Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Finished: Aug. 12, 2008
First Published: Sept. 16, 2008
Genre: YA, realistic fiction
Reason for Reading: I received this ARC from Simon & Schuster. At the time I requested it I was reading Say Goodbye which deals with the same topic from the victim's point of view, only it is a boy instead of a girl. I was intrigued in what a YA book on the topic would be like. I do not usually read teen realistic fiction. My YA tendencies are more towards fantasy, sci-fi and historical.
This is how things look: Shady Pines Apartments, four shabby buildings tucked off the road near the highway.
Comments: This is an immensely powerful and disturbing story told from the point of view of a fifteen-year old who was abducted by a pedophile at the age of ten. It describes in detail what her daily life is like and the brief memories she has before abduction. The book is brutal and graphic The graphic detail does stop at the point that would push it into adult reading, so while events are described very clearly so there can be no mistake as to what is happening, much is left to the imagination.
This is a book I would recommend every adult read. It is a difficult book to read but it makes one aware of the signs displayed by an abducted child. I don't know the statistics but we are all aware that many children are abducted each year, no body found, lost to their loved ones forever. This book makes you aware of the signs to watch for. The girl in the book, renamed Alice by the abductor, walked around in public with the man as well as on her own and could have been saved many times had someone recognized and acted upon it. In this situation, a false accusation can be cleared up quickly, while if suspicions are proved true, a life can be saved and a family reunited. For this I think the book serves it purpose.
As stated it is a difficult book to read but compelling and a page-turner. However, I am concerned that it is marketed to teens. The book says ages 16+, yet the book is going to be available on the shelves to YA's much younger and I would not recommend the book be read by any teen who is not s*xually active as the details are too blunt and brutal. Even though the book is short, easy to read and contains a teen main character I do not think that necessarily makes the book appropriate to teens.
The book is disturbing but true to life, the writing is brilliant, the pace is fast and the whole book beginning to end is deeply sad. I highly recommend this book to adults.