Thursday, July 5, 2012

Go Ask Alice

I've had a copy of Go Ask Alice around for a few years now. It actually belongs to my friend Jenni and I will now finally be able to give it back to her because I finally remembered I had it and read it.

It was a quick read, and an insightful one. It's a book that was relevant when it was first released and is still relevant today, despite the differences in pop culture. The title comes from a song, which is referencing Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I have a big problem with this, though there's nothing I can do about it. Lewis Carroll was not on drugs. End of story.

But the thing is, the effects of drugs are still quite real and according to the descriptions in Go Ask Alice, they can seem like a wonderland while on them. The anonymous teenager who inadvertently ingests LSD at a party suddenly wants more and more of this feeling. She swings back and forth from wanting drugs to not wanting to have anything to do with them. This in the end totally ruins her life, which is the point of the story. There's not even much more to say than that many of the diary entries do truly read like a teenage girl's diary. Some of the things she is concerned about are thing I remember being concerned about at that age. So it's relatable, which makes it a good read for teens, especially girls.


Go Ask Alice isn't a novel.
It isn't even the most well-written book ever.
But it's not supposed to be.
It's supposed to be a published diary of a teenage girl.
Those don't read like novels.
Trust me, I would know.
But the thing is, this anonymous teenager might have been real; her story might have been exactly this; might have been.
But I think it's heavily edited.
It could be nonfiction.
It could be fiction.
But none of that matters.
This is a tale of addiction and hopefully it has done its job of scaring teens (and adults, for that matter) off ever using drugs.
I know I never wanted to before reading this, but now I especially don't want to.


So, I give it four stars. People now may complain it's outdated, with the nonexistent cell phones and the talk about hippies (hey, they still exist...), etc. But the message of the book is timeless, and no one should blow it off.

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