Petra X's Reviews > Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
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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 her. But no, once she is persuaded to go home, those good old non-drug taking, Christian hometown folks are visiting the sins of the daughter on the parents with social isolation and threats, so eventually they move to a new town. A new beginning, nah... we all know you can't escape drugs when you start on the slippery slope of that first puff and it will end badly.

An overdose, death. Inevitably... predictably.

You'd think that the book would be much praised by the sort of ultra-conservative parents who actually believe in this kind of crap, but no, every year it makes the list of the most-challenged books. So Nancy Reagan* didn't succeed with this particular element of her campaign.

*I lied, it wasn't written by Nancy Reagan. It was written by the author Beatrice Sparks who lived in Utah (clue?) and worked in the State Mental hospital. She also wrote another "true" diary, Jay's Journal about how getting involved in the occult led to suicide, another one on a kid's life on the streets, one about a single, pregnant, teenage girl, all supposedly based on real diaries. There might even have been more.

I was going to shelve this book on my Crap Authors or Unreadable Books shelves, but actually in a kind of train-wreck way it was rather enjoyable. It's also worth seeing the film if you can, it's so B movie that it's great fun. I was stoned when I watched it, I think that added considerably to my enjoyment.
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Comments Showing 1-50 of 75 (75 new)


message 1: by Melissa (new)

Melissa T I'm interested to see your thoughts on this.


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul Beer, joints, sex; do you have an address?


Petra X Paul wrote: "Beer, joints, sex; do you have an address?"
Yes, but I'm trying to keep my address secret!


message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Spoilsport!! I suspect this may not be the response the author had in mind!


Lisa Vegan Gosh, I loved this book and the movie when I was younger. To my mind, despite parts of it, including important parts, it glamorized drugs. Propaganda didn't work.


Peacegal My favorite part was when teenage revelers brought out "coke" on a silver platter and Alice suddenly began having hideous hallucinations of monsters and such. It took me awhile to realize the author wasn't making a very misinformed reference to cocaine but rather Coca-Cola that had been spiked with LSD, and was just too stupid/lazy to capitalize it.


message 7: by Ij (new)

Ij Petra X wrote: "Paul wrote: "Beer, joints, sex; do you have an address?"
Yes, but I'm trying to keep my address secret!"


LOL!


message 8: by James (new)

James Paul wrote: "Beer, joints, sex; do you have an address?"

San Francisco....and everywhere else! LOL


Petra X Paul wrote: "Spoilsport!! I suspect this may not be the response the author had in mind!"

I must have missed that comment! I think really if you go on and on and on about how terrible something is, a certain section of the community is going to want to do it, just because they're like that. I'm like that. Also I believe if I have the freedom to enjoy/injure/kill myself with alcohol, tobacco and fast food, I should with drugs. At least let me pick and choose my own pleasures and poisons.


message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul Sat here with a cold glass of wine in my hand I'm inclined to agree!


Steph (loves water) I beg to differ with you, Nancy Reagan did not write this book.


Petra X PinkAngel wrote: "I beg to differ with you, Nancy Reagan did not write this book."

*Sigh* you should have read the review before commenting rather than just looking at the first line and jumping on it.


message 13: by Petra X (last edited Dec 27, 2012 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Petra X PinkAngel wrote: "If someone starts out a review with false information, I do not read any further since their credibility is in question. If you were trying to be amusing, you were not. Thanks for your input."

So you skim books, find the first sentence isn't to your liking and then decide to ignore the * indicating that it is referenced further down and the sentence might have been written that way for a point? You then say "I do not read any further since their credibility is in question" but do take the time to write a kind of trolling comment and now you come back at me with an insult.

Is it a hobby of yours to go skimming reviews to look for stuff you can troll about? What kind of reading do you do that you can't read past the first sentence before you judge THE WRITER of the review, not the review and not the book?

Pink Angel, by your name I thought you were some YA-reading teenager, but no you are a woman of 47. I see you are relatively new to GR. A higher standard of reading and critical thinking is general here. Get with the programme.


Petra X Oooh look Pink Angel removed one of her comments, lucky I remembered to quote it.


Steph (loves water) Yawn. Yet another trolling Twilight reader. Go back to reading The Hunger Games or 50 Shades of Gray.


message 16: by Petra X (last edited Dec 27, 2012 11:27AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Petra X PinkAngel wrote: "Yawn. Yet another trolling Twilight reader. Go back to reading The Hunger Games or 50 Shades of Gray."

I don't know what you are doing on this site since reading stuff here isn't what you do. You don't read reviews, you write stupid remarks and then troll with personal insults. You don't read booklists (I haven't read those books you mention) and write more stupid remarks. You attempt to cover your arse by deleting comments and then more trolling and more personal insults. Now then, who in most people's minds would lack credibility, me or you, the troll?

You really don't 'get' Goodreads at all.


Kaethe I am offended on behalf of 47-year-old women who do demonstrate reading comprehension.

Also, I think three stars was way too generous. As is the assumption that Reagan could have written the whole stupid novel.


message 18: by Peribo (new)

Peribo She's obviously not on the site to make friends as she only has one. Maybe her hobby is offending people?


Kaethe Whereas I make friends the old-fashioned way, in my lab, with lightening.


Spider the Doof Warrior I am not fond of this book. Though a book like Tweak is a lot better. It's actually written by a dude who was on speed and doesn't have that whole you take one puff of reefer and you are DOOMED thing going on. I thought this book was good until I realized, wait a minute... THIS IS NOT EVEN A TRUE STORY! You. LIAR.


Petra X Synesthesia wrote: "I am not fond of this book. Though a book like Tweak is a lot better. It's actually written by a dude who was on speed and doesn't have that whole you take one puff of reefer and you are DOOMED thi..."

Tweak: Growing Up On Methamphetamines doesn't look bad at all. Thanks for the recommendation.


Kaethe That does sound appealing. I much prefer books that deal with addiction as something one lives with, rather than as something one dies from.


Spider the Doof Warrior Oh. Read his dad's book Beautiful Boy too.


Petra X Kaethe wrote: "That does sound appealing. I much prefer books that deal with addiction as something one lives with, rather than as something one dies from."

Best one for that is Keith Richards' Life. That is addiction from many angles.


Kaethe Okay, Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction and Life added. Mmmm, druggie goodness.


Spider the Doof Warrior I don't know why true stories of drug addiction are so interesting. Same with people who have had bad childhoods and survived.


Petra X I guess we all have different tastes in reading. I don't know what people find interesting about romances at all, can't read them, yet I know that is one of the biggest genres of books read on GR.


message 28: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan I love well written stories about people who've survived bad childhoods, and, like Petra, can count the romances I've liked on the fingers of one hand. Yes, we all have different taste in books. My taste is very eclectic. Except for some horror and romances, I think I enjoy most kinds of books. Hmm. There might be other (not liked) genres that I can't think of off the top of my head.


Petra X Sci-fi? Fantasy?


Kaethe Westerns? Military thrillers? Christian fiction? Humor? Facts & trivia? Sports? Business? Biography?

There's nothing like working in a bookstore to remind one how many kinds of books don't appeal. That said, I've found good books in virtually every section, no matter my general disinclination.

I've even enjoyed some Christian fiction which is my personal literary kryptonite.


message 31: by Lisa (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lisa Vegan Nix on the Christian fiction from me.


Kaethe But I did enjoy the first few of Jan Karon's books. I really liked the dog.

Ta!


Petra X Me too. I don't think there are any novels that have a base of any religion I have enjoyed.


Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookworms Actually, there's a really interesting article about this book at Snopes.


Petra X That was interesting, thanks for the link.


Kaethe I love Snopes; that was a good 'un.


message 37: by Peribo (new)

Peribo Petra X wrote: "You attempt to cover your arse by deleting comments and then more trolling and more personal insults. Now then, who in most people's minds would lack credibility, me or you, the troll?..."

She's changed her name to Stephanie and gone private. Arse covering. ROFLMAO


Kaethe ha


message 39: by Robert (new) - added it

Robert Davis I found a copy of this, the title really catching my attention. I thought it might have some entertainment value, but seeing as the author is a Mormon "counselor" I'll pass on wasting my time with it. I don't have time for that negative bullshit!


Petra X It's pretty enjoyable. Think of it as pulp fiction :-)


Kaethe I think of it more as poorly-written propaganda.


Petra X That is a correct view as well, but I did enjoy it, I do quite like train wreck books and B-movies especially when you can see the train coming. :-)


Kaethe Hey, you've given me an idea. Perhaps I should read it aloud to my daughters for comic effect? It would probably be hilarious to me now.


message 44: by Robert (last edited May 02, 2013 06:21AM) (new) - added it

Robert Davis What I don't understand is, if I read the cover correctly, and please correct me if I am wrong, but Alice becomes addicted to LSD?! Obviously the author is ignorant of the effects of that drug. In fact, isn't being a Mormon sort of like being on an acid trip? That is, you aren't quite in touch with reality.


Petra X I don't think Mormons are any more out of touch with reality than anyone else religious. It's just that the religious base their world-view on (usually) books of miracles, female subjugation and the fear of eternal, divine retribution if they don't do quite a lot of what are almost always perceived as very silly, wicked or time-wasting things if you aren't of that particular faith. (One's own faith is always seen as the correct, if not only, path, and nothing is silly, wicked, time-wasting or anything else less than exalted). This is called faith.


message 46: by Robert (new) - added it

Robert Davis Very well put Petra.


Petra X Thank you.
I'm an apatheist.
I'm glad I didn't offend you.


message 48: by Robert (new) - added it

Robert Davis Since we are on a religion rant, what really gets me is the fear factor in religions. Take the story of Moses for example:
After 40 long and hard years leading his people through the desert, he is about to lead them into the Promised Land. But first, he stops to get a drink of water. God tells him to strike the rock and water will flow. Moses raises his staff and brings it down on the rock. Nothing. He strikes the rock again and water gushes forth to quench the travelers thirst.
God says, "Welcome to the Promised Land, you are all welcome to enter... uh, not so fast Moses my lad. Why did you hit the rock twice? Didn't you have faith in me?" Long story short... God's a dick and Moses got screwed!
The lesson from this story? Doubt in God (even just a little) and you'll be sorry. Pretty scary stuff for children sitting in Sunday school. Religion instills fear in you early. That is how they control you. Even now, an atheist in my 40's, I still have a twinge of fear about upsetting God. It's not right. It's a form of child abuse to subject children to that crap.


Petra X Sorry it has affected you so badly. I didn't really see the story that way, I didn't take it as seriously as you, it's just a story. I think even as a child growing up in a religious family and even being very religious myself at 14 and 15, I never thought of Bible stories or Hindu ones as anything much deeper than my treasured edition with hand-coloured plates of Hans Christian Anderson's tales.


message 50: by Pete (new)

Pete daPixie Drugs lead to getting in with a bad crowd, having sex, stealing, dealing, prostitution, homelessness and insanity!
Mmm...four out of seven.


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