Literature: Living Dead Girl

A novel written by Elizabeth Scott. Surprisingly has nothing to do with zombies or ghosts, despite what the title may have you think.

The book is narrated by Alice, a 15-year-old girl who lives with a man named Ray, in a place called Shady Pines Apartments. The preceding statement might seem innocuous enough, without including such minor details as Ray's repeated sexual assault, starvation and beatings of Alice.

It turns out that Ray is not Alice's father, as it would seem to anyone looking in from the outside, but a pedophile who took her away from her family when she was only 10.

As the book progresses, Alice finds that Ray would like to have a family, another little girl for him to "love". It turns out that the task of finding this girl is up to Alice. Most of the book follows Alice's attempts to find a way to get Ray to focus on this new girl and get back home to her family.

This book provides examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Adults definitely notice something off with Alice, but not anything off with Ray, and they just chalk up Alice's oddities to her having problems.
  • Broken Bird: Alice.
  • Churchgoing Villain: Ray.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jake.
  • Downer Ending: Can be interpreted this way. Alice gets shot along with Ray, and it's implied she dies because of it. On the plus side, though, Alice is finally freed from Ray.
    • Another plus is that Ray himself is killed. Even better, Alice- or rather, Kyla- saved another little girl from suffering the same horrible fate she did. Given that Ray would have definitely kept, uh, acquiring little girls to join his "family," the world can rejoice that he bit the bullet. So it can also be interpreted as a Bittersweet Ending.
  • Driven to Suicide: The previous Alice tried to commit suicide with a razor blade, but Ray caught her. This is why he doesn't let Alice shave.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Ray thinks that all little girls should like princesses.
  • First-Person Smartass: Alice has her moments.
  • Freudian Excuse: Ray's mother did to him what he does to Alice.
  • No Name Given/Known Only by Their Nickname: Up until the last few pages, Alice is only known by the name Ray gave her (Alice), and it is not until the end that we learn that her real name is Kyla Davis.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: A very horrifying and sickening example. Because Ray is a pedophile, he isn't happy about Alice being on the cusp of puberty. To combat this, he starves her, robbing Alice's body of the nutrients it needs to develop. Thanks to this, Alice spends the entire novel in a perpetual state of hunger and obsesses about food. Ray also forces her to wax all of the hair off her body and shoves her into clothing that is meant for girls half her age.
  • Plucky Girl: Lucy.