Living Dead Girl

Living Dead Girl

by Elizabeth Scott

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416960607
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 09/08/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 159,046
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.48(d)
Lexile: 870L (what's this?)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

ELIZABETH SCOTT grew up in a town so small it didn't even have a post office, though it did boast an impressive cattle population. She's sold hardware and panty hose and had a memorable three-day stint in the dot-com industry, where she learned that she really didn't want a career burning CDs. She lives just outside Washington, D.C., with her husband, and firmly believes you can never own too many books.

Read an Excerpt

1

This is how things look:

Shady Pines Apartments, four shabby buildings tucked off the road near the highway. Across from a strip mall with nail places and a cash-loan store that advertises on TV all the time. There's also a drugstore and tiny restaurants, every one opening and closing within months.

Shady Pines is nice enough, if it's all you can afford. The stairs are chipped but solid, the washing machines always work, and management picks up the trash once a week.

A few mothers sit outside their buildings, resting in fraying lawn chairs and talking over each other while their children run around, playing. One dog lies sleeping in the sun, twitching its tail when a child comes over and pats the top of its head before running away, giggling.

That man in the far building, the car guy, is outside, a pile of parts scattered on the black ooze of the parking lot around him. Car guy has been here since you moved in, but you never see him except for sunny weekends, when he works on his car.

Not that he ever drives it.

He's a strange one, that's for sure, living alone, always with that car, not really ever talking to anyone, but every place has one weirdo, and at least car guy cleans up after himself. He's almost obsessive about it.

Still, see how he sighs when that man, the one whose daughter is quiet and, sadly, a little slow, pulls into the space next to his? See how he watches the girl get out of the car? She's a skinny little thing, always hunching over a bit, like she's taller than she thinks she is. Homeschooled, of course, because of how she is, or so someone once told you when you were getting the mail, and there are no secrets around here, not with everyone living so close together.

She walks slowly across the lot, trailing behind her father, who waits patiently for her to get to the building door, holding it open even though he's carrying all the bags. She doesn't even say thank you, but what can you expect? Kids never know how good they have it.

Copyright © 2008 by Elizabeth Spencer

2

This is how things are:

Cold, from the grocery store, from the dairy aisle you walked down to pick up the yogurt, from the frozen-food aisle, its cases filled deep with frozen pizzas and ice cream in large round containers.

Cold, getting out of the truck, foot clinking over something metallic, piece of a car lying on the ground.

Don't stop to look.

Walk up the stairs, Ray's footsteps behind you. Listen to him pause, smiling at the one open apartment door, the Indian family on the second floor, always children running in and out, sometimes their TV turned up so loud at night Ray has to go down there and knock on the door, say please turn it down? Thank you so much.

"Was that guy in the parking lot looking at you?" Ray says when you walk into the apartment, as soon as the door thunks closed and he's turned the locks, one, two, three. Better safe than sorry, he always says.

Shake your head no, no. Even if he did look, it would never be at you.

No one ever really looks at you.

Ray puts the groceries away, yogurt in the fridge, his oatmeal in its individual packets in the cabinet above the sink. Five apples, one for each day when he comes home from work. Five TV dinners you'll heat up at night for him to eat unless he brings something home.

He comes over to the sofa. Holds out a glass of water so cold the sides are frosty, ice cubes clinking inside. You've pulled your skirt up to your waist, arms resting by your sides, palms up and open. Waiting.

"Good," he says, and lies on top of you. Heavy and pushing, always pushing. "Good girl, Alice."

Afterward, he will give you the water and a container of yogurt. He will sit with one hand curled around your knee. You will watch TV together. He will tell you how lucky you are.

"Yes," you will say. "I know I am."

Copyright © 2008 by Elizabeth Spencer

3

Once upon a time, I did not live in Shady Pines.

Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.

Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was.

Copyright © 2008 by Elizabeth Spencer

Reading Group Guide

Prereading Activity
Ask students to write down the definition of oxymoron. Then have them discuss possible meanings for the phrase "living dead." What inferences can they make from the title? What predictions can they make about the story? What kinds of experiences would make them — or anyone — feel "living dead"?
Discussion Questions
In the first three chapters, Alice's story moves from third-person point of view, to second, then to first. While most of the story is told from first-person point of view, what effect does the shift have on your responses to the story? Through which viewpoint do you feel most connected with the character? Why? What do you think Scott hoped to achieve in shifting the point of view? In what way does the shift contribute to the mood of the story?
Scott uses a literary technique known as "stream of consciousness." Alice's thoughts and memories are presented as they flow through her mind with no regard for logical order or sentence structure. Her thoughts are sometimes fragmented; they shift over time and space, and can be difficult to follow. Find passages in the text in which Alice's thoughts leap across time and space. Discuss what these scenes tell us about Alice. What effect does the stream of consciousness technique have on the reader? How does the use of stream of consciousness contribute to the overall story?
How would you describe Ray? What events in his life have made him who he is? Find passages that support your thoughts. What character(s) does he resemble from other literary works or films. What actors can you envision playing his role in a movie? Why?
Ray doesn't want Alice to grow up. He starves her to keep her small and makes her wear little girls' clothing that is too small for a young adolescent girl. In what ways do you see Alice behaving childlike? In what ways is she mature? Would you call Alice naive? Why or why not?
How does Alice feel about herself? What does the phrase "living dead girl" mean to her? Who does she hold responsible for the life she lives and the person she has become?
How would you describe the relationship between Alice and Ray? Does he love her? Does she care for him? Find passages to support your thoughts.
Ray plans to abduct another child and sends Alice to the playground in search of a young girl. Alice finds "Annabel" and tells Ray about her. What does she think about Annabel and how does she feel about Ray kidnapping another child?
When Alice first meets Jake and accompanies him to his car, he recognizes Alice's detachment and is horrified. What does her lack of emotion suggest about who she has become? Why is she void of emotion? In what ways has she become like Ray?
Jake tries to help Alice in the end. Why do you think he did so? Why did he take a gun to the park instead of reporting his suspicions to the police?
A number of key phrases reoccur throughout the story. For example, the narrator frequently repeats the phrase, "Once upon a time." Find passages containing this phrase. Why does the author repeat the phrase? How does it influence your thoughts about Alice? What additional phrases are repeated? What effect do they have?
At one point when Ray is abusing Alice she thinks, "...the thing about hearts is that they always want to keep beating." What does this passage say about her resiliency and the way in which the story plays out in the end? Point to evidence that supports your thinking.
Many children today are abducted, abused, and held in captivity — many are held for years like Alice, and when given opportunities to escape, they don't. Alice stays home alone and watches the soaps while Ray works; she goes out occasionally — sometimes with Ray knowing; other times not. Why does she not leave? How does Ray hold her emotionally captive? Find passages that support your ideas.
Alice is disturbed that no one notices that something is terribly wrong with her life. How does the outside world play a part in Alice's plight? In your opinion, could society have helped save Alice? How?
Activities
Have students read a classical poem or short story that uses stream of consciousness and compare and contrast style and the overall effect and mood of the two pieces. Authors to consider include Katherine Anne Porter, Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and William Faulkner. After comparing and contrasting the two pieces, have students write a poem or short story using stream of consciousness.
Have students develop character maps of Alice and/or Ray and discuss them. Then have them create a character of their own by brainstorming character traits with a character map. Once they have developed their character, have them write a scene about that character from three perspectives: first-, second-, and third-person point of view. They may write the same scene from three different perspectives or write three separate scenes.
Invite a professional to your school who has experience in the area of child protection to speak to the class. You might invite a doctor, a social worker, a police officer, an attorney, or a child therapist. Have students prepare for the visit by developing a list of questions they would like to ask.
For five years, Kyla (a.k.a. Alice) lived a life of fear. From the age of ten until fifteen she missed many childhood experiences. Imagine you could give back some of the childhood experiences she missed. Collect symbols for five experiences and present those to the class. Write a brief narrative about one and why it is an important experience for a young girl. (Examples to consider are friendships, a father/daughter relationship, music, movies, girly things like clothes and cell phones.) This activity can also be presented via a PowerPoint presentation or iMovie.
Working in groups, have students research child protection laws in their community and tips for keeping children safe, and present a PowerPoint presentation to the class. Students may also share their presentations with after-school organizations such as the PTSA and academic and athletic booster clubs. Based on their research and presentations, students may develop pamphlets and brochures with tips for keeping children safe and helpful resources for dealing with a crisis. Students may seek funding to print the pamphlets and brochures from school clubs, community leaders and businesses, and religious organizations.
This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Prepared by Pam B. Cole, Professor of English Education & Literacy, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA.

Introduction

Prereading Activity

Ask students to write down the definition of oxymoron. Then have them discuss possible meanings for the phrase "living dead." What inferences can they make from the title? What predictions can they make about the story? What kinds of experiences would make them — or anyone — feel "living dead"?

Discussion Questions

In the first three chapters, Alice's story moves from third-person point of view, to second, then to first. While most of the story is told from first-person point of view, what effect does the shift have on your responses to the story? Through which viewpoint do you feel most connected with the character? Why? What do you think Scott hoped to achieve in shifting the point of view? In what way does the shift contribute to the mood of the story?

Scott uses a literary technique known as "stream of consciousness." Alice's thoughts and memories are presented as they flow through her mind with no regard for logical order or sentence structure. Her thoughts are sometimes fragmented; they shift over time and space, and can be difficult to follow. Find passages in the text in which Alice's thoughts leap across time and space. Discuss what these scenes tell us about Alice. What effect does the stream of consciousness technique have on the reader? How does the use of stream of consciousness contribute to the overall story?

How would you describe Ray? What events in his life have made him who he is? Find passages that support your thoughts. What character(s) does he resemble from other literary works or films. What actors can you envision playing his role in a movie? Why?

Ray doesn't want Alice to grow up. He starvesher to keep her small and makes her wear little girls' clothing that is too small for a young adolescent girl. In what ways do you see Alice behaving childlike? In what ways is she mature? Would you call Alice naive? Why or why not?

How does Alice feel about herself? What does the phrase "living dead girl" mean to her? Who does she hold responsible for the life she lives and the person she has become?

How would you describe the relationship between Alice and Ray? Does he love her? Does she care for him? Find passages to support your thoughts.

Ray plans to abduct another child and sends Alice to the playground in search of a young girl. Alice finds "Annabel" and tells Ray about her. What does she think about Annabel and how does she feel about Ray kidnapping another child?

When Alice first meets Jake and accompanies him to his car, he recognizes Alice's detachment and is horrified. What does her lack of emotion suggest about who she has become? Why is she void of emotion? In what ways has she become like Ray?

Jake tries to help Alice in the end. Why do you think he did so? Why did he take a gun to the park instead of reporting his suspicions to the police?

A number of key phrases reoccur throughout the story. For example, the narrator frequently repeats the phrase, "Once upon a time." Find passages containing this phrase. Why does the author repeat the phrase? How does it influence your thoughts about Alice? What additional phrases are repeated? What effect do they have?

At one point when Ray is abusing Alice she thinks, "...the thing about hearts is that they always want to keep beating." What does this passage say about her resiliency and the way in which the story plays out in the end? Point to evidence that supports your thinking.

Many children today are abducted, abused, and held in captivity — many are held for years like Alice, and when given opportunities to escape, they don't. Alice stays home alone and watches the soaps while Ray works; she goes out occasionally — sometimes with Ray knowing; other times not. Why does she not leave? How does Ray hold her emotionally captive? Find passages that support your ideas.

Alice is disturbed that no one notices that something is terribly wrong with her life. How does the outside world play a part in Alice's plight? In your opinion, could society have helped save Alice? How?

Activities

Have students read a classical poem or short story that uses stream of consciousness and compare and contrast style and the overall effect and mood of the two pieces. Authors to consider include Katherine Anne Porter, Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and William Faulkner. After comparing and contrasting the two pieces, have students write a poem or short story using stream of consciousness.

Have students develop character maps of Alice and/or Ray and discuss them. Then have them create a character of their own by brainstorming character traits with a character map. Once they have developed their character, have them write a scene about that character from three perspectives: first-, second-, and third-person point of view. They may write the same scene from three different perspectives or write three separate scenes.

Invite a professional to your school who has experience in the area of child protection to speak to the class. You might invite a doctor, a social worker, a police officer, an attorney, or a child therapist. Have students prepare for the visit by developing a list of questions they would like to ask.

For five years, Kyla (a.k.a. Alice) lived a life of fear. From the age of ten until fifteen she missed many childhood experiences. Imagine you could give back some of the childhood experiences she missed. Collect symbols for five experiences and present those to the class. Write a brief narrative about one and why it is an important experience for a young girl. (Examples to consider are friendships, a father/daughter relationship, music, movies, girly things like clothes and cell phones.) This activity can also be presented via a PowerPoint presentation or iMovie.

Working in groups, have students research child protection laws in their community and tips for keeping children safe, and present a PowerPoint presentation to the class. Students may also share their presentations with after-school organizations such as the PTSA and academic and athletic booster clubs. Based on their research and presentations, students may develop pamphlets and brochures with tips for keeping children safe and helpful resources for dealing with a crisis. Students may seek funding to print the pamphlets and brochures from school clubs, community leaders and businesses, and religious organizations.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Prepared by Pam B. Cole, Professor of English Education & Literacy, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA.

Elizabeth Scott is the author of Bloom, Perfect You, and Stealing Heaven. Visit her website: www.elizabethwrites.com.

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Living Dead Girl 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 521 reviews.
AndAnotherBookRead More than 1 year ago
On an elementary school field trip to the aquarium, a ten-year-old girl gets abducted. She gets named ¿Alice,¿ by her kidnapper Ray, and leaves behind the sweet innocent girl from 623 Daisy Lane, becoming a shell of a girl who has been both mentally and physically abused to no end, essentially making her a living dead girl.

All Alice wants is to escape from the pain she faces everyday and the only possible way she thinks she can escape is through death. Then an even more horrible thing happens ¿ Ray asks her to find a replacement for her. Now it¿s her task to find another innocent girl for Ray to prey on. Could this be her release, or will Ray dispose of her just like the last Alice?

While this book is completely different then anything else Elizabeth Scott has written, it is just as remarkable. The book leaves a lasting impression on your mind as you read. Trying to imagine everything that Alice has to go through in the book is mind-boggling and it truly makes you realize how horrible people can be and how grateful people should be that they don¿t have to endure the same evils as Alice did. Scott¿s brilliant writing style shone through this dark novel, making it come alive in the reader¿s mind. The emotion that seeps through these pages is absolutely incredible. You¿ll want to scream out loud at the horrors that you encounter and cry out in frustration at the events that unfold. This is truly a haunting and unforgettable novel that everyone needs to read. It gives a one of a kind view into a world not much is known of, and one in which we all hope never to visit.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
I received my copy of LIVING DEAD GIRL right before it came out in September. I read it the same day, and promptly hid it in a huge stack of other books, hoping to forget about it. I didn't. I came across it last week, and sat down and read it again. This time, I knew that, just like before, I'd never forget it, but I finally decided I was ready to write a review on the story.

Alice has lived with Ray since she was ten. Now that she's fifteen, she knows her time with him is about to come to an end. The only question will be how it will happen - whether Ray will kill her, or whether she'll kill herself.

You see, Alice wasn't always Alice. She was once a girl with a mom and dad who loved her, until the day Ray abducted her during a school field trip. Although they don't live far from her childhood home, Alice has only once made an attempt to escape, and that was right after she was abducted. Ever since then, she's become the emotional/physical/sexual slave that Ray has turned her into, and she does what she's told, when she's told.

When Ray sets his sights on Lucy, a replacement girl, Alice couldn't be more thrilled. Her time with Ray is finally, finally coming to an end, and all she can do is experience immense relief. She may have a moment's doubt about setting up a small, young girl to go through the same torture and torment she has endured, but basically, that overwhelming sense of relief is all she can bring herself to feel.

Events unfold quickly, and the ending of the story is not a resolution so much as a beginning to an entire new set of complications.

I hated LIVING DEAD GIRL, in a way that made me love it. With a storyline that could have been ripped from today's newspapers, the feelings and emotions that it will invoke within you are myriad - horror, sympathy, outrage, disbelief. When I heard a similar story in the news about a year ago, my first thought was how a child who had been abducted could so willingly stay with their captor. What I learned through the pages of this book is that fear - the kind of fear many of us have never known, and will hopefully never have to know - is a huge motivator.

Alice lives by fear. Fear of eating something she's been told not to eat. Fear of talking to someone she's been told not to talk to. Fear of bathing when she's not been told to bathe. Fear of saying something, anything, in the wrong way, or at the wrong time, or with the wrong tone of voice. Fear, plain and simple, can cause people to do all sorts of things.

Elizabeth Scott is to be thanked for writing a story that brings the issue of child abduction to light. As Alice says, there are three life lessons: No one will see you. No one will say anything. No one will save you. Unfortunately, she's all too often right. I hope that after reading LIVING DEAD GIRL everyone will see, everyone will speak, everyone will be compelled to save.

Hope for Alice may be gone, but there are many Alice's out in the world, and thanks to this story, they don't always have to live in fear that no one will save them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First of all, i just want to sy that i'm 14. I don't see why people are angry at the contents of this book, because it tells of real things that happen every day? This book was an amazing story! I even told my mom about it, and she said that you have to be mature to understand and not call the book disgusting. Although it's graphic, its REAL. Im very happy with it because it opened my eyes as to how evil some people can truly be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many people give this book bad reviews, I believe those are the people who don't face the facts of life. The person who wrote about this is a realist, and this happens in our society. It might be sick and twisted, but it's real. If you like books about life, you'll love this book. People need to understand we don't live in a fairy tale world as many of them wish.
TheForbiddenFruit521 More than 1 year ago
I've seen and heard nothing but bad about this book. From how disgusting, unfit, and disturbing it was for readers. I had to see for myself. Like Ray (The God-Like Monster) the cover lured me towards something... there are no words. Horrific? Yes. Disturbing? Yes. Unimaginable? Yes. Unrealistic? Unfortunately, no. The things that happen to this young girl are all-too real things that many people have endured with similar or (tragic enough) worst results. After reading this book, I felt every kick, punch in the face, tug of the hair...every sense of pain 'Alice' has. The wrath of a disturbed man with a disturbed past. Please do not get mad at the book that wishes nothing more than to inform you of something we all should be aware of despite how much we don't want to be. Do not get mad at details that most likely match up to a 'T', the life of a young 'Alice' who's 'Ray' is no different from the one you will encounter in this read. This is not an easy read and has at some point, robbed me of an innocence but with good intention. Be careful.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in hopes of putting into my classroom library. It is not a book I feel comfortable passing onto my 9th grade students. The topic is not for kids. The book, while well written, stripped away some of my innocence. I read it a year ago and it is still with me. I am not sure what to do with the copy I have. Read it only if you have a strong stomach for this very difficult and graphic topic. Elizabeth Scott is an excellent writer and I would love to read something else written by her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read some of these reviews after reading and the book, and I'm disappointed in how people give it such a low rating just because of the fact it isn't for children, or even teens for that matter. Elizabeth Scott is not a good writer. She is unbelievable. There's something and unforgettable and absolutely impressive about how she can convey so much emotion into just a few words. Admittedly, it can be disturbing at some times, but there's also something very amazing in just how Elizabeth Scott can make you feel like that with simple words and a few line.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When Alice was ten years old, she was kidnapped by a stranger, a man named Ray. Of course then, her name wasn¿t Alice. She was a little girl with friends, family, and a life, but now she has lost it all in exchange for Ray. For five years, Alice has endured physical, mental, and sexual abuse, but there¿s nothing she can do about it. She has no way of escape from this life, not even death, or else the family from her old life, her life before Ray, will be killed. Alice is stuck in the empty life Ray has created for her, forced to be a little girl even as she grows up physically. But when it becomes apparent that Alice¿s body is no longer that of the little girl Ray wants, Ray surprisingly doesn¿t kill Alice. Instead, he orders Alice to find him a new little girl for him to love. Can Alice follow through with this horrible command, and does she think this will finally free her from this forsaken life? And if she does find a new girl to replace herself, will she be able to live with it? Living Dead Girl is a truly haunting and unforgettable story. It¿s about a girl who¿s trapped both in a cruel physical environment and a mental cage. Alice¿s story is such a sad one because of how she changed due to the abuse she was subjected to. Alice¿s feelings and emotions, though limited due to the damage caused to her by Ray, are so vivid and make the reader want to save or help her in any way possible because of her vulnerability. This story confronts an issue not addressed in any other book I have read, the very real threat of kidnap, rape, abuse, and murder. It is so unique that this story has been written from the perspective of the victim, yet so incredibly sad at the same time. It really makes you hate the sociopaths in the world such as Ray that are able to commit such atrocities such as these. Living Dead Girl is emotionally raw, shockingly good, and a book that can only be experienced through reading the story for yourself. While it¿s not right to like a story such as this, I think Living Dead Girl should be read by everyone, if not for enjoyment then to inform readers. It is a short but fast read, beautifully written and impossible to ever forget.
Annibebe More than 1 year ago
This book is not for children. It tells the tale of a young girl kidnapped by a pedophile when she was 10. It's now 5 years later and written in her voice of despair. Sad and horrifying that people can do such awful things to others. Poor Alice.......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i read this book within a few hours. I've read books with this subject matter before and i thought i would be able to handle this but it was too much. very emotional and heart wrenching. this girl goes through a lot of hell...and i won't spoil much. but it is an amazing book. i love it but the events in the story are...upsetting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not good. I'm not saying this because it is "inappropriate" I'm saying this because it was just plain not good. I read it in a couple hours and was not at all impressed. I was very disappointed, actually. It was poorly written, not at all graphic or disturbing. I've read 99 cent books that were 10x better than this one that I wasted $10 on. Don't waste your money. Not a good read at all.
theepicrat on LibraryThing 17 days ago
living dead girl will grip you right from the start and pull you into a world where no one should ever have to experience. To say that this book is good seems troubling since NOTHING about this book is good. This book is haunting in how stark the voice is, not to mention jarring since it is so very different from her light-hearted, sweetly-romanced books like bloom and something, maybe.I honestly cannot stop looking at the cover without a sense of dread. The neatly-tied ribbon, the simple lower-cased title in white against the black background, very innocent-looking - you could say that Elizabeth Scott has given us quite an unforgettable gift, although you might want to forget the horrors that happened to Alice.What I don¿t quite understand is why Alice did not save herself before this moment when we learn of her story. Yes, Ray threatened to destroy her family if she disobeys him, but he gave her some freedom to run ¿errands¿ while he went to work. She even found some loopholes in his trust and smuggled candies into her diet without him realizing. I would have thought Alice had the resources to escape! Then again, I suppose Alice had a stunted childhood after Ray kidnapped her ¿ virtually no education whatsoever, at that point too young to fend for herself or find a way home, and definitely broken in spirit. Why would she run? Who would want her back anymore? Still¿ as I watched Alice break some rules, I had to wonder how Alice couldn¿t figure out how to return home.Alice¿s story also brings to light the question of how precocious little kids are nowadays and how wary parents have become. There are still kids who trust a random stranger and parents who get distracted, but I think it is harder now for someone like Ray to get away with their crime. Perhaps I am wrong¿Elizabeth Scott has delivered a book unlike her others that demonstrates the range of her talents ¿ and readers will not leave living dead girl without feeling a whole slew of emotions. Disturbing, haunting, and simply poetic, living dead girl will strike a chord with everyone and remind us that we need to take nothing for granted ¿ for we are fortunate to have family who both love us and drive us nuts.
edjane on LibraryThing 17 days ago
This is the most socking book I've read in a long time. Not because of the topic (which is in itself shocking), but because the topic reflects reality. No ghost story or horror nightmare can be as horrifying as this story, because they are all fantasies, while this story feels real.The writing style suited the story perfectly, making us believe we are hearing Alice's voice--a young girl abducted at the age of ten. In my opinion, the end was very solid. I was not left with a doubt of what happened. Did I want a different end? I am not sure. I think the end leaves a lasting impression that will make this book stick in the reader's mind long after finishing it.Like other reader's have mentioned, I don't think I could recommend the book. But if you ever come across it and just read the first two pages, you can be certain to be drawn in to the end.
ldelprete on LibraryThing 17 days ago
I think this is a tough story to review so I will start with the logisitcs of it. I think the author wrote from a unique perspective. Alice came across almost as only a voice and not a person. She was so detached and "wrong" that it was almost as if she were telling the story about someone else. It was a gripping story that kept you turning the pages. I would describe this as similar to a train wreck, you want to look away but you can't. I found the story to be disturbing and vivid without being overly explicit. I felt every bit of the emotions described. It is a quick read and one that you will not soon forget once you are done.
bookjunkie806 on LibraryThing 17 days ago
One of the most disturbing YA novels I've read yet. The horror of the main character's situation and life is depressing and yet makes the reader appreciate one's life and what they have. Despite the story's brevity, the subject matter is deftly handled and is engaging. You may have to put this one to the side and go outside to look at the flowers, but it is a book worth reading. Scott is an excellent writer.
FicusFan on LibraryThing 17 days ago
I heard about this book on LT, when it was still in Hardcover. It seems so many books I read now are LT inspired ! I waited for this book to come out in paperback. When it did I was shocked to learn that it was a YA book. Not that the writing was difficult, but the subject matter just didn't seem to be YA material. Don't we already frighten children enough ?The book is about a young girl who has been kidnapped by a pedophile, and has spent years with him. Needless to say he abuses her and terrorizes her, so that she goes along with his wishes. He even leaves her alone and she doesn't run. He tells her that he will kill her parents and the new baby they have, which she has never met.The book opens with "Alice" (the name her abductor gave her) getting too old and too big for him. He starves her to keep her child-like, but she is now a young teen. She is afraid of displeasing him, but also acts behind his back in a furtive manner when she can do so safely. He decides that Alice will help him find a new little girl for him. Alice knows that when she is replaced she will not be released, but killed. It is what happened to the girl Alice replaced. Alice is not only fine with that idea, but can't wait for it to be over. The story is told very simply and without a lot of gory detail, but it is still harrowing. I suspect the author is trying to emulate what she thinks a child would talk and think like. Unfortunately, I find Alice to be a very dumb child. I think adults have difficulty seeing young children as real thinking individuals. Or perhaps Alice simply has no backbone. Who knows, but the book left me feeling underwhelmed about Alice, despite her plight.There are two other troubling issues touched on in the book, besides Alice's treatment. One is that when she was younger she ran to an adult and tried to escape, but was not believed and was returned to her captor. Still invisible as a teen, she goes to have a bikini wax that removes all her hair, even though she is too young to need such a thing. Not the woman waxing her, or the older women in the waiting room, ever ask any questions. Alice finds that for all the child-centric talk and rules, no one really wants to get involved, or disrupt their lives and schedules. Her captor says she is being home schooled to explain why she never goes to school. He is always with her, and she is so well behaved that many in their apartment complex think of him as an ideal parent. Adults see what they want to, and what they wish most for their own children.The other issue is that Alice has no qualms at all about finding, luring and helping him to catch another girl to take her place. Even though Alice knows what a frightening, physically damaging and ultimately fatal relationship it will be. She only wants her own suffering to end, even though it means death.Of course Alice is only OK with the idea of death, not the reality of it. That revelation may come too late for Alice, as there in not a happy, but an ambiguous ending.It makes you think of the circle of hate and violence. That often those who are sucked into it young, grow up to do the same to others. There seems to be no way out.The book was well written, if in a very simple style. It was a quick, riveting read (hard to say enjoyable because of the subject matter). Spending time with Alice many times seemed realistic, for how a teen would think and act, but at others seemed too idealistic (as though it were Pollyanna who had been kidnapped, not a modern child). I can't say I think it would be good for kids to read, but there are points that parents should talk to their kids about.
beckystandal on LibraryThing 17 days ago
High School and Up - The narrator of Living Dead Girl is the second "Alice" to be abducted and abused by Ray. Taken from a school field trip when she was ten, Alice has survived five years with Ray, but the older she gets, the closer she is to meeting the same end as the first Alice. In simple, stark prose, we are given the first-hand account of the title character's life with her abuser, made more chilling by the absence of words like "kidnapping" or "rape," and by the girl's own fear-fueled cruelty. "Living Dead Girl" made the Teen Top 25 list from YALSA this year. Recommended for all teen collections.
Nickles on LibraryThing 17 days ago
Incredibly disturbing. I don't think I can say much more than that. It really pushed me to be in "Alice's" situation and it wasn't hard to imagine--the writing was wonderful in that it put you right there in the present with her. This isn't a book I'd read more than once (once was enough) but it is a book that I would recommend people read (if you don't have a weak stomach) once.Comment
tikilights on LibraryThing 17 days ago
Wow, this book had some heavy and disturbing content; especially for the intended young adult audience. I felt like I was gut-punched after I had finished it. Ms. Scott was able to push the heartbreaking story of child abduction right to the edge without being overly revolting, if that's truly possible with this topic.
ZosiaCanberra on LibraryThing 17 days ago
I take it back. Stolen isn¿t the most disturbing young adult book out there. Living Dead Girl is. This book is frightening and amazing, and should absolutely NOT be marketed the way it is. It is about a young girl who is abducted, and who - five years later, fifteen years old, and no longer the `girl¿ she is `supposed to be¿ - is aware her captor plans to kill her. In this story there is rape. Paedophilia. Murder. It is told from the point of view of a girl who has been a prisoner so long she no longer knows how to function as a normal person. She believes her family will be murdered unless she does everything she is told. She has a new name. And she is so happy for it all to end that when she is told to go out and scout for her own, younger, replacement, she complies without any concern. The last few chapters are frightening and very moving, and it¿s one of those books where a `happy ending¿ can never be truly happy. That the author could find such a confused and detached voice for her main character is astounding. The book is short, and the chapters sometimes less than a page long, but it is the style that really gets to you. This is definitely not a book you can say you love, or even enjoy, but it is brilliantly done. The fact things like this really are out there happening make it a terrifying read.
janellestar5 on LibraryThing 17 days ago
Yes, its a sick story. Yes, it's sad and depressing and scary and disturbing. But so is life sometimes. And as sad as it is, these things do happen. I did read the book till the end. I can't say I liked it because the events in it are awful but I am glad I read it. I do recommend it. I appreciate the book for what it it. It's not a fairytale but it never promises to be one. It's an interesting book. Haunting in it's sadness. But maybe thats good. Maybe it's good that it leaves a lasting impression. It should. Not recommended for children.
monsterofbooks on LibraryThing 17 days ago
This is a horrifying, disturbing and terrifying tale of a young girl who was abducted when she was 10. The story involves issues such as kidnapping and child abuse (sexual, verbal and physical). And the sickening thing about it, is you can't put it down. When you do, you want to read more and more. You feel yourself stuck in Alice's world, and you won't be able to escape it until Alice does. And I think that is the biggest, highest applaud I can give to Elizabeth, is that she is able to connect the readers with Alice. Even though, I'm guessing, none or pretty much all of the readers have not been in this situation. But even though the book is extremely well written, I don't think this is a memorable book. It's not a book you walk away from afterwords, and are still thinking about it a week later. I guess to me, it's easily forgettable. But you cannot look past how brave a author must be, to publish something like this.The characters were really brought to life. Through out the whole book you feel for Alice, but you also don't understand her in some situations. And when you think about those problems, you see why her solutions or feelings are understandable. Though I still think it was stupid not to tell the police officer what was happening, but I can understand why. She has a child's thinking. Ray, the kidnapper, was so twisted that it was unbelievable. He had serious mental issues , that probably related to his child hood with his mother.In my own opinion, I thought the beginning was a bit rushed and could of had more explanation. I wish the beginning was taken a bit slower then it was. I also thought the ending was poor in that it was confusing. I would of liked to seen the aftermath of being free. I also thought the emotion lacked in some areas.Living Dead Girl is a beautifully written book that's message and truth will leave you unsettled. Each page will leave you wanting more, as if your Alice and all you want to do is finish this life.
Tinasbookreviews on LibraryThing 17 days ago
Living Dead Girl is ¿Alice" a fifteen-year old girl kidnapped on a school field trip when she was ten. Her captor, Ray, has sexually and physically abused her every day since he kidnapped her. The reader willing to enter Alice¿s haunting story endures Alice¿s everyday life with Ray. The sexual abuse is tortuous and hard to read through- even though the scenes aren¿t explicitly graphic- the reader has no problems connecting the dots. Alice is raped and sexually abused multiple times a day, it basically consumed the entire story and makes the reader so raw with emotion we are twisted with thoughts wanting to see Ray dead or see Alice die, just to stop this madness.Consumed with fear, hopelessness and starvation from food and love, Alice losses all aspects of herself, she seriously is a living dead girl. With her spirit crushed and her soul literally dead, she begins to see the world through hate filled eyes and some of the thoughts she has, the ideas of hurting others become downright hard to read. Should teens read this....hard to say...as a parent it made me hug my child to tight and wish I could protect her from everything!!!!
knitwit2 on LibraryThing 17 days ago
While reading this book I had to remind myself that this was fiction. I couldn't fight the feeling that reading the details was another way for her to be expoited. The kidnapping and subsequent abuse were so disturbing that I have to wonder who thought this would make a good young adult book. It is sad, bleak, and ultimately so very hopeless.
evet on LibraryThing 17 days ago
This book should come with a warning lable: read only if you want to be totally depressed about how cruel people can be. I read it in one sitting and could barely sleep that night. "Alice" is so scared, so scarred, so twisted by her ordeal, that it was clear to me she could never live a normal life. Which the author took care of neatly at the end.A Robert Cormier type story that we know could happen but really, why would you want to read about all this pain?