Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott [ TW: RAPE ]

9:58 AM

Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2008
Publisher: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 1416960597 
Rating: 2 stars

I’m settling on 2 stars for this book, although I’ve been unsure of how to go about rating it. It had an effect on me, which makes me want to get it three stars off the bat, but then there’s the problem that I didn’t actually like it all that much, which made me consider giving it a lower score. So I’m going for the middle, but even that doesn’t satisfy me.

I think my main problem with the novel was that of the writing style. Something about it just didn’t jive with me, and I felt the dialogue was forced and stilted. It is incompatibility of the writing style and my preferences that prevented me from getting fully absorbed into the story, and is the (main) reason this novel is getting less than an average rating. 

So, Living Dead Girl is one of those contemporary novels about rape and abuse. The victim is “Alice”, who was kidnapped during a school trip by a creepy fellow named Ray. Ray is violent, off his rocker, and has mommy issues, occasionally giving snippets of his past to Alice. Although Ray claims to still “love” Alice, she is no longer the ten year old she was when he obtained her, and he is trying to hold on to her youth by under-feeding her, getting her shaved, and putting her in too-small clothing. These efforts are in vain, and Alice feels that he’s going to kill her soon, as she’s growing out of his preferred age.

This is one of the bleakest novels I’ve read, even of this genre. This is not a book to read if you want a happy ending, if despair and suffering and abuse without end turns you off of a book. I would only tell you to read this if you’re really into young adult contemporary abuse novels, like me.

Also, important to mention is that Alice is not the average fictional victim, and she’s certainly not a heroine. She doesn’t long to see her family again, she longs for death. She has not become a good person, she has become cruel and bitter. She uses sex to hurt others, and she craves to break people so that they’re as messed up as her. At one point, Ray decides to obtain another little girl, and Alice is more than willing to pass off her messed up situation to someone else. This cruelty in Alice does not bother me, and I actually found it to be refreshing and new, but I’m sure it would upset many.

Although I didn’t actually like Living Dead Girl, I would say it’s worth giving it a try and seeing if it’s more your style. With that said, I probably wouldn’t read anything else by this author. 

About the author

I root for young girls neglected by their narrative. I search for diversity in a cast of characters. I do not hesitate to critique something I find offensive or lacking in quality.


  1. Fantastic review Jaclyn! The premise of this book sounds very creepy, but maybe I'll give it a try!

    -Grace :)

  2. Woh, this sounds intense and horrible but I still want to read it (I don't know why I torture myself!) Alice doesn't sound like a typical YA teen but I think that's to be expected given her situation.

    Also, hi Jaclyn! I found your blog via YA Anonymous :) I read your about me and love that you work at a vet clinic, I used to as well! Mands xox

  3. p.s We're now following your blog :) xox

  4. It's nice know other people's opinions on things. Your definitely right about how people might hate of her passing her harsh terms to someone else. I didn't like that but I guess I grew to understand so.

    Great review! :)

  5. I read this book too but gave it 4-stars. I think I get all soft when it comes to child abuse :-)

    Your blog is sooo pretty. I'm going to follow you now!