Review: Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

in a sentence or two: the "true" diary of a 15 year old girl who is seduced by the mysterious world of drugs and just can't seem to pull herself out.

the narrator (Alice?) opens her diary by talking about an incident with a boy named Roger, though the real shift in events comes when she finds out her family is going to move for her dad's new job. you get the feeling that Alice is a bit of an outcast, though not a total weirdo or anything. she just has a hard time fitting in with people, and thinks this move might help her. even after moving to a new school, Alice has a hard time fitting in and meeting people. she spends her summer with her grandparents and gets invited to a party that introduces the world of drugs to naive and lonely Alice.

apparently this is an actual diary with changed names and dates to protect the privacy of those involved. i also noticed it was written in 1970, which helps explain some of the dated language. for the most part though, the diary is more than a simple narrative of Alice's life before, during, and after drugs - it's an inside peek at what challenges she's facing and why. some of her thoughts are so insightful, while others barely pass as shallow - which supports the insecure and awkward adolescence we all have to go through.

i don't want to give too much away for the plot, because that's where i believe so much of the power behind this book is. Alice deals with eating disorders. she deals with insecurity. she deals with her loving and supportive family. she deals with her multitude of crushes. she deals with the allure and excitement of drugs. She deals with peer pressure both encouraging her to do the drugs and against her when she chooses not to. her experiences are discussed with her diary without a big show or bragging, but simply as they happened.

Alice's voice is haunting, though i don't believe that is her intention. she's just so darn real and authentic that you can't help but get wrapped up in her pain when she's sad and her joy when she's happy. a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but definitely worth the ride. i appreciated the editor's note at the beginning of my edition that says it's not a definitive statement on the middle class drug world, it does not offer any solution, and that they hope to provide insight to the complicated world in which we live. well editors, mission accomplished.

fave quote: "Adolescents have a very rocky insecure time. Grown-ups treat them like children and yet expect them to act like adults. They give them orders like little animals, then expect them to react like mature, and always rational, self-assured persons of legal stature. It is a difficult, lost, vacillating time. Perhaps I have passed over the worst part. I certainly hope so, because I surely would not have either the strength or the fortitude to get through that number again" (76)

fix er up: i'm not sure there is anything. this was a quick read, and such a powerful read too. not too angsty or braggy or anything like that - just real. the epilogue caught me off guard, though i dont qualify that as a 'fix er up' either. **note** after doing some peeping around on the internet, apparently there is much debate and disbelief as to if this is a true diary or a made up account by the editor/psychologist. i could definitely see it being made up, but certainly find no harm in treating it as a true diary.

title: Go Ask Alice
author: anonymous
genre: Diary, Edgy, Challenged

Lisa is a gamer, crafter, fangirl, mother, wife and unabashed nerd who is pretty ridiculous and it's best you know that up front. When she's not binge watching Netflix or crafting into the wee hours of the night, you can find her spending a lot of her time on Pinterest and Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. i sense that this is fiction. for one, there is an author. that seems to speak toward creation, especially for a diary. case in point: no author for the diary of anne frank

    secondly, if you went to a bookstore, do you think you'd find this shelved with fiction or with non-fiction? i'm guessing fiction. but that could be a way to get closer to the truth, not that it matters much if the book is still affecting and worthwhile

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