Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

living dead girl

Bibliographic information: Living Dead Girl. Elizabeth Scott. Simon Pulse, 2008. $16.99. 170p. ISBN-13:  9781416960591.
Summary: She was kidnapped by Ray five years ago when she was just 10 years old and he named her Alice. For five years Ray has taken care of Alice and taught her how to be a good little girl, by his standards. These past five years have been so hard on her that she would rather be dead than alive. Constantly being abused sexually, mentally, and physically she is trying to help Ray find a replacement “Alice” to take her place so that she can finally be free.
Reading level and interest level: RL: 16 and up IL: 15 and up
Review: Written in a first person narrative through the thoughts of “Alice,” this book really speaks to the reader about the pain and conflict the main character is facing. The writing style and language adds to the character development and you can see through the text how “Alice” has not aged much in mind beyond her 10 years when she was kidnapped. She has learned new things, but they are primarily way to please Ray and keep him happy. Anybody facing a similar situation would be able to read this book and understand their thoughts and emotions a little better. And they would know that they are not alone in their pain.
Readers’ annotation: Once upon a time she was not named Alice and she did not live with Ray. That was five years ago and now she is 15 years old. 15 is how old the last Alice was before Ray got rid of her.
Bibliotherapeutic usefulness: This book covers the issues of sexual abuse from a parent figure. It touches lightly on mental and physical abuse as well. This book could act as an example for teens who are living in similar situations and they will know that they are not alone, there are others out there that are in the same situation. This book could help teens work through their situation and maybe make it better or encourage them to seek help.
Issues present: There is sexual abuse, as well as, mental and physical abuse being done to a minor that parents or some teachers might find to be offensive or disturbing for their teenagers to read. However, this book is filled with emotions that will speak to teens in similar situations or who may know somebody in a similar situation. Even if they were not kidnapped and sexually abused, but perhaps they are being abused by a parent figure in some way. This title rings with truth and familiarity that teens will be able to understand and use as a coping mechanism or it will show them that they can get help from others.
Booktalk ideas: Chapter 19 starting on page 33 describes the plot.
The last two sentences on page 32 show the reasoning for the plot.
Page 164 describes the main character’s situation.
Once upon a time, there was a girl and her name was not Alice…continue to talk about “Alice.”
Genre or subject: Realistic fiction, social issues, sexual abuse and kidnapping
Readalikes: Hope in Patience by Beth Felhbaum, Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Author’s website: http://www.elizabethwrites.com
Awards and lists: An ALA/YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2009); Iowa High School Book Award Nominee (2011)
Links to reviews: Publisher’s Weekly: http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-4169-6059-1; School Library Journal: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6610636.html
Why I chose it: The title is what drew me in, I was intrigue about how you could be living and dead at the same time. After reading the book it makes complete sense to me. Also, the first three sentences of the inside cover pull you in and make you want to find out what happened to that little girl.

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