Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Author: Anonymous [Beatrice Sparks]
Publication Date: 1971
Length: 185 pages
Go Ask Alice is written in the form of a diary of a high school girl named Alice, as she starts using drugs and gets sucked into that world. It's a very disturbing story, detailing her many attempts to stop, and the ways in which she's pulled back in, as well as the horrible things that happen to her when she's on drugs.
A lot of the time I was just so mad at Alice's "friends". If only they'd supported her when she was trying to quit, things would have gone so much better for her, I'm sure. But mostly I was just really sad for Alice. She makes poor decisions, but seems to be a good person, and several of the bad things that happen to her are a result of things that are done to her without her knowledge, including her first exposure to drugs.
A bit of a spoiler here (but not much of one, since you know it can't end well for Alice, as this book was basically written as a "don't do drugs, kids!" cautionary tale), but the ending really ruined it for me. After going through so much, and finally making real progress and looking like everything's going to work out after all, Alice's death is just tacked on to the end of the story. I feel like this was really just a cop out, because apparently it wouldn't be enough of a cautionary tale if things ended happily. I feel like that downplays the horrible events of Alice's life during her drug addiction. A lot of teenagers would still be convinced not to try drugs just from that; it just wasn't necessary to kill Alice off in a "well she did drugs so obviously that leads to INEVITABLE DEATH" kind of way.
But ignoring that tiny epilogue, this book is a powerful and sad story that I do recommend.