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Go Ask Alice

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  173,259 ratings  ·  7,543 reviews
A fifteen-year-old drug user chronicles her daily struggle to escape the pull of the drug world.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 1st 1976 by Avon Books (first published 1971)
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LeCuyer Kidd It's "nonfiction", because it is considered the real diary of a real girl. However, it's listed as fiction in some places because none of the…moreIt's "nonfiction", because it is considered the real diary of a real girl. However, it's listed as fiction in some places because none of the situations can really be proven, mostly because of the change in names and dates, and many people believe that it is written by the editor, Beatrice Sparks.(less)
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Laila
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rachel
Sep 01, 2007 Rachel rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: stupid faces
i read this in high school and went "oh my god...i'm never doing acid" and then went " how can anyone pretend this is a real diary?!" and then ate lsd-laced peanuts, locked myself in a closet, pulled out all of my hair and woke up three weeks later in a hospital bed..."what happened?" crap crap crap...this book is crap. plotline:
1. i'm a good girl
2. i'm going to a party...with boys...haha
3. i'll have a beer
4. i might as well try a joint
5. cocaine is awesome. what a fun fun double-fun night!
6. ls
...more
Madison
It's hard for me to write this review because I don't really know where to begin.

Basically whether you believe this is fiction or not that should not matter. If you believe this story is too far fetched to be true, then I must say that you are absolutely wrong, because my (recovering) drug addicted sister is "Alice", I am the innocent "Alex", and our family is the one that will always love her and always take her back. Stories like this absolutely exist in real life. My sister even started using
...more
Laura
This book is crap on its own. But those of you old enough to remember the latter portion of the 70s might remember that Beatrice Sparks, the "editor" of Go Ask Alice, also "edited" a bunch of other alarmist books aimed at teens, all supposedly taken from teenagers' diaries. One was called "Jay's Journal," and was purportedly about a teen who gets involved with Satanism and eventually commits suicide to escape the horror of it all.

Even as a 12-year-old, however, it was obvious to me that every si
...more
Patricia
I was never forced to read this when I was younger, so I thought that I'd pick it up and read it now, for a laugh, being as there are days when there is just too much blood in my drug-stream.


7pm 12 Nov 2007

Well, I'm about 12 page into this book and I already hate Alice. Quite a lot, actually. I hope that as I read further, Alice's drug-induced diary entries mark an improvement upon her character.

1pm 16 Nov 2007

Finished the book 3 days ago, and just finally stopped laughing so that I can be able
...more
Petra X
This was written by Nancy Reagan* as propaganda for her "Just Say NO" anti-drugs campaign. It contains every single cliche about how making friends with anyone whose social life doesn't involve Christian youth clubs will inevitably lead to the sort of parties where teenagers can drink beer and have a puff of a joint and it is downhill all the way from there.

Drugs lead to getting in with a bad crowd, having sex, stealing, dealing, prostitution, homelessness and insanity! Only the pastor can save
...more
Rachel
Oct 16, 2007 Rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I first read this book in sixth grade. When I tell people this, they usually look at me in an appalled fashion, and ask if my parents knew I was reading it. And I tell them, yes, my mother knew, before I was even finished with the first entry. I had/ have a tendency to talk openly with my mother, especially upon the topic of books. When she saw that I was reading it, she looked at me a moment, then said something along the lines of: "Rachel, if you weren't such a mature reader/person, I would t ...more
James
This infuriating book is the most repugnant piece of reactionary propaganda that I've ever had the misfortune to read. Go Ask Alice is unnecessary proof that sex and drug stories are the best money makers; it helps when they also support a staunchly conservative, traditionalist agenda. The whole book is a fetid lie, and a poorly executed one at that.

OK, now that I've calmed down a little bit, let's actually discuss this "real diary." If there ever was a real diary (which seems hardly likely) it
...more
Meredith
Bwaaah. So disappointing. Some of my co-workers were discussing this book at lunch one day, and I remembered being super curious about it when I was younger, but for some reason never got around to it. Unfortunately for my enjoyment of the book, I did some digging before reading it. I see on Goodreads that the author is not credited as "Anonymous" (as it still is on the cover of the book), but Beatrice Sparks. On the book, Sparks is listed as the editor, but a preface still states it is the real ...more
Manny
- Alice?

- Mm-hm?

- They told me to go ask you.

- Ask me what?

- Ah... I guess, should I do drugs?

- Well, how would I know? I'm just a made-up girl in a piece of anti-drugs propaganda that somehow became more famous than it deserved.

- Hey, don't be like that. I meant, if you actually had existed, then what would you have said?

The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)

Sarah
My daughter read this book. I was ready to freak out - This book is way too graphic for an 11 year old. I was composing a letter to the middle school librarian who allowed her to check this book out. I was preparing a lecture for Ashley about what is and is not appropriate for a child to read. Then Ashley came to me and started talking about drugs. She started talking about the things that kids say about drugs at school. She told me that she and her best friend had a teary talk about how sad the ...more
Mary
I read this for the first time in college as part of a reading-intensive young adult lit class, and it was the worst of the many, many books we read. For one girl in the class, it was the only book of the many, many we read that she actually liked, solely because it was the only one she morally approved of (man, how she loathed Weetzie Bat). She went on to become our slacker school's valedictorian. She was a poet and used the word "tapestry" too much in her writing. I think all of this is quite ...more
Carly
This book is pretty silly & most likely a work of complete fiction. It was written back when conservatives thought they needed to fictionalize drug abuse in order to frighten teenagers. Luckily, this is a new millenium & most of us know what crack whores look like or have known people whose lives have been ruined by drugs. Most kids read this book at a young age & find it too thrilling to realize it's anti-drug propaganda. If you're not convinced that Go Ask Alice is fiction, read an ...more
Mr. Frade
This is a sensationalist piece of garbage. A DARE commercial on speed (pun was intended) and I just didn't care about anyone because it was so poorly written.
Debbie
Though purported to be the real diary of a 15-year-old girl who became addicted to drugs during the 1960's, Go Ask Alice is actually a work of fiction.

The narrator unknowingly takes LSD (acid) at a party and has a great trip. She is instantly addicted and a few weeks later, she is willingly sucking down any and every drug she can get. Come on!

While I am certainly not an advocate of drug use, there is no scientific evidence that LSD is addictive--or marijuana, another key ingredient the narrator
...more
xAnissax
Mar 12, 2008 xAnissax rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This book is something every kid should read before high school. The main character is slipped LSD and hooked on drugs. As she becomes an addict, her diary explains her deepest fears and thoughts. The truth in stories can be scary.
Emily May
I couldn't even finish this book. I found it a real boring drag, even though it's only a novella. I tried so hard to get through it, I kept thinking surely it must get better... but it didn't. I couldn't stand the narrator, I felt no connection with her and despised most of her views. My eyes skipped through paragraphs in a desperate bid to get past extremely boring parts... only to find they continued throughout the book.
It wasn't a very good diary, you didn't seem to get a proper look inside t
...more
Alex
May 10, 2015 Alex rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: squares
On July 10, she was secretly dosed with LSD at a party.
By July 20, she was using intravenous drugs.
By September, she had bought a leather fringed vest, and it was too late.

"This was the scene, these were the swingers, and I wanted to be a part of it!"

So it goes in this 1971 classic of hysterical anti-drug malarkey. Within a few months our unnamed heroine has been gang raped on heroin; shortly after that, she's become a "Priestess of Satan" and drugs have literally "took her the homo route." That
...more
Evan
This book has it all: Teen sex, preteen whores, gay and lesbian sex (not looked upon favorably), drug usage of all types, rape, hippies, communes, hitchhiking, lecherous bohemians, wild parties, drug pushing to 9-year-old grade-school kids, Berkeley burnouts, surreal drug dreams, lots of imagery involving death and maggots, teen vengeance and peer/herd cruelty and vicious rumor-mongering, babies in peril, cats spun in washing machines, girls in an insane asylum, menstruation and teen pregnancy i ...more
Rosianna
The way I felt about this book entirely changed once I found out that it wasn't a real diary, which provided insight into how much the background story of a novel affects my enjoyment of it. Does it make it any worse a book? Yes. What struck me the most about the book in the first place was the supposed 15 year old's ability to be honest with her diary - I constantly lie to my own, never trusting it with the truth, or trusting myself with it - so when that need for someone to be honest with it f ...more
Kirk
When I was a child I used to slip into my mother's paperbacks late at night when no one was looking. This was one of the first books I gobbled up, in part because my babysitters (who would now be in their fifties) had me mystified by this thing called adolescence. In all honesty, I was drawn at eight or nine by Alice's drug use, sex, and profanity. (There's a certain seven-letter compound word that I learned from the book---only back then it was two words). I pretty much thought this was what ha ...more
Amy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ammy
Oct 22, 2007 Ammy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girlsz
this book is so interseting is like so many surprising things happen unexpected .like this one girl has no control over herself shes been taken over by drugs and running away from her difficulties.i really like it because it shows how we complain so much of our everyday lives but what we dont know is anyone around us can be thinking the same . however solving it diferently in a way that can be so dangerous.
Courtney
I picked this book off the self to read at work as I am determined to familiarize myself with the collection more and because it's a "classic" and on the ALA banned book list.

While reading I often found myself thinking..."What? No 16 year old girl says that. This was obviously a part the editors edited heavily." Then I realized how often I was thinking that. The whole thing struck me as oddly UNrealistic even though it was supposed to be a real account. (And is shelved in our non-fiction section
...more
Sarah
The only reason I read this book is because I thought it was an autobiography. When I finished reading it, I did some research and found out that it was not a real diary. Now that I know it isn't a true story, I don't really have anything good to say about it.

It really bothered me that the author said it was a real teenagers diary, when really it was just a work of fiction. The author was clearly trying to scare people with this book. When I was reading the book, the only redeeming quality was
...more
drowningmermaid
What drug you would have to be on to believe that this was a real diary?

Maybe Squeaky Clean Jesus Powder.

And yes, this is coming from someone who has never done drugs, and believes strongly in the illegality and deleterious effects of all drugs, including (and in some cases especially) marijuana.

I cannot tell you how much I hate the hypocrisy of missionary efforts like this one. "Oh, here's an idea! I'll wrap my didactic message in a 'true' story! My lies are sanctified by the holiness of my c
...more
Aly∞
Edit: 18/07/2014 After some research, I've finally found out that this book is NOT a true story, at all. It was passed off as a real, anonymous diary for years and years, but the author is actually Beatrice Sparks

Does this change my opinion of the book? Only slightly. I'd like to know when I'm about to be cheated out of my opinion. If I'd known this beforehand, I probably would not have felt so invested in the book. So, yeah, you can say I am really, seriously, beyond pissed . But I'm not going
...more
Buck
One of the most blatantly manipulative books I've ever come across. I can remember this being something of a big deal for a short time when I was in Junior High and there was an after school special or something that mentioned it. I picked it up and read it then. Even at 13 I had enough sense of literary style to realize it was a book written by an adult with a very specific social and religious agenda.

Certainly, this book belongs on the list of "Worst Books of All Time" for it's transparent at
...more
Anne-Marie
I read this on a weekend church retreat with kids from the youth group I was not a part of or familiar with but forced to join by my parents. I was shy and awkward and those little fuckers kept giving me a hard time about the title of what I was reading. It was such a horrible two days that I still recall the entire experience pretty vividly. I loved this book and, despite the ridicule I put up with, I was grateful for an escape. Go Ask Alice totally scared the shit out of me though and I vowed ...more
booklady
Read this years ago as a teen, but I didn’t remember much about the book except that it was a purported diary about an ordinary, middle-class girl who gets caught up in the world of drugs.

Reread it because of the interest of a young person (12 yo) I’m tutoring. If I were her mother, I would read it with her, preferably when she was a little older.

Go Ask Alice isn’t an actual diary as I’d originally thought but may be based on actual events from the patients of the author, Beatrice Sparks.

It’s a
...more
David Bauckham
I have very mixed feelings on this book. Initially, I was very impacted by the narrator's ups and downs, and found myself very moved by the emotional, often horrific storyline. It also captured an era for me, that of the late-60's when drugs were the hip thing, and there was less knowledge about how detrimental their effects could be. While I found some of the narrator's voice a little odd, I dismissed it at the time as being of another time-period. If it ever seemed moralizing, I told myself th ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
A timeless Tale 1 14 Jun 07, 2015 11:55PM  
A Million More Pages: Go Ask Alice: Apr 27 11 17 May 10, 2015 06:37PM  
Period 6 Sophomores: go ask alice 1 4 Apr 10, 2015 09:30AM  
Rossetti Quarter ...: Symbol 2 2 Mar 05, 2015 09:50PM  
Rossetti Quarter ...: connection 1 2 Feb 27, 2015 07:13AM  
Rossetti Quarter ...: Internal and external conflict 1 1 Feb 26, 2015 07:55AM  
Rossetti Quarter ...: Characterization 1 2 Feb 12, 2015 07:16AM  
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69007
Beatrice Sparks was an American therapist and Mormon youth counselor who was known for producing books purporting to be the 'real diaries' of troubled teenagers. The books deal with topical issues such as drug abuse, Satanism, teenage pregnancy or AIDS, and are presented as cautionary tales. Although Sparks always presented herself as merely the discoverer and editor of the diaries, records at the ...more
More about Beatrice Sparks...
It Happened to Nancy: By an Anonymous Teenager, A True Story from Her Diary Jay's Journal Annie's Baby: The Diary of Anonymous, A Pregnant Teenager Treacherous Love: The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager Go Ask Alice/Jay's Journal

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“I'm not really sure which parts of myself are real and which parts are things I've gotten from books.” 468 likes
“It's a good thing most people bleed on the inside or this would be a gory, blood-smeared earth.” 234 likes
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