Browse Category: Adrianne

living dead girl turns 10

Living Dead Girl
Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

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. 

 

Most days I really don’t give much thought to the passage of time and my (advancing) age. But then something happens like my niece’s four-year-old offering decorating tips or my knees sounding like the Snap, Crackle, & Pop Revue first thing in the morning to bring home the fact I’ve been standing on this spinning rock for more than a minute.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t necessarily a sad epiphany.  I’m grateful to draw relatively healthy breaths each day. And I’m even more appreciative of the fact that some really amazing books are part of my journey. One of them, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, is Elizabeth Scott’s LIVING DEAD GIRL.

From a scale of Damn I Wish I Wrote This to I’ll Never Be The Same Again, how good is LIVING DEAD GIRL?

 

Content warning for pedophilia, abuse, kidnapping 

Through sparse and skillful prose (I mean, not a single word is wasted), Scott takes readers through an unimaginable and forsaken hellscape of an existence with the utmost sensitivity and care. “Alice” is a ghost of a girl, known as Kyla when Ray snatched the ten-year-old away from her family with unsettling ease. She’s done everything she can to survive while the adults around her can’t detect the damage Ray’s done and the danger she’s in. Alice lives knowing that freedom is tantalizingly within reach, if only someone would see, and that ultimately she may have to save herself.

Ray thinks he’s special. He cares for his “Alice” and isn’t like those “perverts” who harm children. He’s done everything to keep Alice his little girl forever, but despite his efforts, including feeding her as little as possible, she’s getting older. He’ll need another girl soon and he’ll do whatever it takes, use whoever it takes, to make that happen.

Y’all. Y’ALL.

When I say this book takes you through it! It’s easily one of the most unflinching and unsettling stories I’ve ever read. LIVING DEAD GIRL is that steep, steady climb at the beginning of a huge, rickety, wooden roller coaster and that first, regrettable, stomach-churning drop…except it never ends.

You’re doomed. And so is Alice.

 

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tired of being tired

pictured: YA publishing

 

Another day, another hot ass mess.

I’m really sick of publishing. Like. Beyond sick. We’re not supposed to say that, right? As writers, we’re supposed to be striving and sacrificing all we have to achieve The Dream, to get The Call. And usually that involves swallowing our tongues when it comes to critiquing the heaping helpings of utter bullshite this industry subjects us to daily.

We’re in the midst of a civil rights crisis the likes of which hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since the mid-20th century, and how does publishing address that? Reprint a racist-ass book from 1997.

What, you thought they’d put funds towards BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) writers? Nah, that’d be too much like right.

It’s the most obvious of cash grabs. They see the bestseller list and think, “What do these books have in common? Aha! Black characters!” Then they dig into the midlist for a story that harms and dehumanizes its readers while enriching its white author.

They really think we can’t see the jig.

Even though we say over and over again that diversity and inclusion isn’t a trend or a genre, publishing insists on trying to fashion it into just that, all the while disenfranchising BIPOC writers.

It’s annoying and frustrating and just so damn ridiculous. Books like THE HATE U GIVE, DEAR MARTIN, and TYLER JOHNSON WAS HERE, can’t be duplicated by non-Black authors just adding Negroes to any old story. Your “issue” book full of stereotypes isn’t edgy, it’s violent. Some stories just aren’t for you to tell. Y’all know this to be true but you just hate hearing the word “no.”

I don’t have the solution. If I did, I’d probably be a lot wealthier. I’d certainly be published. I certainly wouldn’t be watching people far less talented and a great deal paler than me flourishing on the basis of poorly-crafted work.

If I come off bitter, I’m not even sorry. I’m too exhausted to fake being happy.