Rachel's Reviews > Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
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did not like it
Recommended 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. lsd! san francisco! rape! lsd! i'm hungry
7. mom dad take me back!
8. relapse
9.i'm never doing drugs again
10. "the subject of this book died three weeks after her decision not to keep another diary..."
so yeah, fake. people don't turn into junkies an hour after their first beer. american youth, don't fall for this hoo-ha!



***its funny how uptight people have gotten about this review: its the only book that's managed multiple "its for the betterment of our youth comments." a) i didn't miss the anti-drug sentiments. b) is fearmongering the best way we can come up with to keep kids from becoming drug addicts? that makes me sad inside
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 2004 – Finished Reading
August 14, 2007 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-50 of 116 (116 new)


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

Meg Ingram While, as an adult (and a high school English teacher), I realize that "Go Ask Alice" isn't the most realistic of accounts, I certainly am all for any book that encourages kids to stay away from drugs and is entertaining at the same time. I've seen kids read it and really take something away from it...who cares if it's fiction?

Not "hoo-ha"...anti-drug. Sounds good to me.


message 2: by Sabiel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:16PM) (new) - added it

Sabiel True dat. Lots of people have told me how this book really freaked them out and gave them a negative impression of substance abuse in general. A good thing.


message 3: by Shannon (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:32PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Shannon Excellent review and summary of the book. So true. I read that book when I was young and gullible. YAY PROPAGANDA. I should re-read it.


message 4: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Actually, research overwhelmingly shows that scare tactics are not an effective way to prevent teens from using drugs or having sex. Realistic, matter-of-fact information is a lot more effective.
I read this book when I was about 12, in the early 90's, and back then I was gullible enough to take it at face value. it sounds like this book is pretty much up there with "Reefer madness," which of course is wildly popular with stoners. I really doubt that this kind of melodramatic scare tactic steered many people away from drugs, no matter how well-intentioned it may have been.


message 5: by Dawn (new) - rated it 1 star

Dawn My thinking on this is, if you blatantly lie to the public (by saying it is an autobiography, when in reality, it is a work of fiction) and try to push a no drug agenda...then, when the public finally caught on that you are indeed a liar, then i doubt any advice that you have to give will have much gusto after that. In my experience, people don't usually listen to advice from known liars.

A book doesn't have to be a work of non-fiction to get a message across. But it does have to be believable and honest.

Just because it is a book, and serves a supposed purpose, does not make it ok to lie.

Excellent plot summary, by the way! I wish I had seen this before the book! I could have saved myself some time :) And more interesting reading, at that!


message 6: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Absolutely. That is one of the reasons the DARE program is so ineffective - it relies too heavily on scare tactics, not enough on helping kids make safe and healthy choices. But unfortunately it has continued in the schools for years when study after study has shown it is ineffective. Programs that use scare tactics are usually ineffective but often politically popular, unfortunately.


April Spot-on review!


Kayla I agree with you that scare tactics are not effective, however I really enjoyed the book. I knew it was fiction going into it, and I was still able to take something away from it. It really didn't matter to me whether it was fiction or not. And since I already had a firm mind set as to how I felt about drugs, the undertone scare tactics didn't ruin the book for me. : )


Alison Reading this review just made my day.


message 10: by Tori (new) - rated it 1 star

Tori Meg wrote: "While, as an adult (and a high school English teacher), I realize that "Go Ask Alice" isn't the most realistic of accounts, I certainly am all for any book that encourages kids to stay away from dr..."


Our opions differ greatly then. Before you say anything, yes I am a teenager. As a teenager myself I am disgusted with this sorry excuse for a novel! Is this what you feel teenagers are worth? A crappy, unrealistic piece of garbage?!
We aren't stupid; we deserve facts! Go Ask Alice is a horrible novel, writen by a lying author who posses as "annyomous teenadge girlz" (intentionaly misspelling!) Even though we are teenagers, we should recieve better! If you feel this is what you say, we may as well be reading crap! Personaly, I am really insulted. If this is what adults feel it takes for teens to understand how bad drug usage is, then what else do they think of us?

A teen who has NEVER even touched any form of drug because she is STRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tori


message 11: by Tori (new) - rated it 1 star

Tori Dawn wrote: "My thinking on this is, if you blatantly lie to the public (by saying it is an autobiography, when in reality, it is a work of fiction) and try to push a no drug agenda...then, when the public fina..."

You're so right!!!!!! THANK YOU!!


Taylor Posey Although, the book may be a little unrealistic it does happen. I am only 17 years old. I had a bestfriend in 7th grade. At first she began to have sex, then she tried smoking, and then drinking. Her second year of high school, she got kicked out and began stripping. Now, today she smokes leaf (marijuana laced with an unknown combination of other drugs ). She no longer cares about her well-being. And today prositution is her only way of getting money. She has no home I do not know where she stays but she comes visit me and eat every once in a while. I read this book my freshmen year. In the story mulitple things happen to Alice. Although they may seem extreme these type of things happen everyday. I don't think the attempt was to scare readers into not doing drugs. The purpose of the book was to open peoples eyes to the life teenagers could be living, rather the girl was real or not the situation is.



Klehmenteen I am extremely disappointed by the narrow view you appear to have of American youth.
That is how it happens.
First a party, then a beer, then a joint, and then you make friends who also are smokers, and you look for a better high.

Having been into the rave scene, I can tell you honestly that I have seen kids go from beer to hard a to pot and then straight into E and acid. Go Ask Alice is not the story of most of America, but it is a real story, and one that needs to be told. Don't discount the reality just because you haven't personally experienced or witnessed it.


Tiffany Taylor wrote: "Although, the book may be a little unrealistic it does happen. I am only 17 years old. I had a bestfriend in 7th grade. At first she began to have sex, then she tried smoking, and then drinking. He..." Thank you for seeing the point of the book! I too have seen kids that came from great homes and had a good life and they wasted it for drugs and WILL do just about anything to get it. This book my not be a TRUE story, but it does happen every day. Sad but true.




message 15: by Tatjana (new) - added it

Tatjana i think that you are reading to far into it. Literature like this is supposed to be something that you enjoy. You criticize this book harshly, but i also see that you read it all the way through. I don't know about you, but if im not even remotely into a story i don't have the time to waste reading it.


message 16: by Bmarsh (new)

Bmarsh If you think this is unrealistic than you are completely out of your mind. You clearly have no idea what goes on around my town.


Shannon  Myers Before you knock a book, make sure you understand the plot. I know that you were trying to belittle the story by giving a silly synopsis but that's not really what happened at all.
Prior to reading this discussion, I had never actually considered "Go Ask Alice" to be a work of fiction. It all seemed very real to me and I'd definitely say it affected me positively. So what if it was all made up? It changed my oppinion on drugs and probably lots of other teenagers oppinions too! I hope all of you saying how scare tactics don't work on teenagers are teenagers yourselves. They for sure work on me.


message 18: by Panda (new)

Panda I had to do an essay on this book in year 10, after I had handed it in I realised that about 30 pages in the middle of my copy were missing. I got about 85% for my efforts so it could not have affected the plot too much.


Chelsea Beer was not the cause of her drug addiction. She had a coke that was laced with LSD. She had no intention of doing LSD either. This book could be life changing for a person, and I'm terribly sorry that it isn't for you.


Megan The "anti-drug" message here actually made me want to try drugs & run away from home to be a hippie ~ with a better outcome, of course!

This book only reaffirms the beliefs of kids/people who already think drugs are bad. Kids who want to experiment are going to do it, regardless of scare tactics.


Kellie I agree. I was expecting a little more from the book but whatever.


Haley I agree with some of what you said in the review. But you got a lot wrong too...She didn't turn into a 'junkie' after having her first beer, you are seriously exaggerating just to prove your point.
You've obviously never had this kind of trouble before, you lack understand that this stuff DOES happen. One of my close friends WAS Alice. Went through most of what she did in the book. It's horrid and almost inconceviable but it does happen, whether or not your small closed mind can fathom that or not..

I do however agree that some of the story was a bit unrealistice. The running away so often and the way her parents just accepted her back and then all happiness was known was a bit of a ....yahhh right, kind of thing.


message 23: by Ctella16 (new)

Ctella16 I read it when I was eight, I guess. What I thought and what I think about it is: "Bad propaganda, bad book".


message 24: by Mary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary Jane HALEY- you couldn't have said it any better.

Although the running away part I do not agree with.. some drug addicts have spent more than half their lives running away, and that is not an exaggeration.. but her parents just accepting her back and doing nothing is hard to believe.

Rachel, these things happen. Maybe not in your perfect close-minded life, but DON'T YOU DARE belittle something as deadly serious as addiction.


message 25: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Harris OH.MY.GOD., Rachel. How dare you belittle my favorite book that I read in highschool right before my friend left our youth group for a life of stripping and disgusting sex with strangers! Seriously, she even had the audacity to call me as strange men snort coke off her backside! I have to question your conscience when you'd ridicule a book so moving and personal for me. ME. I am here to tell you she was REAL to ME!


message 26: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Harris jk;)


message 27: by Lady Cain (new)

Lady Cain I think this review was excellent. This book was just poorly written. The order of events and what happened just made no sense. .


Steven This review mirrored my thoughts on the book perfectly. I know the intentions behind this book were good ones, but I think kids deserve much better than Go Ask Alice.


Claude Amen. Though you're review is a little brief, it's essentially accurate. I suspected as a teen that this book was a fake, and as an adult I know it. However I did like the book. After trying a vast amount of drugs I think the author lacks experience in some of her drug-induced portrails. Doesn't Alice get raped when she is on heroin? And she claims to not realise it is going on because she is too stoned. Well after having the great hammer, I can assure you that heroin at least for me does not smack you out to such an extent. You might be on 'the nodd' but you still know what is going on around you.
Why oh why does this book feel the need to encompass every negative of drugs yet none of the positives of drugs? I supsect a jaded author who hasn't gotten over a vicarious experience.


message 30: by Rachel (last edited Aug 01, 2011 08:48PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Rachel Claude wrote: "Amen. Though you're review is a little brief, it's essentially accurate. I suspected as a teen that this book was a fake, and as an adult I know it. However I did like the book. After trying a vast..."

I forgot about the rape scene! It would have fit perfectly into my review! But I have to say, I get enough hate mail from this beast as it's currently written, because it proves I am a horrible person who doesn't take drug addiction seriously (see messages 1, 2, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19, 22, 24) and not, simply, a keen reader who chooses not to take weak propaganda seriously. Can you imagine if I mentioned rape anywhere in my review? Heavens-to-Betsy! I might get emailed a bomb!

I appreciate your comment, Claude, and I agree that had the author showcased some of the more appealing aspects of drugs, this novel may have been a more accurate and therefore more effective tool in the fight to keep kids "clean"...just saying. And I sincerely hope that you are not still "on the nod." I have heard vicariously that it's a partially-wonderful but mostly-terrible state to find yourself in, and you seem like a lovely person who deserves to be in a mostly-wonderful state all of the time.

Have a beautiful day, Sir, filled with books so much better than Go Ask Alice!


Chi-Chi A Ahh some of these comments are just too much for me to handle. I still don't understand why the validity of this is such a big deal. So what you think it's fake and unrealistic... really? Does it bother you that much? Well at least it insights emotion and makes readers think. My take on this book - it's amazing! Fake or real, it's engaging! Loved the novel! It was simply well written and I enjoyed it. You're also allowed to despise the novel my only issue with this review is I feel you might have some spoilers here. I read it when I was in 10th grade, which was six years ago so I could very well be wrong. But if it does have some spoilers please mention it.


Tanya I'm sorry but I completely disagree with your take on the book. Just because it doesn't reflect your experience doesn't mean it isn't true. I was a 15 year old run away with many of the same experiences. I lived a much rougher life then her only because I lacked a caring parent. But I had many friends who's parents were very naive and forgiving of their "junkie" kids. If I were to have kept a journal through many of my experiences I'm sure people would believe they were fabricated for a good read and sadly I'd wish they were. Not all of us experience life and thoughts on life the same way and who are we to say that because that's not how it happened "to me" then that's not really how it happened. Narrow minded people think like that. Life for everyone is different and doesn't need to be dissected to fit your beliefs. She may not have been real but I'm sure for a lot of people her stories and experiences hit home.... I know for me they did and I lived the life very similar but with a much better outcome!


message 33: by Gaby (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gaby I totally disagree with Rachel's review, the girl in the book -Alice- was a teenager, and one thing that is known in teenage years is the impulses that person have and they are very unpredictable. She was depressed and very unhappy with her life, as most of people try to do, she tried to escape her problems somehow, and drugs worked well, sure being on drugs was a big problem itself, but all that was forgotten once she was on a drug trip, its a problem of many kids, and very realistic. Also, about the part your saying fake, well I know personally a kid who was a pothead last year and he quit now, some people are able to quit drugs. Lastly, the purpose of the book, in my opinion, was to show the youth how bad it can get if you choose to be drug addict, after all it was a diary written by a high school girl not a real writer.


Marie I really doubt this book is fake.. It seems so real to me. And she didn't get hooked on beer, she got hooked on LSD, and it was in a drink..


message 35: by Nina (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nina Cui I can't believe how people are still going on about this shitty book. Yes, there are real-life Alices. No, this book was not real.


Shaunette I agree. This book was as fake as a $7 bill.
Unbelievable! Scare-mongering at its worst. From one unbelievable scenario to the next.


Tracy Elizabeth I loved every moment of this book.


Tracy Elizabeth I loved every moment of this book.


Hannah I think it was the easiest way for the author to show how addiction works. You do fall into it slowly, starting out with lesser drugs and moving on to worse ones, though typically that happens with amphetamines, cocaine, and opiates.You don't realize you're addicted until you're already in too deep, and that was the easiest way for the author to show how that happens.


message 40: by Dee (new)

Dee Writeful I read this as a kid. I thought it was authentic. I loved it - sex and drugs and emotional gore YEAH! I was horrified at what happened. Then I got a bit older and took lots and lots of drugs for a long time, because whether it was true or not, and whether I was horrified while reading it or not, I am a human who makes her own choices about things. I don't get scared of stuff cos I heard or read a bad story this one time. And I didn't have any 'Alice' experiences. And I think the book COMPLETELY ignores the actual reasons that many people become addicts (socioeconomic, response to trauma, mental illness). The people that read this and never took drugs - good for you. Really. But I sorta think you wouldn't have taken them anyway.


Chi-Chi A Dee wrote: "I read this as a kid. I thought it was authentic. I loved it - sex and drugs and emotional gore YEAH! I was horrified at what happened. Then I got a bit older and took lots and lots of drugs for a ..."

I love and appreciate this! This is a very legit response! Thank you for sharing.


message 42: by Jordana (new)

Jordana Basilio Hahaha, still laughing. Ha, haha. Hahaha!


Lucinda I loved your review. Very well put and quite accurate, since the main aim of this book was to lead people not to do drugs and to be full of sweet, emotional pathos.


Carcass She never drank beer. She didn't try alcohol for a long time. LSD was in a bottle of Coke.


Saleem Khashan I don't remember the details of the book 1988 is far away. I remember liking it. But for the love of God I loved your biased opinion about it. Loved it.


Lucinda Don't do drugs, don't have sex, don't drink alcohol and love God...


Claude Lucinda wrote: "Don't do drugs, don't have sex, don't drink alcohol and love God..."
Ha ha ha god and the bible are more fiction than even this book is!


Lucinda Totally Claude!


Alyssa It's not realistic at all& everything did happen awfully fast, but I figured if I don't pay attention to the dates the story would be fine. Because the idea of this book is good it just all happened to fast to be real.


Edmund Davis-Quinn It is called a real diary on the book.


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