Do you ever get to the end of a book and think Wow, that was depressing?
At the tender age of 10, “Alice” was kidnapped and imprisoned by a paedophile, who has spent the last 5 years abusing her, keeping her body as child-like as possible to fulfill his twisted desires. Alice is a broken, hollowed-out young woman who has nothing left to live for. Elizabeth Scott‘s Living Dead Girl was 170 pages of pure misery and I didn’t want to put it down.
The cover is what initially drew me to this book. It’s simple and stunning. After reading about the plot and sampling the reviews on Goodreads for a while, I added it to my Kindle and spent a few weeks umming and awwing about whether to read it. Living Dead Girl is classed as YA or NA, depending on where you look and books of these genres tend to be a bit on the juvenile side. It has its moments, but they are necessary to the character, as you will discover. I can’t lie, I do tend to read a lot of stories about abuse and other taboo subjects, especially in the YA genre as they tend to be less harsh than their adult counterparts.
I read it this evening whilst doing my hair after a shower and found myself sitting at my dressing table over an hour after I’d put my straighteners away, unable to stop reading. It’s short, to the point and the language flows as thoughts do, not necessarily in order, as if you are reading from a diary. I enjoyed Elizabeth Scott’s writing style. It really makes you get into the head of Alice, forcing you to live through the bleakness that is her day-to-day. Not many writers of YA books can do this long after you’ve left your teen years. I don’t know about anyone else, but I struggle to remember what 15 was like, other than general hormonal misery.
The story is not easy to read, and although it is not overtly descriptive of certain acts, there is enough information there to know what our protagonist is going through. Overall, I thought the subject matter was dealt with perfectly; delicately, yet honestly. It’s not as brutal in language as other books such as Lolita, or Don’t Breathe a Word, but the points are put across in a way that made me feel sick to my stomach.
My only complaint is the ending, which I can’t discuss without ruining it for anyone thinking about reading Living Dead Girl. As I said in the beginning of my review, its depressing. It’s painful to read and although slightly predictable, still gut wrenching. So give it a go, its not a long read and it might surprise you.