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Go Ask Alice Paperback – January 1, 2006
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The torture and hell of adolescence has rarely been captured as clearly as it is in this classic diary by an anonymous, addicted teen. Lonely, awkward, and under extreme pressure from her "perfect" parents, "Anonymous" swings madly between optimism and despair. When one of her new friends spikes her drink with LSD, this diarist begins a frightening journey into darkness. The drugs take the edge off her loneliness and self-hate, but they also turn her life into a nightmare of exalting highs and excruciating lows. Although there is still some question as to whether this diary is real or fictional, there is no question that it has made a profound impact on millions of readers during the more than 25 years it has been in print. Despite a few dated references to hippies and some expired slang, Go Ask Alice still offers a jolting chronicle of a teenager's life spinning out of control. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The Boston Globe" ...a book that all teenagers and parents of teenagers should really read.
"School Library Journal" This novel in diary form powerfully depicts the confusions of adolescence. Its impact cannot be denied.
"Library Journal" An important book, this deserves as wide a readership as libraries can give it.
"The New York Times" [This] extraordinary work for teenagers is a document of horrifying reality and literary quality.
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Top Customer Reviews
In the book, Go Ask Alice, a young girl, who felt like an outcast, was invited to a party. The kids who were there were considered popular at her old school. She was so excited to finally be accepted by them, all she ever really wanted was to be one of them. During the party, they decided to play a game. The girl wasn't sure what the game was, but decided it would be a good idea to participate. A few moments when by, and then she started to feel weird. She soon found out that she had just taken a drug called LSD. This is what started it all. The girl became addicted. Her life went into a downward spiral. She had left home, took more and more drugs, and put herself into a lot of danger. She experienced highs and lows throughout her time with drugs, and this book goes into depth with personal recollections of how she felt through it all. It explained how easy it was for something that wasn't in her control to begin with to get out of hand and turn into something much worse. When it first happened at that party, she had continuously told herself that she doesn't “think [she’ll] ever try it again,” but also never wanted to give up the feeling of each trip. That's what I like about this book. It talks about why she enjoyed taking drugs, but also shows the terrible consequences that she had to face because of it. It showed her struggle each time drugs were near her, and how much willpower it took for her not to take them. The situations were somewhat realistic, and showed how easy it was for her to hide her addiction from the people she was close with. You truly never know who around you could be like Alice. I would recommend reading Go Ask Alice, but it was not exactly what I expected it to be. I thought it was actually the young girl’s diary, when in reality an author wrote it. This took away from the lessons and meaning the book aimed to teach. Another critique I would have is that it was fast paced and felt like time went by very quickly, causing you to feel like you missed a lot of her life. Overall, it was well written and worth reading. LK
First off, I'm gonna say that you can't go into this thinking it was actually a real diary because it just simply is not. It's been ripped apart by people saying a teenage girl would normally ramble on more about boys and idle chit chat, but in the books defense who would actually read it then? It's clear it's not real, but let's be honest with the exception of Anne Frank, no one is interested in a reading a teenage girls diary.
It does have it's ups and downs, and I did get attached to the main character, but so many times I found myself wondering where it was actually going. It gets near the end and she's doing good and I was just happy with how things were working out for her. Then, in the last entry she just kind of adds, as an after thought, that she doesn't think she'll keep a diary forever because adults don't need to, even though she makes it clear she doesn't feel like an adult yet. Really just out of no where she mentions adults don't need to write in diaries and suddenly she's done. It felt like the author (Beatrice Sparks) wasn't sure how to end it/ got sick of writing and just kinda tossed that in there. And then there's the epilogue. And you're left with a, "where did that come from?" feeling. Again, she didn't work it in very well, and jumped from one extreme to the next.
This may be a spoiler so if you really don't want to spoil the ending don't read this part, but after the book ended I could think of only one thing. If you've ever seen the movie Mean Girls, during the sex ed. classes the gym teacher says "Don't have sex, you WILL get pregnant, and you WILL die." I feel like Beatrice Sparks is that gym teacher's mother. "Don't do drugs, you WILL die." That's really how sporadic the ending felt for me.
All in all, I didn't hate it, but it could've been done a lot better.
Reading it has reminded me just how lucky I am and the importance of having a good, loving family.
It's a great book and it makes me mad to know that it has been banned inside a lot of high schools; if these kids read anything, they should read books like this so they don't fall down the same road as the unnamed, main character.
When reading this, keep in mind that it truly isn't written by an anonymously by a girl who went through the situation, it was written by Beatrice Sparks, a psychologist; it doesn't really change the affect the book has on its reader but I do feel that prospective readers deserve to know that the diary isn't a true diary from a troubled teenager.