By: Stephanie Caballero
Warning: Before reading please note that this book involves topics such as sexual assault, pedophelia, eating disorders, and abuse. Only eating disorders and abuse are discussed in this review.
This review/summary includes spoilers.
‘Living Dead Girl’ by Elizabeth Scott is a young adult novel. We follow the story of Kyla, known as Alice, through the book. Alice is 15 and currently living with her abductor. Alice was taken at the age of 10 by Ray. Ever since that day, she has had to forget her entire life before Ray.
During her time with Ray Alice has to endure many types of abuse. To keep the appearance that Ray likes she has to maintain a frail body and less than 90 pounds. Alice struggles to keep that weight as she is a growing 15-year-old. When she is able to go out she sneaks food that ends up being thrown up.
Alice’s appearance matters a lot as it’s what keeps her from being punished or killed by Ray. She is to maintain a child’s body, shave every hair that grows on her body, and stay feminine. The punishments she received for not being to his liking were things such as standing for days or being starved.
Alice (Kyla) is not the first Alice; Ray has abducted many other kids/teens before her who he also named Alice. Most Alice’s end up dead after the age of 15-16 then he gets a new Alice.
Although Alice is given much freedom and opportunity to escape, one thing keeps her from not doing so, is her family. From the moment when she was kidnapped to now, Ray has always had power over her by telling her that if she escapes he will kill her entire family.
Alice is given false hope by Ray by saying that he has never had a favorite Alice but her. He tells her that soon he will get a new Alice which makes Alice (Kyla) happy even if it means she will die. As the time approaches for a new Alice, Alice begins to grow excited, she is happy that he will capture a new girl and that she won’t have to play into Ray’s fantasy anymore. She says to Ray that she will find him a new Alice and will shape the future Alice to be as perfect as she is.
Alice finds a little girl who she thinks will be perfect to play into Ray’s fantasy. She begins to hang out with her at the park every day more and more to try to get closer to her. When Kyla and Ray are about to capture her, Kyla begins to remember everything she went through which causes her to not want to give the little girl up.
In the end, Kyla ends up stopping Ray, leading to both his and her death. Kyla is at peace with herself in her final moments, not regretting her decisions and finally going against Ray.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to people who enjoy reading graphic things and about crime. Once again, please note that this book does involve topics such as sexual assault, pedophelia, eating disorders, and abuse. This book is a tough one to read, but definitely worth it.
Overall, I would give it a 8/10 as I liked how at the end Alice accepted that what she went through was difficult and that she didn’t need to put someone else through it. I would have given it a 10/10 if we had gotten more background about Ray and his past victims.