Alice lives with Ray. She wasn't always called Alice; there was an Alice before her and there will be an Alice after her. She knows there is no way out except to die, and she's sure she has figured out how that will happen.
Elizabeth Scott's short novel Living Dead Girl is a difficult book to read, but you won't want to stop reading. You'll likely finish it in one sitting, perhaps because Alice has no one and it seems somehow wrong to abandon her.
What kind of child gets abducted? Why doesn't that child try to escape? Scott's novel addresses these questions and more. Alice herself has few explanations for how the stupid girl she used to be ended up with Ray, but she knows exactly what keeps her living in hell, despite being aware that her days are numbered. She barely eats, but she can't stop growing.
The older she gets, the less appealing she becomes to Ray. The less appealing she becomes, the more she thinks about the other Alices--past and future. She wonders if her parents remember her and if they would still love her after everything Ray has made her do.
You may not agree with Alice's choices, but you will absolutely be affected by her story. Scott takes you into Alice's life, and Alice will remain in your head and heart for a long time. You'll want to talk about her.
The recommended target audience for Scott's novel is age 16 and up. I believe in letting children read what they want, and Living Dead Girl is no exception. This is an important and powerful novel. Simon Pulse has put together a reading guide geared to teachers, but parents and book clubs should also look at the questions and activities.
This is the first Scott book I've read, and I am not surprised by the number of awards and nominations Living Dead Girl has earned. The Simon Pulse website includes several videos of Scott talking about the novel. This one contains no spoilers but will give you a bit of the history behind the book.
I listened to the unabridged audiobook (Brilliance Audio) read by Kate Reinders, who did an amazing job portraying the teenage Alice. The emotional intensity of the novel was enhanced by Reinders's performance.
I am currently exploring the rest of Scott's novels. For more on Elizabeth Scott, visit her website and blog.
For the audiobook, see the far right sidebar.
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