Posted by: jacstar | January 14, 2009

Go Ask Alice

ask-aliceThis is the diary of an anonymous person. Names have been changed or blacked out entirely. Places and dates are also irrelevant. I get the sense that it takes place in the late 60s but I can’t be too sure. This book was published over 30 years ago, but who knows just how long ago it was written.

This young girl starts writing a diary shortly before her 15th birthday. She’s quiet, shy, and unpopular. She keeps to herself, gets good grades, and loves to read.

Shortly into the school year after her birthday she has a conversation with her classmate that leads to an invitation to a party. She’s so ecstatic about being noticed that she starts planning what to wear. It seems like it’s a brand new start and she’s happy.

At the party, bottles of coke are handed out to everyone. Little does she know, 10 of the bottles are laced with LSD. She drinks one of the 10. It’s not long before she feels the effects. She’s euphoric, elated, and all inhibitions are down. She feels fantastic and her high lasts throughout the night. Once she comes off her buzz she questions what happened.

She is told about the drugs and she starts thinking. This is so uncharacteristic of her so she’s glad that she was tricked. It’s not something she would have done willingly, but everything worked out so she has no regrets. She liked the feeling of her high but she knows she’ll never do it again. She does start to ponder some other drugs though, figuring it’s OK to try things once.

From here on in, it’s a downward spiral. She falls in with the wrong crowds, she runs away from home and her life becomes a race to find the next fix. She takes uppers for energy, downers for relaxation, and sleeping pills or tranquilizers to sleep.

Keep in mind, the diary is written from her 15th to her 17th birthday. It seems as though things can’t possibly get any worse for her but they always do. I was so completely shocked at the life of this young girl! How could she do all this to herself? She writes of being raped the way I would write of eating mashed potatoes. It’s just another common occurrence in life.

I suppose this is how things were in the ’60s – fighting the establishment and living life on love and happiness, which translates to acid and pot, or any other drug.

Even when she decides to quit, it’s still a struggle and you find yourself questioning her motives. You begin to have faith in the young girl but just because she’s able to say no doesn’t make her life any easier. All of the people at her school hate her. The good crowd hates her because she used to be bad, the bad crowd hates her because she’s trying to be good.  She just can’t win.

At this point, I can’t talk about the diary anymore. So much happens and the poor girl seems to have the worst luck. She does learn from her past experiences and she seems to grow and mature throughout the book.

My only suggestion to those who want to read this, is do not read the epilogue. It’s reality, and it’s statistics, but it’s just so disappointing.

I felt sorry for the girl throughout all her struggles, and I really hope the message is sent to all young people. We always hear that “drugs are bad” but ‘Go Ask Alice’ says it better than anyone.

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Responses

  1. I’m going to have to add this to my list of “Wanna Read” books…did they make a movie from this? The title sounds familiar.

  2. I’m not sure – I’ll have to look into it. The concept for the movie has probably been done somewhere. But this book is completely heart-breaking, and it’s the girl’s actual diary!

  3. ok – there is a 1973 song called Go Ask Alice – same idea

  4. there was a movie made in 1973 about this diary

  5. thanks G-mo 🙂 we should find this film and make it a movie night

  6. Although you discussed this book with me pretty intensively, I still want to read it. Sometimes you just know that you have to read a book, or watch a movie, because you’re missing out if you don’t – you make this sound like one of these books; thank you for sharing your passion of it.

    I just finished reading Ender’s Game, something I’d been meaning to read for while but was put of. Who wants to read an emo book at 40? 😉

    But it’s one of the most simplistically powerful books I’ve ever read – it’s a book quoter’s porn movie, there’s so much on show. Now THERE’S a book that should be updated into an indie movie.

  7. But I read the Epilogue to you! I found it so shocking that I couldn’t just tell you what happened, I had to actually read right from the book. I’m glad you’re still interested, and I promise it is well worth the read.

    As for Ender’s Game – did you not love the huge twist at the end? Didn’t see that coming!

  8. Yes, there is a movie and after readin g the book in 1973 ( I was 16) I DID see the movie. The story has never left me. I lived part of what Alice did and I am so thankful that I made it through. I am 52 now…. I am thankful for the book because it helped me realize that one could die. The thought of that and hurting my family woke me up!!!!


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