it's beautifully and straightforwardly told.

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