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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 14 October 2003
Go Ask Alice is definitely a most bizarre book. When first published in the early seventies it was presented as an actual diary of a fifteen-year-old drug-user, later it turned out to be written by a middle-aged, mormon woman by the name of Beatrix Sparks. This definitely could explain some of the more puzzling aspects of the book. Within days of having her coke spiked with acid at a party, Alice is shooting speed and is launched into the degenerate world of drugs which consists of rape and prostitution, vindictive peers and (gasp!) homosexuality. Alice finds it impossible to get out of the vicious circle where junkies are constantly throwing free drugs at her. (Who would have guessed junkies were so generous with their suplies?) Alice almost makes it back to a happy, normal life with the help of her family, who are like characters out of a fiftie's sitcom (She even has a little brother named Tim), but alas, what kind of ending would that have been?
It is important for kids and adults alike to have good information on drugs (and the misery that often go with them) but if you're looking for a realistic book, this ain't it.
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on 7 July 2013
It is a shameful con when someone, whom we now know to be a middle-aged Mormon woman, publishes a book that purports to be the tragic diary of a teenage girl lost in drug addiction. The style of writing makes it so blatantly obvious that these are not the words or thoughts of a teenage girl. This is particularly transparent when she mixes archaic sounding literary language with 'street talk'. Ever heard a 16 year old say, "It is a difficult lost vacillating time. ....... because surely I would not have the strength or the fortitude to get through that number again." or "It's a prodding, colorless, dissonant bare existence. It stinks.".

Issues concerning drugs and drug addiction need to be discussed openly and honestly. For someone who is clearly trying to establish that drug taking inevitably leads to immoral behaviour and a complete undermining of an individuals ethical foundations, it seems somewhat hypocritical to employ this kind of deceit to further her ends. I regret buying this book because: a) it's awful, b) I hate the thought of any of my money going into the hands of the person who wrote it.
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on 19 June 2000
I have read this book over and over again since I was 14. Each and everytime I find something new and understand it just that little bit more. To me Alice's diary demonstrates the pressure on teens now, haven't changed in any real way at all, to what it was like then. There are still people pushing drugs, kids still despise what their parents say and it just keeps going on from one generation to the next. This book made me think a lot more about every decision I made and how it might affect me. I think about Alice at the most unusual times like when I'm shopping as if she was my friend and I actually knew her. Growing up is hard enough but to try and do that and quit drugs at the same time would be torture. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone no matter what age. Parents will appreciate it because it will remind them of just how hard it was to be a teenager. For teenagers it'll be a bit of a wake up call that will show you just what drugs will do to you and that you have to choose your friends wisely. This is a book that you will read over and over again as if each time was the first.
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on 13 September 2003
I read this book a few months ago and something about it left me a little uneasy. Then I stumbled upon this link [...]
which explained a lot. Go and read what it says then make up your own mind. Go Ask Alice - truly a great work of fiction.
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on 31 July 2007
It's been suggested by several sources that the diaries in this book is based on aren't genuine - that why were written by someone in the publishing industry.

Having read the book, I have strong doubts about the authenticity of these diaries. They just don't ring true - they feel more like an adult writing in a style he/she considers a 15 year old girl would write in. The grammar is simply too good (in my opinion) for a 15 year old to have written ... and when was the last time you heard a 15 year old use words like 'echelon' and 'antagonistic'.

It's an enjoyable enough read; but the book's main selling point is its claim to be true, and I found this very hard to believe
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on 19 May 2002
im 15 and read this book in a day because i couldnt put it down. i didnt stop reading all day and did no work in school and spoke to none of my friends. the book shows emotions no one could ever speak to you it helps you understand the highs and lows of drugs, the freedom they give you but can then take away. deffinately a book every teenager should read!!
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on 15 March 2013
I'd heard a great deal about this book and figured I should give it a go. A hell of a lot slimmer than the books I'm used to and not really a subject I need much schooling in. This kinda snapped my heart in two. Normally I read these stories and think, "I knew someone just like you and they were insufferable." For once I felt myself connect with the main character, it was wonderful when she was happy and heart wrenching when certain things happened, (I really don't want to give too much away) You should read this, no matter your age. It's not the most accurate portrayal, nor the best written, but it's worth your time.
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on 4 August 2013
It has finally emerged that "Go Ask Alice" wasn't written by a teenager but by a middle aged religious anti-drug fanatic,making this one of the biggest cons in modern letters.
If you're a parent and you're trying to explain the (very real) risks of drugs to your teenage children,your primary duty is to tell them the truth-teenagers have a very acute nose for lies.This book simply is absurd,and will not educate anyone.
A far better book for showing teenagers the risks of drugs is "Christiane F"-far superior, even the most recent (awful) translation.Don't waste your or your kids' time with this.
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on 8 October 2002
As a drama teacher in some of the most drug ravished schemes in Glasgow, I found this book to be more than just a concience tugging read. It has been a life line to so many young people who have to make uninformed decisions on a daily basis that drastically alters their lifes. Alice is a real person who reaches the highs that few people in education are willing to admit exsist.It also, without predjudice and vindication, makes the reader horrifyingly aware of the lows. In a society where education cannot compete with pop culture, Alice has a voice that touches and penetrates with a message few could so convincingly sell.
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on 27 July 2004
It is now well known that this book was not written by an anonymous narrator, but by a woman who also 'authored' multiple other 'anonymous diaries', with probably some other writers (see <[...]> for details). It is not very honest of the publisher to continue to market this book as a true confession.
In addition, it's really not a very good book. Once you read it, it is clear that no 15-year-old would write this way, but neither is it very well written. If you want your teenager to read about the 'perils of drugs' give them Melvyn Burgess's Junk instead - at least that feels real.
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