Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
“Alice could be anyone… Could be someone you know… Alice uses drugs…
Fifteen, white, middle-class, Alice seems to be fine. She is doing well at school. She thinks someday she’d like to get married and raise a family. On 9th July, Alice is turned on to acid. She figures life is more bearable with drugs than without. Alice’s life is never the same again.
Her parents notice changes, but they don’t know what’s happening. They can’t help her. The difference between Alice and a lot of other kids on drugs is that Alice kept a diary…”
I shall be careful not to give away too much. If you do decide to read any of the ‘reviewed’ books I wouldn’t want to spoil the ending for you, or give away any other major plot twists, so I’ll try to be as vague as possible. However, these won’t be completely spoiler free so if that bugs you stop reading here.
What I thought:
For some reason I can’t resist stories about people who were drug addicts. I don’t know what it is, I think I always hope that there’s a happy ending and lots of self-improvement to be proud of and it’ll be really uplifting, but naturally it hardly ever is. If I do find one like that, I’ll be sure to let you know. Equally, if you come across one like that, do tell!This wasn’t one of those uplifting rarities, although I really hoped that it would be. You’d think it would teach me a lesson but you know what? It’s unlikely. I know I’ll do this again sooner or later.
Anyway, this is the story about Alice, a young teenage girl who takes her first drugs by accident. She’s a sweet, good girl but one day she gets invited to a party and – without her knowledge – the host has spiked some of their drinks. She’s one of the ‘lucky’ guests who gets one of those drinks.
From there it slowly but steadily goes downhill. Just out of curiosity, Alice tries other drugs, harder drugs and before a month has passed she finds herself addicted. From there her life goes from taking drugs, to running away from home, to having sex in return for more drugs, to making her way back home to her parents again, ashamed of herself, and vowing that this time, she’ll really really stop.
Of course, there’s always something which throws her back, but eventually she wants to be serious, straighten up and not take a single drug ever again. She does well, too, until school politics become an issue. All of us will know that schools have cliques and groups. At Alice’s school, the two most prominent ones are the kids who take drugs and those who don’t. One night one of the kids who do gets arrested, his house searched, and the other addicts blame Alice – the one who just vowed to straighten up and do better. She had nothing to do with it but no one believes her, and they make her life a living hell. Eventually, they go too far, and Alice ends up in a mental institution. For her this was the final straw, the final thing she needed to put her off drugs for the rest of her life.
Again, she vows to be better, to make her parents proud and atone for all the terrible things she has done since taking the first drugs unknowingly. And I believed her, too, but this book ended like many other stories about drug addicts, too. And I don’t know if she did it herself or if the same person who landed her in the mental institution was also responsible for this.
This was a very good read. Not only do we get to read the part we’ve already read loads of times (or I have, anyway) – the part where they vow to quit but fall back again after all – but we also get to read about someone who was strong enough to stay away, and how all the other addicts reacted to it. To say that they didn’t react well would be a huge understatement. I was really rooting for Alice by the end, I believed her when she said she’d get her life together and I wanted her to do well. The fact that this is written as a diary, her diary, and a true story to boot makes this a very personal read.
It’s Marley and Me all over again – I didn’t see Marley’s death of old age at the end of the movie coming, either. (yes, really)
I don’t review books professionally, neither do I get paid for it. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Amazon listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.
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