Kirsty's Reviews > Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
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Aug 03, 11

bookshelves: biography-memoir, death, classics, mental-illness, non-fiction, young-adult, addiction
Read from June 02 to 05, 2011

Being a teenager is hard enough without being moved to a new town and a new school where you don’t know anybody and no-one wants to talk to the new girl. Alice finds it difficult to fit in and so when she has the opportunity to go back to her old town for the summer she jumps at the chance. Whilst she’s there she meets one of the popular girls from her old school, who invites her to a party. Having never been part of the popular crowd, Alice is excited to be invited and accepts the invitation. Unfortunately for her, this proves to be a bad decision as this is where she is, unknowingly, turned on to drugs. This book is a diary of her ensuing journey with drugs and chronicles her life as addiction takes hold.

This is supposedly based on a true story, however over the years there has been some controversy over whether this is the case. Regardless of whether or not it’s factual, it’s an absorbing read. It was heartbreaking to see Alice’s decline as the addiction took hold and the torment she went through as she tried time and time again to break the habit. What is clear throughout is that Alice knows that drugs are wrong and she hates herself for needing them, but the desire to take them is, ultimately, stronger than her desire to quit. I really liked Alice and so I became emotionally invested in the decisions she made throughout the book and went from rooting for her to screaming at her in the course of a page.

I wouldn’t say that the writing is good, but then, if it is a true account, how good could you really expect the writing to be from someone who is using drugs? What I will say though, is that despite this being written in the 60s, the story is still very true today. I have been lucky enough to only have had limited exposure to drugs, however I know of people who have been down this path and I know the devastating affect it can have on the lives of everyone involved.

If I had read this book as a teenager, especially in my early teens, I can see how it may have seemed glamourous to run away from home and live the life of a ‘grown-up’ whilst still so young, however reading it now, I’m horrified that this may the impression the book gives. I think all teenagers should read this as part of their drug education, however I don’t think it’s suitable for younger teams.

Overall, I’m glad I read it. Although I know of people who have been down this path, it’s been an eye-opener to see it from their perspective.
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06/03/2011 page 58
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