Go Ask Alice

Monday, February 22, 2010

Summary: Go Ask Alice is about a teenage girl, suffering from drug addiction. With her life spiraling down and out of control, she begins to write on her diary, where she tells her side of the story.

Review: First of all, this YA novel is entirely a work of pure fiction. It is however made to be believed as a true story, which to me, is sort of like false advertisement. I don't really mind, and this doesn't detract me from appreciating the story and its message, but I can see how maybe others would be bothered by this.
Second, I do believe this is one of those books that I think are important to discover while at a younger age. The message is simple; Drugs are bad. Do not use them.
However, I do not recommend this so much to anyone older. The literary merit is close to zero, and most of the information about drugs are based on stereotypes and generalizations. At times, also, the situations, events, and even the main character herself, seemed over the top and a bit contrived. Because of this, I found it a bit difficult to relate to the character, and the experiences she was going through. I believe that with character-driven stories like these, it's extremely important to have a powerful and memorable protagonist. Unfortunately, like I said, I did not feel that Alice was memorable enough.
Having said that, I would probably not be reading this again, or get a copy for myself. I hope though, that people will not get me wrong. I do not think this is a bad book at all. I do appreciate it for its raw and emotional story, and its motives to influence teens to stay away from bad habits, as I think this is crucial. But as I already mentioned, this is one that is meant more for younger readers and teens, than any other age group. I give it 3/5.


  1. All of my friends and I read this when we were teens. I am shocked to learn that it is fiction! We completely thought it was a true story. It reads that way and it doesn't say anywhere in the book about being fictitious. At least it didn't in the copy I read fifteen years ago. And it is by anonymous. I would probably agree with you if I read it again today, but I remember it having a powerful impact on me when I was young.

  2. I believe too that this book is only suited for teens. If looked at technically, I do not see anything spectacular about this book. But because this was written in the 70s I believe, it might've made a bigger impact back then compared to now.

  3. I remember reading this when I first started High School. I thought it was a very good read. Not sure how I would feel is I reread it.

  4. Great review. I read this as a young teen, I think 13 or so and I thought it was real!

  5. Thanks everyone for the comments! :)
    It has been said that it has been proven that this is a work of fiction. Wikipedia is not exactly a reliable source, but I put down some sources that might help. :) I will try to find other sources as well.
    This book was apparently promoted as non fiction at first, I'm guessing when it first came out around the 70s. Not long after its publication, the author, Beatrice Sparks, appears and claims that she is the editor. Researchers have dug into its Copyright info, and Sparks name "is listed on the copyright record as the book's author — not as the editor, compiler, or executor, which would be more usual for someone publishing the diary of a deceased person."


  6. A good honest review! Thank you :) I remember this book circulating through our circle when I was a teen, but I had no interest in reading it then. I totally had forgotten about it until reading your post.

    I love your blog and now following :)

    Just One More Paragraph

  7. @tweezle: Thanks for the nice comment, and for following! I also did the same :)

  8. I too remember reading this book as a teen and felt it was creepy. I was a pretty sheltered teen and didn't read this until my younger sister got hold of it and she passed it on to me. I think I remember my older sisters saying that it was fiction by then (early 90s). There was another book pasted around that was suppose to be true about that time then too but I can't remember the name of it.

    Good review!

    I'm also a new follower. :)