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Go Ask Alice

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  196,943 Ratings  ·  8,598 Reviews
A teen plunges into a downward spiral of addiction in this classic cautionary tale.

January 24th

After you've had it, there isn't even life without drugs....

It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean
Paperback, 213 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Simon Pulse (first published 1971)
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Trine To me it doesn't matter anymore. I was a troubled teen when I read it and "Alice" helped me realize, that I should face my problems instead of hiding…moreTo me it doesn't matter anymore. I was a troubled teen when I read it and "Alice" helped me realize, that I should face my problems instead of hiding in substance abuse or commit suicide. Both options I considered and both options I'm proud to say, I've never tried.
Fiction or nonfiction, the issues are real and the story should be respected as such.
I'm sure I'm not the only reader who believes, that characters don't have to be real to make an impact.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 01, 2007 Rachel rated it did not like it
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
Dec 03, 2013 Madison rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, sad-but-good
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
Aug 18, 2007 Laura rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
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
Nov 16, 2007 Patricia rated it did not like it
Shelves: youngadults, fiction
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
Oct 16, 2007 Rachel rated it it was amazing
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
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
Ana {The Good Gif Fairy}
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I am shocked to see so many negative reviews. Go Ask Alice had a profound impact on me. I read this book during my sophomore year of high school and it blew my mind. I gave it to a few friends and they all loved it as well.

Whether this is truth or fiction doesn't matter. It's a poignant story that every young person should read.
Feb 07, 2011 James rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Sep 10, 2016 Deanna rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

First published in 1971, Go Ask Alice is a controversial book involving teenage addiction. It's written in first person in traditional diary form. We don't know the troubled teenage girls name but we follow her rapid descent into her life as an addict.

"Anonymous" is a lonely teenager who feels like she will never live up to the expectations of her parents. She struggles with self-esteen issues, loneliness, etc. On top of that her family has now moved and she's having trouble making new
Jun 05, 2008 Meredith rated it did not like it
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
- 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)

Jan 29, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it
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
Aug 30, 2007 Mary rated it did not like it
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
Dec 12, 2013 Carly rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Mista Frade
Aug 02, 2008 Mista Frade rated it did not like it
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.
Emily May
Feb 12, 2011 Emily May rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, 2011
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
Mar 12, 2008 xAnissax rated it it was amazing
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.
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
Feb 04, 2016 Alex rated it liked it
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 all over.

"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'
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
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
Oct 22, 2007 Ammy rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 14, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2015 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
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
Feb 01, 2009 Rosianna rated it did not like it
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
Dec 19, 2007 Kirk rated it liked it
Shelves: medium-warm
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
Aug 24, 2007 Courtney rated it it was ok
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
Oct 26, 2007 Anne-Marie rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 22, 2016 emily rated it liked it
this book is so interesting . i have lot's of thoughts and no idea what kind of star rating to give it, i feel like a star rating at this point isn't useful, so i'm going with a neutral 3 stars.

OKAY. SO. i've heard a lot about this book throughout my life, but more in the way that i've heard it's name dropped a lot but really new what it was about other than there were drugs involved. after reading a graphic memoir by a cartoonist i love in which she mentions this book, i finally decided to lo
Marija Simić
Apr 27, 2016 Marija Simić rated it it was ok
rate is: 2,5

I am a fool. I thought she would live.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
HMSA Reads: Book Review: Go Ask Alice 4 17 Aug 24, 2016 09:10PM  
HMSA Reads: Book Review: Go Ask Alice 1 14 Aug 17, 2016 06:47PM  
A timeless Tale 11 33 Aug 10, 2016 07:43AM  
Ending Theories? (spoilers!) 11 41 Aug 02, 2016 12:59PM  
Anyone else dislike this book? 119 851 Jun 14, 2016 12:44PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add page count 2 15 Jan 29, 2016 03:03PM  
  • Glass (Crank, #2)
  • Cut
  • Smack
  • Lucy in the Sky
  • We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction
  • We All Fall Down
  • The Rules of Survival
  • Lisa, Bright and Dark
  • Exit Here.
  • Forever
  • Such a Pretty Girl
  • Beauty Queen
  • Candy
  • Perfect
  • Crash Into Me
  • Define "Normal"
  • Crosses
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...

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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.” 510 likes
“It's a good thing most people bleed on the inside or this would be a gory, blood-smeared earth.” 266 likes
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