Living Dead Girl and Room

7 Nov

Living Dead Girl is a page turning, terrifying, and fascinating novel about a girl named Alice who was abducted to serve as a sex slave for Ray.  She has lived with him for five years in a nondescript apartment complex, and everyone assumes she is his daughter.

Behind closed doors Alice must do whatever Ray wants or else he threatens to harm her family.  In addition, now that Alice is going through puberty, Ray wants her to find a “replacement”.  Alice is happy to comply, and is even eager to find someone else for Ray to victimize.

What is interesting about Living Dead Girl is it investigates why abducted children (and adults) stay with their captors even though escape seems relatively easy.  It also investigates the mental processes that serve to turn the abused into an abuser.  The author makes Alice a believable and generally sympathetic character (despite her eagerness to harm someone else), and the fast paced narrative makes it impossible to not read this book in a couple of sittings.

Nora’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Author: Elizabeth Scott.
Publisher: Simon Pulse (2009)

Another book which is not YA, but may be of interest to fans of the abduction/abuse genre is RoomRoom is told from the point of view of a five-year-old boy named Jack, who has lived his whole life with his mother in Room – an 11-foot-square room in a soundproof, escape-proof shed.  His mother was abducted and impregnated by Old Nick, a faceless presence who comes each night to “visit” his mother.  Jack is safely hidden, and is mostly innocent of what is happening.

I really can’t begin to describe how well-written Room is.  Jack’s worldview is fascinating: the room and his mother are his life, and that is enough for him.  The story has nothing too graphic (despite the subject matter), but it takes many exciting turns, and is incredibly unique.

Nora’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Author: Emma Donoghue
Publisher: Little Brown and Company (2010)

8 Responses to “Living Dead Girl and Room”

  1. shabbygeek 07. Nov, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    I read ROOM for book club last month, and I really enjoyed it. It was the first adult fic I’d read in a loooong time, and the voice of Jack was both frustrating and sweet but amazingly genuine. Definitely an unforgettable novel.

  2. Erin 08. Nov, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Room is on my list. On my shelf, actually! I’ve not heard of Living Dead Girl, but wow…it sounds tough to read.

  3. em 08. Nov, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    I still need to read both of these! I would likely need to read something a bit lighter in between.

  4. Robert Bittner 08. Nov, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    I’m definitely going to have to check these out!

  5. Joli @ Actin' Up with books 13. Nov, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Living Dead Girl was a heartbreaking read for me. The terror and fear that Alice experienced was unimaginable. This novel was so different from the other books that I have read by her.

    I haven’t read room yet, but it is on my radar for a feature read. Thanks for featuring both of these books on your blog.

  6. Candace 13. Nov, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Both of these books sound very interesting and I’ve heard good things about both of them. Good to hear more good things about them!

  7. Natalie 13. Nov, 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    Hmm…both of these sound good, but I’ve actually never heard of Room before. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! 🙂

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Love & Sex in YA Lit: THE BAD | Em & Lo: Sex. Love. And Everything in Between. - 16. Dec, 2010

    […] Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (2008) — When “Alice” was 10, she was kidnapped by Ray, a nondescript middle-aged man, and forced to be his sex slave.  Now that she is 15 and going through puberty, he’s starving Alice to slow down this process while forcing her to look for her “replacement.” This means trolling the playgrounds and choosing a suitable target.  It’s a chilling yet fascinating look at the vulnerability of children to power, control and violence — and the subsequent dehumanizing effects of such abuse. Check out our full review of Living Dead Girl on LoveYALit. […]

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