Saturday, October 2, 2010

Banned/Challenged Book: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
ARC, 170 pages
Date Published: September 2, 2008

Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
Once upon a time I was a little girl who disappeared.
Once upon a time my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time I didn't know how lucky I was.

When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.

Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.

This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.
Challenged, but retained at Helen Matthes Library in Effingham, Illinois in 2009. Was challenged because of graphic content.
Source
Living Dead Girl cannot be easily summed up with a few words and a passing review. It is so much more than its 150+ pages. The best way to describe it is chilling, haunting, disturbing, terrifyingly real and brutally honest.

Once upon a time Alice had a normal life, a normal family, normal friends and wasn’t abused daily by a man named Ray. All that changed when she was kidnapped from a field trip to the aquarium. Now she’s abused sexually, physically, verbally, and any other way possible. Her life is hell.

Reading this book is like walking on glass. Every step, every page, hurts. Alice’s pain digs a little deeper into you every time you turn the page, until you feel like you’re there bleeding along with her.

Scott does not hold back and that makes this book a very difficult read. Not everyone will be able to get through it because of the subject matter and the harshly graphic nature of it, but the fact is that the things depicted in the book happen all the time. It’s horrible, but it happens.

This may be the only book I’ve read for the ‘Banned Books Reading Challenge’ that I almost understand the extreme censorship that some people try to impose. A lot of people would not and will not want their children exposed to it, but like I’ve been saying, one person’s beliefs should not be pushed upon others and what is not appropriate for one person may be perfectly fine for another.

Living Dead Girl is a chillingly beautiful exploration into the mind of a kidnapped girl who is told to never grow up, yet can never truly be a child after all she has gone through. Alice is difficult to relate to because of the circumstances, but it’s impossible not to empathize and care for her. I was unable to put the book down, but I was terrified to know what would happen next. Alice’s story will never leave me, as it never should.

Opening line: This is how things look: Shady Pines Apartments, four shabby buildings tucked off the road near the highway. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line(s): 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. ~ pg. 5

*This is the ARC version and words, sentences, cover art, etc. may have changed before official publication
 *This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

1 comments:

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Oh, my goodness -- I've seen this around and I've always wanted to pick it up. I do think sometimes a very graphic image can be difficult to handle, but I also think it allows the reader to understand that there is truly danger out there, and much more than what a young person may think is out there -- young people always tend to have that feeling of invincibility, and sometimes these types of books allow dialogue and thought to come through. And I'm all about dialogue!

I'll need to pick this one up for sure -- graphic can be tough to handle, but I'd really like to see how it's written. A great review!

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