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Go Ask Alice
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Fall 2015 > go ask alice

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message 1: by Brighid (new)

Brighid Welchans | 1 comments Go Ask Alice, a young girl’s diary written by Anonymous, provides an insight to what it was like to be a teenager in the 1970s. While at first the informal writing style is hard to adjust to, it becomes easier to adapt to as the novel goes on. The dialect is not distracting, rather it adds to the authenticity of the book. Alice, the main character, has the same feelings that teenagers do now. She wants to be accepted but doesn't want to conform, she wants to be close with her parents but she can't relate to them anymore. In this way, Alice is stuck in a sort of limbo between her home life and the nonexistent life she wishes to have with her peers.
Alice’s life changes forever when she is invited to a party by her old friend. She wants to reconnect with her acquaintance, and hopes to find a friend group that she will be accepted in. Alice arrives at the party and is offered a drink laced with LSD, unbeknownst to her. Alice unknowingly ingests the hidden LSD, sparking the first of many drug trips that Alice experiences throughout her life. As the book progresses, Alice falls in with the wrong crowd. She starts doing drugs instead of going to class, and drifts even further from her family. Her parents begin to suspect that something is off with their daughter, and they encourage her to get a job to keep her busy. Alice follows their advice, but it is at her new job that she meets a girl who also dabbles with various drugs. The two became friends and begin to spend time together, doing drugs and eventually running away so that they can be free from their constricting parents.
While on the road, Alice and her friend start their own boutique. They swear off drugs for awhile, and everything seems as though they will never fall so low again. However, they both relapse when they become friends with other drug users. Alice then goes off the rails and does anything she can for drugs. She finds herself waking up in places she doesn't know and has no idea of how much time has passed. It is in this drug induced haze that she wishes to return to her family. She eventually finds her way home, and is welcomed without a second thought. Shortly after this, she is slipped LSD by classmates who want her to use again. She has a terrible trip and ends up in an insane asylum. When she is released she thinks everything will finally be better, but two weeks later Alice is pronounced dead from a drug overdose.
Personally, I found Go Ask Alice to be a riveting tale of a lost girl trying to find her way back to the right path. At times it was difficult to read because of the severity and sadness on the pages. Alice underwent so much throughout her life and sometimes it affected her for the worse. I found this novel to be relatable, not only because I am the same age as Alice was, but because her struggles were some of the same ones I have experienced. Granted, I have never run away from home while on various drugs, but I felt like I was next to Alice, living her life with her. As I read her diary, I felt like I was her friend.
Go Ask Alice is an amazing novel that I would recommend to anyone mature enough to handle the contents discussed. There are certain topics, drugs, alcohol, sex, and disorders, that many parents would find offensive. However, it must be noted that this book is not encouraging or condoning these habits, rather the exact opposite. This diary was the honest ramblings of a girl who was affected by these habits. She knew it wasn’t right, and in her diary she expressed how she ashamed she was of herself. If anything, this diary is a warning to other young adults traveling down similar paths. Alice’s story is heartbreaking, honest, and sadly, not the first drug filled teenage ballad. Go Ask alice provides teens with a relatable character that they can identify with, and allows them to know that they are not alone in their struggles.

message 2: by Mrs. Raabe (new)

Mrs. Raabe (molly_raabe) | 12 comments Thank you for writing such a thoughtful critique. I have had this on my list of "want to reads" for a long time. It seems to be a heart wrenching story... but an important story to read.

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