Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Living Dead Girl

Scott, Elizabeth. 2008. Living Dead Girl.

Just when you thought Elizabeth Scott was getting to be predictable...along comes LIVING DEAD GIRL. To clarify, I love, love, love Elizabeth Scott. I have happily read and gushed about her first three books: Bloom, Perfect You, and Stealing Heaven.

If I had just a handful of words to describe Living Dead Girl, they'd be: powerful, haunting, and unputdownable.

It is the story of a girl caught in a nightmare. "Alice." A girl who at the age of ten was reborn.
Get up.
Those were the first words I ever heard.
Open my eyes, see a girl, black and blue all over, dried blood along her thighs. Red brown stains smeared across the hairless juncture between.
"Get up and take a bath, Alice," the man in the blue shirt said, and Alice did.
I did.
That's how I was born. Naked, hairless, covered in blood like all babies.
Named, bathed, and then taken out into the world. (20)
Kidnapped by a pedophile during a class field trip, Alice has endured the unthinkable for five years. Now she's fifteen, five foot seven, and a hundred pounds. Her time is running out, she knows this, she wasn't the first Alice. But it is in how she lives--her world, her thoughts, her decisions--that will haunt you most of all. Suspenseful, dark, and very chilling. Definitely not for everyone. But if you can go to the dark side, if you can walk in her shoes for a bit, it is really something.

Scott's writing is incredible. If I were in charge of handing out awards, one would be heading her way. Her book is amazingly haunting. It just resonates with feeling, emotion. The mood might be dark. The ending bittersweet, but oh-what-a-book.

In previous posts, I've compared Elizabeth Scott to Sarah Dessen. She may not realize it, but that is high praise, very high praise coming from me. Some people may think that Stephenie Meyer is the "perfect" writer. But for me, Sarah Dessen, has always provided the most satisfying of reads. But with her fourth novel, Living Dead Girl, new comparisons must be made. Alice Sebold. Nancy Werlin. Gail Giles. Laura Wiess.

I read an ARC of this. It isn't due to be published until September, I believe. As I'm quoting from this ARC, be aware that there could be changes between this and the final published version.

Another review: Reader Rabbit,

If you've read this one, please let me know and I'll add your link to the list.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Debi said...

Wow...this sounds incredible. Thanks Becky!

Stephanie said...

Wonderful! I'm always looking for new authors and I'm intrigued. I'm reserving this novel as we speak. Thanks!

Charlotte said...

Hi Becky,

Sounds like this one would be right at home with many of the books from last year's YA nominations for the Cybils! (in general, there seem to be fewer of these dark books this year, but maybe I've just missed them...)

kate.o.d said...

hi becky, i'm new to your blog. i searched for reviews of this book specifically, to see what other reactions were.

i am really, really reluctant to recommend this book to anyone. i agree with you, it is powerful and engrossing, compelling even. i also thought of the lovely bones while reading.

but. i think this book is too dark, with an extremely disturbing ending that i don't believe is appropriate. i don't want to ruin it for future readers, but just wanted to know what you thought. i am concerned that there is no hope in the conclusion.

EP said...

Hey Becky!

I'm new to your blog and I came across your review for Living Dead Girl.

And I agree with you. The first book by Elizabeth Scott that I read was Stealing Heaven and I couldn't help but wonder that her and Sarah Dessen's writing style were quite alike.=D

Am planning to read/buy this book of hers!

Beth F said...

I just finished writing my review for this -- and yes you have described this very hard to describe book perfectly. This was my first Scott book, but won't be my last.