Our unknown author is a seemingly good girl who plays "Button, Button, who has the Button" and is takes a trip on LSD thanks to her "friends". She describes her experience as the most outstanding and most scary thing she has ever experienced and swears off drugs for good. However, that is not what happens. She gets hooked and finds herself needing just one more high. She is so hooked, in fact, that she sells drugs to school aged children just to satisfy her 'boyfriend'. On a whim, she runs away with her college aged friend to live in San Fransisco and the struggle to live on their own. When things turn sour, she calls home and her parents rescue her. The writer's struggles as she learns to live on her own after running away and then her family's acceptance of her when she begs to come home are emotionally written. When the writer finally enters rehab, it seems as if she may have finally learned to deal with her addiction and may be on the right track, but we find out in the epilogue that is not the case.
Go, Ask Alice was published under the guise of a teen girls anonymous diary, but it is most likely the creation of it's 'editor'. Nonetheless, the writing shows the inner conflict of a girl that wants so much to be good and please her parents, but becomes addicted to drugs. While at times her desire to be good is a bit sappy, the struggle with addiction is real enough to warn a person away from drugs. The book is controversial in that the drug and sexual exposure is not censored. We learn that she makes mistakes and isn't always good, but that is real life. The book should definitely be kept available so that students can learn from the mistakes of others instead of learning the hard way that drugs are dangerous.
The torture and hell of adolescence has rarely been captured as clearly as it is in this classic diary by an anonymous, addicted teen. Lonely, awkward, and under extreme pressure from her "perfect" parents, "Anonymous" swings madly between optimism and despair. When one of her new friends spikes her drink with LSD, this diarist begins a frightening journey into darkness. The drugs take the edge off her loneliness and self-hate, but they also turn her life into a nightmare of exalting highs and excruciating lows. Although there is still some question as to whether this diary is real or fictional, there is no question that it has made a profound impact on millions of readers during the more than 25 years it has been in print. Despite a few dated references to hippies and some expired slang, Go Ask Alice still offers a jolting chronicle of a teenager's life spinning out of control.
Library Journal Review
"An important book, this deserves as wide a readership as libraries can give it."
I think this book would be appropriate for use in a small group setting either with a book club or in a group of 'at risk' kids. Many schools have outreach programs and at a high school or even some junior high schools, this book could be used as a warning to students that may be heading down the wrong path of life. I would use this as a guide for dialog with student to talk about how they would feel if they were in the writer's shoes. Also, I think this could be easily used in a health class to showcase the dangers of drug use and addiction.
Anonymous. (1971). Go, Ask Alice. New York: Simon Pulse.
Unknown. (?). Go, Ask Alice Review. Retrieved May 8, 2011, from Amazon.com Reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Go-Ask-Alice/dp/product-description/0671664581/ref=dp_proddesc_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books