Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Challenge 49 ~ “A book with antonyms in the title.”

living dead girl

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Living Dead Girl was, to me, one of those books where I was unsure as to what to think of the book. It was both hauntingly realistic, and a little too fake. A well-handled, delicate theme and a black and white portrayal. The only thing I was definitely certain of, was that it was nothing like I had anticipated. And probably not in the best way, either.

Child abduction, rape and abuse are not the easiest of topics to address in a fictional novel, and yet Scott handles these with delicacy, finesse and grace. On many occasions the accuracy of Scott’s depiction draws some chilling similarities to real-life, adding a cold reality to the novel and demonstrating Scott’s awareness of the topic, and literary skill. The ending was also handled well, and whilst being abrupt, was appropriate for a novel of such nature.

At the same time, however, Scott’s portrayal was limited and (at times) a little disjointed. Everything about the novel was presented in black and white, with a straightforward plot and predictable characters who offered little to no development. Alice’s character saw a change over the novel, but this felt far from realistic – the Alice portrayed in the opening character was not one I felt capable of Alice’s actions further into the novel, but it is hard to determine which Alice was Alice. Scott seemingly rectified this nearer the end of the novel, but failed to offer any real justification to this sudden character change.

Scott’s novel, Living Dead Girl, offers a mature and respectful handling of some difficult topics, which are usually addressed in young-adult fiction through an entirely different lens. This graceful handling and well-research content shows great literary promise from Scott’s work, but in this novel this is betrayed by a predictable plot and characters who lack development. Like my opinion on the novel, my thoughts on Scott are also torn – on the one hand I am eager to see whether the literary skills are prevalent without such a delicate topic, but at the same time I am afraid without such a well-researched plot there will be no silver-lining to be found in the novel.

Recommended for fans of:

  • Blood Family by Anne Fine
  • All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry
  • Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan

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