Carly's Reviews > Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
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did not like it
bookshelves: 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 another "diary" that Beatrice Sparks has edited, like Jay's Journal, which is so ridiculous, even 12-year-olds can see that it's poorly written fiction.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 1999 – Finished Reading
July 9, 2007 – Shelved
November 22, 2009 – Shelved as: young-adult

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Meg (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meg Ingram What's wrong with anti-drug propaganda? Sounds like a good idea to me.


message 2: by Carly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Carly A true story about a person's problems with drug addiction is far more compelling than any propaganda will ever be. What's wrong with anti-drug propaganda is that it's ineffective because it's so obviously a lie. Making drug use seem mysterious & forbidden is only going to make it more interesting. Talking to a crack whore or a junkie, however, is far more likely to put a kid off the idea of trying drugs. Any anti-drug propaganda is forced to censor itself because of the audience & the truly disgusting nature of addiction can't be adequately described or understood without some extremely offensive things being said. The naked truth always wins out over propaganda.


message 3: by Daniel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:40PM) (new)

Daniel Carly, I agree 100%.


message 4: by Reader (new)

Reader Carly wrote: "A true story about a person's problems with drug addiction is far more compelling than any propaganda will ever be. What's wrong with anti-drug propaganda is that it's ineffective because it's so o..."


Do you know what the word "propaganda" means? It doesn't seem like you do. All it is is people trying to promote a certain view. So real stories about drug use are also anti-drug propaganda. Yes, sometimes this word is used in a derogatory way, but it doesn't necessarily mean that what you're promoting is untrue. When you take measure to push an agenda--whether by writing a book, making a documentary, or creating music--you're creating propaganda.


Carly Propaganda: The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. From the American Heritage dictionary.

Not all media does this. Glenn Beck does this. Michael Moore does this. Whether or not their views of the world are correct, they are still presenting those views in hopes of making you see things their way. The kind of books and movies I prefer don't attempt to shove their themes and morals down your throat. I don't want my media to advocate anything. If you agree with the way something is presented, you're less likely to view it as propaganda. But if, as a young person, you read a false (and poorly written) account of a teenage girl's drug use and are lead to believe that it is true, you're going to have a very watered-down idea of what drug addiction looks like. Whether or not the basic principle of the propaganda (drugs are bad) is true, the reader is going to see right through it; if the story is a lie, it could be that the idea is a lie as well. I simply don't feel that each book, film, or song is pushing its own agenda or presenting its own clear-cut doctrine. I don't think I'd read or watch anything if this was the case.

Also, why am I continuing a 3-year-old conversation? *scratches head*


Katie Smith I sort of agree with you on saying that the story is outdated, as it was written in the 1970's when marijuana and cocaine were popular, but the War of Drugs was also being launched. The book was definitely marketed incorrectly as a true diary/memoir, which was what encouraged me to read it in the first place, but upon further inspection, I found it to a complete lie, as it was written by an actual author and not an "anonymous journal" as the publisher claims it to be. It is a controversial book, and for good reason, as it gives teenagers a false perspective on drugs and the reality of addiction. This book is glorifying, humiliating, and awful simply because it tricks readers into sympathizing with an author rather than a real person.


message 7: by Ingrid (new)

Ingrid Jay's Journal is real. Most of her books aren't, but Jay's Journal is.


Mariama i completely disagree with you im sure people who have drug addicts in the familly or know one will disagree with you. this is my favorite book and i have read many book soo far but nothing close to this never mind about it being fiction but honestly i think it does a pretty good job expainings addicts in genneral so what its fiction that doesnt mean people who do drug arent going to end up in alice's shoes. im sure this has happend to someone in real life i just feel sory for you if you dont hink this book is good because it is if your trying to test the idea that drugs is addicting and can take you far away from your familly and love one. the idea is to get you say no and be more cautious of your surroundings im sure the author woulnt of written this book if the idea doesnt exist. they are people like alice out there and i think your just to confertable in your surronding to relize that.


Mariama do i disagree with you "yes" 99.9% plus 1


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