Living Dead Girl is a young adult novel written by Elizabeth Scott. The story follows a girl called "Alice" who has been kidnapped by a pedophile named Ray. Living Dead Girl book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared. Once upo. Fans of Scott's YA romances Perfect You or Bloom may be unprepared for the unrelieved terror within this chilling novel.
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"Some books are read and put away. Others demand to be talked about. Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl will be talked about." -- Ellen Hopkins, New York. —Horn Book “Some books are read and put away. Others demand to be talked about. Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl will be talked about.” —Ellen Hopkins. This is one of the most upsetting and disturbing books I've ever read. I added Living Dead Girl to my TBR on Goodreads years ago so when I.
All I have to do is be good. Morning television is boring, all bad news and infomercials, but at nine the talk shows start. I lie on the sofa and look at the ceiling. There are always shower scenes in them, shots of the women scrubbing their abuse or grief away.
Ray makes me shower once a week, and I hate coming out of the bathroom. The thing is, you can get used to anything.
You just are. My head itches, and I scratch it until the undersides of my fingernails are bright red. I flick the blood and dead bits of my head onto the floor, and get up to take my pills. The one for pimples dries out my skin, and makes the sun blotch me angry red.
The one to prevent my period does just that, and although the ads on TV say it just makes your period less painful, I never get mine. I only got my period once, late last year, and Ray got so angry he took out a knife and made me sit on a chair in the corner of the living room.
He looked at me for a long, long time, and then tied me to the chair and left me there until the bleeding stopped. Food and water once a day, a trip to the bathroom each morning and night. One time, I stood up and blood dripped down my leg and onto the carpet and he threw up.
And then he rubbed my face in it. When the bleeding stopped he made me scrub myself, the chair, the carpet all around it, and then he threw the chair out and gave me the pills. He keeps the newspaper clippings from when the police found her body, from the funeral and afterward. Sometimes when he reads them he touches the picture of her in the article, black and white photo of a little lost girl, and cries. Head on my lap, breath hot on my thighs. I say yes for her.
I say yes and used to figure out how many days until I was fifteen while he hunched over me. The audience is always so excited, so happy with all the misery. Sometimes the shows will have on older women with lost eyes and round faces who cry about being abused when they were younger. The women usually crumple, shed their flesh shells, and become quivering living dead girls, trapped. You should have fought back.
You should have known no one has that kind of power. You should have been strong. The women nod and sniffle. They are still broken.
They still agree with everything anyone wants. Even the ones who try to explain end up with their heads down, their hands in their laps. All our fault, always. They have power too. I look out the window at the empty parking lot. Everyone who lives in Shady Pines Apartments works. Everyone has a busy job, long days, and comes home tired. The third was a woman. She was old, bent and wrinkly, and walked with a cane. She said I should be in school and asked what I was studying when I said my father taught me at home.
She sometimes pooped herself and had a daughter, worried-looking and angry, come and take her away three months after she moved in. The old woman told Ray he was an abomination as she left, but then she also said that to the mailman and the three little boys playing on the sidewalk. Her apartment was rented by the Indian family, a man, a woman, and four little girls. I thought Ray might like the girls but he said they were ugly dark and had bad teeth. I see them in the hall sometimes, and they never look at me.
They know I am wrong, and stay away. Craig was with Emily before, but now he loves Henna and I think next he will love Susan. I love soap operas. I would never have to eat or even be hungry. I would always be listened to. I rub his back and feet while he watches the judge shows that come on before the news. Anyone can tell that guy is lying.
Classic sign. They had no idea how much she loved me. Hands on my throat. So selfish. You know what she used to do to me when I did it?
Parent reviews for Living Dead Girl
He lets go a little so I can nod. Because he knows I will. I am not strong; I cannot stop him or even slow him down. I can only wait until he gets so tired of me that he lets me die and moves on. How we are all sin. Held him down, rubbed him raw, broke him open.
I let Ray have his nightmares, watch him thrash and listen to his voice squeak with fear. I lie there and watch him and wish he was trapped back there, with her, and had never broken free. But his mother died when he was eighteen, burned to death because she fell asleep smoking a cigarette. Ray got an insurance check from the church school where she worked as a secretary and moved away. He met the first Alice a year later.
His mother never smoked. She seemed the type to do that. Ray stares at little girls and I stare at the food , and feel my heart cramp.
It will be over soon, finally, but the thing about hearts is that they always want to keep beating. A family. Let me watch out for a little girl of our own? Let me take care of her?
Help me teach her everything she needs to know? He shivers into me, grinning sharper. You screamed. And now look at you. Happy as can be. He is not letting me go. He wants me to stay.
He wants me to find a girl for him. For us. I will find him one, a beautiful little stupid girl, as dumb as the one at Daisy Lane used to be, and show her to him.
He will want her, with her little limbs and happy face and solid, live flesh. She will become the new Alice, and he will want her so much he will forget all about me. Kill me to teach her a lesson, probably, and then move on. Yes, that is what will happen.
What must happen. You want to teach our girl everything I like. This new me. Ray has given me bus fare and told me the name of a park he wants me to go see.
It is close to the apartment but not too close, a short ride in his truck but a long ride on the bus, and he tells me to remember everything I see. I get to the park after sitting on two buses, and blink at all the people there. So many of them, and all so young. I will never remember everything but find a bench that has bags and backpacks tossed in a stack near it anyway, watch kids run over and pull out snacks and drinks, trailing crumbs everywhere.
I try to focus, but the world is dizzy, spinning as I think of what I will find here. The new me. She has to be just right. She has to make him forget everything. Or at least me. I take a breath, to slow the world down, and look. I look and see a girl there. And there. And over there. I grab a notebook, pick up a pencil. The first girl is blond and a little chubby, a thumb sucker.
Ray would like teaching her not to do that. I carefully write down blonde and thumb. She has a babysitter or mother, though, a woman who brings her a foil-wrapped package that the girl bats away, annoyed. But still. They would scream and kick, I can tell. Ray would like that too. I write scream and kick, 2, and then sit with my face turned toward the sun.
Tracing over the big frog sticker. My dad gave it to me for my birthday. I lean over and pick up half the pencil from under the bench.
I write ALICE in large letters on the page, then tear it out and leave the notebook on the bench, half the broken pencil beside it. I have found the new me. I think about her all the way home, how she will cry and scream and plead just like I did. It makes me smile. Everyone on the bus who sees me smile looks away. But no one says anything. No one will see you. No one will say anything. No one will save you.
I know what the once upon a time stories say, but they lie. Look at that, four life lessons.
Now you owe me. Later, he lets me eat the burned bit of his TV dinner meatloaf while he watches two doctors argue over how to treat a dying boy.
I imagine her melting, real light coming out of her, flame bright. That would be a real fairy godmother thing to do.
That was how he dressed me for years, until the dresses strained open across my hips and chest, until my arms came out strangled red from the binding sleeves.
Being greedy is bad. Like you tonight, eating that meat. And even if he decorated my neck with a ring of fingerprints and left me lying in the street, no one would notice. Not in Shady Pines, where everyone is busy working to keep their kids fed, their bills barely paid. Not anywhere, because I am nothing, unseen. I learned that the hard way.
I woke up at some point, broken and bruised, Ray asleep snoring on top of me. I wiggled like a fish and slipped out from under him, throwing on a neat pile of clothes lying on a table.
Little-girl-who-had-creamsoda-lip-gloss clothes. Normal little girl clothes. Across the street was a gas station, the kind with a store that sold food and had people. I ran. There were no cars, but inside a woman sat behind a big sheet of plastic, chewing gum and watching TV. She had dark hair, like my mother, and as soon as I saw her I started to cry. She looked up, and I waited for her to get up. To come and save me. You over at pump eight? I cried harder, words finally starting to come, rising up as I realized I had to get her to listen, to see what was really happening.
He took me to his car. He had a car then, a white one with a narrow backseat that I can still see even with my eyes wide open, and to this day TV where people twist around each other in cars makes something inside me scream and I have to change the channel or stay very still and not let Ray see that I hurt because my pain makes him want to hold me.
Hurt me more.
I sat in the car and he paid for gas and we drove away and he pulled over onto a long wooded road and raised his fists, then pain inside and out blurring everything, breaking everything. After that, I was Alice. I am Alice, and Ray dreams in the night, happy dreams that wake him up and make him roll me over, my head pressed into the pillow. Suffocation looks so easy but no matter how hard I press my face down, no matter how I try to breathe in fabric, not air, there is no escape for me.
He sleeps with one arm thrown across me after, and I lie stinging sharp all over, a wet sticky puddle under me. Soon there will be a little girl here, a real one with tiny arms and legs for Ray to push into. I want him to take her tomorrow. I want that little girl here now, where I am. If he takes everyone and everything, every child from every place.
I just want him to leave me. There is no one around so I pour bleach right onto the spot, watch the yellow and brown-red stain ooze, let the sharp burning smell of the bleach cramp the inside of my head. I clean too, because Ray likes a clean house, dusting and vacuuming and picking up the socks he leaves around the apartment like little smelly snakes, curling them into his laundry basket.
I get tired during, the room spinning around and around, and lie on the floor listening to the refrigerator and my heart beating loud and fast, thumpthumpthump in my chest.
Eat my yogurt, sour taste on my tongue, container warm in my hand. The refrigerator is angry with me too. I go get the sheets out of the dryer and steal four quarters someone has left on top of the washing machine. What if someone saw me eating and told Ray? He says hello to the people around us, casual waves and occasional chats about the weather.
Before that, her little boys often had split lips and black and blue stained legs, and they stayed home from school, playing in the laundry room, more than they ever went. No one ever said a word to her either. Ray fed me more often then, though. I stop at a gas station on the way to the park, peanut butter crackers paid for and stuffed in my mouth, one two three four five six. The woman behind the counter had dark hair but no one reminds me of my mother anymore. I will have to tell Ray there are cops around.
He will not like that. He will not like the two little girls anymore, either.
They have seen things, I can tell from their screams, and they will spot him right away. They both look at me when they leave, dragged out by an older boy with fuzz above his upper lip and dirt under his fingernails. No, they will not do. They are rattling hollow under their scowling eyes, life being drained out of them already.
Living Dead Girl
Ray will not want that. He will want someone whose eyes need to be opened. I look for the little blond girl, the thumb sucker, but she is not there. I only see notebook girl, the bossy thing who actually spoke to me.
She is sitting on the swings, eyes vacant as she looks up into the sky. He is looking at me like how boys look at the girls who live below us when they talk to them on the stairs, hands under their shirts as the girls giggle and then pretend they want to stop when they see me. He is skinny, with long bony fingers. His breath smells like pizza.
Ray used to let me eat pizza. I remember the taste of cheese, of pepperoni, grease on my lips. Guess I should have said that before. He grins, nervous. See his gums, they are pink-red, shiny. He takes my hand, walks me to his car. Long walk, car in the back of the parking lot, shadowed by trees. All alone. Hiding place. There is a piece of sidewalk, broken, right beside it. There has been one other boy. It was when I was fourteen, right after Ray put me on the pill.
He whistled at me when I walked to the bathroom at the back of the supermarket, Ray telling me to hurry up while he waited in line at the pharmacy counter for his cholesterol pills.
The whistling boy came up to me by the bathroom and asked if I wanted company. He had bright red pimples, angry oozing sores, all over his face, and when I said yes he blinked and turned like he was going to run away until I dropped to my knees in front of him.
I did it because he was so surprised-looking and because his skin was so angry-looking and because I saw he saw my eyes and thought about running. I did it because he was nothing. I did it because I wished Ray had used the knife instead of tying me to a chair.
Ray saw my mouth when I came back and knew. Both my little fingers have crooked knuckles now, and ache before it rains. I do not take the pills Jake offers, I know nothing can take away the world. I just push him down into his seat and open his zipper.
He is looking at me, glassy-eyed still, but something in my face changes that, makes his expression shift, go alarmed. Almost frightened. That this was nothing to me, that his want was not mine. Is not mine.
I lean in, staring at his eyes more closely. His face turns red. I smile to let him know I know his word is nothing, and he shivers, glassy eyes blinking fast. I watch him go, then circle around and stand by a cluster of trees almost out of sight of the swings.
Lucy is still staring at the clouds. Still dreaming. Jake comes back for her later, face smoothed out, the pills I saw him take swimming through him. She is still watching the sky. He just waits, hands shoved in his pockets, shoulders hunched, and eventually she looks away from the clouds and walks, turning in wide circles and telling stories, out of the park.
I walk to the bus stop and wait. I can only see his reaction when I tell him my plan. I can dream of it inside me, opening me up and closing me down. Alice, I expected better from you.
Helen and Glenn. She is now 15, and is still living with Ray, her abductor. They pose as father and daughter, though they have no connections to anyone in the outside world. During this time, he has deprived her of food in order to keep her frozen in her childlike body, dresses her in childlike clothing, and has raped her every day.
Ray also makes her sit in a chair as punishment when she is "bad". Alice refers to herself as the "Living Dead Girl": She is numb on the inside and is looking forward to the day when Ray will finally kill her, like he did the girl that he had abducted before her, the "First Alice". Ray had kept the First Alice until she was fifteen and her body had begun to mature. He then killed her and dumped her body, which was later found, but he had never been suspected.
Alice now hopes for death, rather than for escape. Since the day he had taken her, he had threatened that if she ever ran from him or tried to contact police, he would kill her parents.
By now, he has completely brainwashed her: she says, "I could run, but he would find me. He would take me back to Daisy Lane and make everyone who lives there pay. He would make everyone there pay even if he didn't find me. I belong to him. I'm his little girl. All I have to do is be good. How would you describe Ray?
What events in his life have made him who he is? Find passages that support your thoughts. What character s does he resemble from other literary works or films. What actors can you envision playing his role in a movie? Ray doesn't want Alice to grow up.
He starves her to keep her small and makes her wear little girls' clothing that is too small for a young adolescent girl. In what ways do you see Alice behaving childlike? In what ways is she mature? Would you call Alice naive? Why or why not? How does Alice feel about herself? What does the phrase "living dead girl" mean to her? Who does she hold responsible for the life she lives and the person she has become?
How would you describe the relationship between Alice and Ray? Does he love her? Does she care for him? Find passages to support your thoughts. Ray plans to abduct another child and sends Alice to the playground in search of a young girl. Alice finds "Annabel" and tells Ray about her. What does she think about Annabel and how does she feel about Ray kidnapping another child?
When Alice first meets Jake and accompanies him to his car, he recognizes Alice's detachment and is horrified. What does her lack of emotion suggest about who she has become? Why is she void of emotion? In what ways has she become like Ray? Jake tries to help Alice in the end. Why do you think he did so? Why did he take a gun to the park instead of reporting his suspicions to the police? A number of key phrases reoccur throughout the story.
For example, the narrator frequently repeats the phrase, "Once upon a time. Why does the author repeat the phrase? How does it influence your thoughts about Alice?Once upon a time, my name was not Alice. The desert for sure.
I am 15 now, and I keep waiting for Ray to tire of me. So what do you do? Burn down Daisy Lane after they leave and wait for the police.
She sometimes pooped herself and had a daughter, worried-looking and angry, come and take her away three months after she moved in.
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