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Monday, November 16, 2009

Book Review: Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Workout Song of the Day: "Closer" by Ne-Yo

Side note: Yes, today is supposed to be my weekly weigh-in day, but I've decided to take advice from one of my devoted commenters and change it to Wednesday. That way I can work off the personal pizza that I ate this weekend while I watched things blow up in 2012.

As my devoted followers may know (cricket sounds may now commence), I have decided to delve into the world of YA. When I was told that there was such a thing as edgy YA, I rolled my eyes. What's so edgy about skipping school to meet up with a boy? How foolish of me.

Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl is so edgy that I practically cut myself while reading it (yes, paper cuts do hurt. A lot.). I have to admit, I was a little thrown off by the title, which shares the same moniker as a Rob Zombie song. I was expecting something in the same vein as one of his movies (needless to say, I wasn't thrilled by this possibility--yet I was surprisingly fond of the Halloween remake), but I was in for a complete surprise. The story follows a girl named "Alice" (read the story to find out why her name is in quotation marks) who is kidnapped right before her 10th birthday. For the past 5 years, she has been under the supervision of a monster named Ray, who withholds food from her and forces her to get waxed down there in order to maintain her girly innocence. Alice even has to slouch when she's around him to stunt her growing frame. Things get even more disturbing when Alice agrees to find a new "Alice" for Ray; the internal and external conflicts that arise from this decision will leave you gasping for air.

What's most haunting about LDG is Scott's subtlety. Readers are able to share Alice's horrible experiences, but are not subjected to vulgar language or descriptions. Believe me, I can handle obscene--after all, I am a fan of Brett Easton Ellis--but in this case, less is more. The implications of what Alice has to endure still sends a shiver down my spine--mainly because it's up to the readers to paint the actual images in their own heads.

I read this book in a few hours, and I have the urge to pick it up and read it again. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, but Scott's prose completely captures the mindset of a pedophile--how he/she makes excuses for their unspeakable acts. LDG is definitely not for the weak at hard, but for all those readers who think that YA is just about swooning for some unattainable guy.

My rating: 5 out of 5 Cookies (Yes, cookies. I don't like stars. You can't eat stars.)


Glamour177 said...

Wow, that book sounds like it will give me nightmares! Have you read "Break" by Hannah Moskowitz yet? I believe it would be considered an edgy YA. I would be interested on your take. Honestly, I wasn't so impressed, but she must be doing something right, because I think she is represented by Nathan Bransford.

Pam Harris said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I actually have heard of "Break"--I think I placed it on my list of possible must-reads. I think the author is really young--like an actual teenager. Which, out of jealousy, makes me want to roll my eyes since I haven't even gotten a short story published yet. :) But once I read, I'll definitely post my review up here.

V said...

Every time I read something like that, I finish it and stare at a wall for like an hour. So in order to conserve precious time, I've been avoiding the "edgier" books in favor of things that won't scare the living daylights out of me. But still, sounds interesting.