Living Dead Girl

Book review by
Common Sense Media Editors, Common Sense Media
Living Dead Girl Book Poster Image
Intense, violent story of sexually abused kidnapped girl.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 20 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A grim message that a person can endure nearly anything to survive. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Constant psychological abuse by Ray. Alice watches talk shows and wonders why people blame victims rather the abusers. Alice goes to a park to scout out girls for Ray and steals a little girl's notebook. Alice pinches younger children in her building so they will bring her cookies. No one helps Alice, despite her captor's odd behavior. Alice is willing to trade another girl's freedom for her own.


Constant abuse of a girl, Alice, by her adult male captor, Ray: numerous descriptive scenes of rape with bruises, bleeding, shoving; once Ray pushes his fingers into Alice's shoulder stab wound while raping her. On several occasions, Ray chokes Alice, beats her, holds a knife against her throat, stabs her in shoulder with knife. Numerous threats, including death to her and her family. Mentions of murders of previous captor, captor's parents, and Ray's mother (who was an abuser). Alice wishes for death. Ray tries to keep Alice looking like a little girl through starvation, forced birth control pills to delay menstrual cycle, shaving of pubic hair, etc. A character shoots another with a gun. Graphic passages show reader how Alice experiences the sexual violence: "Bitter taste in my mouth, like Ray's skin shoving into me -- take it, Alice, take it, open wide, that's my girl ... " Another passage reads: He "pressed my face down into his lap again, then changed his mind and moved me around, folding me into what he wanted, my head pushing into the door as he pushes into me, grunt (him) thunk (me)."


Alice performs oral sex on two boys she just met, after they give her a little attention. She later has sex with one of the boys in his car.


Plenty of swearing, language including "f--k," "bitch," and "s--t."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A teen boy takes pills and offers them to Alice.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Living Dead Girl, an extremely violent novel about a sexual predator and his young girl captive, is a radical departure from Elizabeth Scott's previous books. It features sadistic sexual, physical, and emotional torture of a child on nearly every page. Kidnaped at age 10, Alice is now 15. While Scott may not spell out every detail of the sexual violence, it's clear what's going on (over and over again). There's lots of swearing, including "f--k," "bitch," and "s--t." A boy teen takes pills and gives them to Alice. Alice performs oral sex on two teen boys and then has intercourse in a car with one of them. There's lots of swearing, including "f--k," "bitch," and "s--t." It's all very intense, mature material with scenes of sexual violence, overriding psychological torture, and constant terrifying menace. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAnnika M. November 28, 2018

Sort of disturbing

It has a lot of disturbing and gross parts that might not be that nice for kids to read
Adult Written bycami951 December 14, 2010

Perfect for older teens

I love this book becouse i can react to the same things that has happened i have felt the same way about life, and also the book has became quite adictive!!!!
Teen, 16 years old Written byalligatorr29 January 4, 2011


I love this book. honestly i think anything teen needs to read this book. in my opinion, i should teach teens not to go away with strangers even if they look sa... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byBeth14 December 14, 2010

It's better for older kids

People do need to see how other people or kids on earth are treated differently...But it was a very good book very descriptive..

What's the story?

In LIVING DEAD GIRL, Alice is kidnapped at age 10 by Ray, a violent sexual predator and murderer who keeps her as his captive for five years. Physically, sexually, and psychologically abused, she can't escape without risking the lives of her family, whom Ray has threatened to kill. Now that Alice is 15 -- the same age as the previous "Alice" that Ray killed because she was too old for his sexual fantasies -- she hopes for death and agrees to help Ray capture a 6-year-old girl to take her place.

Is it any good?

This relentlessly violent novel about a sexual predator and murderer and his teen captive is a tough book to read. It explores the mind of a sadistic child abuser and shows what it's like to be an abducted victim of sexual violence. Living Dead Girl may accurately capture the psychological hell a girl goes through when she's savagely abused day in and day out. And Alice is a compelling, memorable character, who shows resilience in the face of extraordinary brutality and terror. It's best for mature readers who can bear an intense, horrifying story. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what the message of Living Dead Girl is. Why do you think the author wrote it? 

  • Have you heard about anything in the news that reminds you of this story? 

  • Why do you think rape is categorized as violence rather than sex? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love intense stories

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