Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Book Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Add It: Goodreads
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Living Dead Girl is an extremely hard novel to read and rate. No one could call this book enjoyable. The subject matter is extremely rough and there is no easy or comfortable way to approach it. Kidnapping, rape, and child abuse are things that crawl under the skin and a book written about them has to unnerve you. It has to make you cringe and ache, because we live in a world where these things really happen, and that is impossible to stomach. This novel is very short but it felt like it took forever to read. I wanted it to be over. I recommend reading it in one sitting so that you do not have to think about going back to it, because you won't want to.
I've watched a lot of Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit and all of those episodes combined didn't affect me as badly as this one little book did. That just speaks to the power and possibilities of literature as a storytelling medium, I think, because it placed us inside the head of the victim herself, and that is a very terrifying and ugly place to be. Years of abuse will change and reshape the brain of anyone and make the victim's actions seem almost incomprehensible to outsiders because they haven't been in that situation. They haven't been forced to do things to survive. I thought this book did a very good job of showing what it is like to be inside the head of someone who has been through these sorts of horrific things.
In the end, I wished there had been more hope, but we live in a world where sometimes there is no happy ending or resolution, and that's just the sad truth.
I'd recommend this book with a great many trigger warnings.