I read this book in one sitting. It was so sad. So depressing. It’s only 170 pages and some chapters are only one or two sentences in length…but this definitely was NOT a kids book to read. It is a story that will leave you thinking about it and how it effects your own life. Will it make you observe the children you see a little more closely? Will it make you more paranoid about watching your own even more?
Title: Living Dead Girl
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Summary (by Goodreads):
Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.
Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time, I didn’t know how lucky I was.
When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.
Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.
This is Alice’s story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.
As I mentioned above, this is NOT a YA fiction. It deals with kidnapping, child abuse, and rape.
That being said, it was a horrific tale and I was heart broken after reading it. How many children in the world does this happen to? Could I ever be accused of neglecting to see something? Did a child ever try to do anything to ask for help and I didn’t see it or didn’t want to “intrude”?
This is a story is written from the perspective of the child who is abducted. She was ten at the time and got separated from her class at an aquarium where a strange man told her he would help her find her classmates…he ultimately puts a ball cap on her and kidnaps her. She explains how no one sees her. Running away only means he would find her again, punish her, and he claims he would go back to her home to kill her parents; so she’s a good girl because she doesn’t want her parents to die because she was bad. How twisted of a person is that to convince a child that unless they’re good…their parents will die?
The first chapter is written from the perspective of a casual observance of a passerby. “She walks slowly across the lot, trailing behind her father, who waits patiently for her to get to the building door, holding it open even though he’s carrying all the bags. She doesn’t even say thank you, but what can you expect? Kids never know how good they have it.” [page 2] Why would they assume she’s not his child? Why would they feel the need to tell the poor girl to stand up straight? She’s not screaming help…she’s now a typical, seemingly ungrateful, teenager.
It’s so eery to read this book knowing that there are children out there possibly living this nightmare and it makes me furious that I just want to label it as a possibility and not really force myself to realize that it could be happening within my own apartment complex. Maybe I’m taking it too far. Maybe I’m overreaching. But the other side to that is not really realizing it’s happening and not caring.
Even though it’s such a short book…it’s a story that will stick with you and keep you thinking about it for a while.