As I was searching the high school library for another “bullying” book to prepare for The Truth About Alice book club meeting, I stumbled upon living dead girl (2008) by Elizabeth Scott. This book takes “bullying” to a whole new hemisphere, and is really about a perverted (and obviously psychotic) middle aged man, Ray, who kidnaps young girls and sexually molests them. The reader learns this fact on page 4 of the novel, and frankly I wanted to slam the book shut and throw it across the room! That is not what I was expecting from reading the back of the book! However, I persevered even though the story is terrifying, and I wonder how many children are really living in this condition?!
This story is told from the first person point of view of Ray’s current girl whom he names “Alice.” She was kidnapped at the age of 10 when she was on a fieldtrip at the zoo with her class. He mentally and physically abuses her and breaks her spirit by threatening to kill her parents if she runs away or reveals him. He has her pretend to be his daughter when in public, but by the time she is 15, she is too old to attract him anymore. Ray has Alice plan to kidnap a new young girl. He targets a 6 year old at the park; Alice knows her destiny (like the “Alice” before her) is death.
The ending left me questioning what actually happens to “Alice”; only one thing is certain and I was so relieved!
It is difficult to recommend this novel, though once I started I could not stop reading. Other books about kidnapping that I have read and also left me completely disturbed are: Circle Nine by Anne Heltzel (2011), and Stolen by Lucy Christopher (2009).