I’ve come to the realization that I hate reading novels that have a tragic ending.
I read a book last night called “Living Dead Girl” by Elizabeth Scott. It was a well written book, with a really tragic and haunting story line. I couldn’t put it down once I started, I was completely sucked into it. It is about a girl named “Alice” (in parentheses because that isn’t her actual name) that was abducted from a school field trip when she was ten. The book takes place 5 years after her abduction, and highlights the physical, sexual, and emotional abuse her attacker has put her through. They live as “father and daughter” according to the neighbors, mainly because no one has ever bothered to ask. Ray, the abductor, deprives Alice of food so that she stays under 100 pounds, and forces her to take pills that stop her from developing hips, breasts, and from having her period. Alice calls herself the “Living Dead girl” because thats what she is. She attempts to kill herself multiple times without success, and she’s living in a hollow shell, waiting for the day that Ray kills her, like he did with the “Alice” before her. Alice wishes for death rather than an escape.
Alice eventually gets her wish, with the book ending in her death and one short sentence “I AM FREE.”
I went to bed immediately after reading it, not obviously affected by the ending, but since I woke up, I’ve had my mind on it all day.
I’m so ANGRY at the ending! For the duration of the novel, I wanted her to escape, to go home, to survive! I’m so MAD that I got attached to a character that died in the end, never experiencing happiness or escaping from her prison. The over all subject matter of the book was very very heavy, its definitely one that I wouldn’t consider “young adult” (even though that genre has yet to be adequately defined) because the material if forces the reader to examine is dark, and haunting (for lack of a better word).
Yes, I enjoyed the book, and No, I probably won’t ever forget this story… But this novel has made me come to the conclusion that I really hate novels like this. I prefer stores of survival…stories with an underdog character that over comes the odds and is ultimately changed in the end. I don’t think I could ever get sick of reading those stories. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another novel that I’ve read where the main character is never changed, and I’m not saying this novel was bad by any means…I’m just irritated.
For the record- I love Young Adult novels. The genre is so new, and its just starting to be explored. I’ve read a lot of books form the genre though, that need to be better defined. I’ve read a book labeled “young adult” that was obviously written for a 12-14 year old, and then I’ve read books with the same label that are geared towards 18-20 year old readers. If I ever become and author, these are the types of books I will write.
Some other YA novels I’ve read lately and enjoyed are:
“Heart on a Chain” by Cindy Bennett. (Awesome Awesome book. I read it twice in one day. LOVED it)
“Such a Pretty Girl” by Laura Wiess
I’m about to start the “Hunger Games” saga..I’ll let you know how it goes. =)