Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Go Ask Alice--Anonymous

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.

Has someone ever raved and raved about a book and told you that you should "definitely read it!" and then you do and you HATE it? That was this book for me. My 14 year old sister actually had a friend of hers recommend it, and she told me about it, not really knowing what it was about. I got it from the library, read it, and.... here I am. If you decide to read it, I want you to know exactly what you were getting yourself into. It's a downer. And it doesn't have a happy ending. Throughout the story, you note how her language and personality changes when she is doing drugs and hanging out with the "wrong crowd" vs. how she acts when she is clean. I thought the language and the subject matter (a 15-yr old trading sex for drugs and dealing at school) was actually quite offensive. I was horrified to know that a friend of my sister "loved" this book and recommended it to her. I would never recommend it to anyone and I kind of wish I had never read it. The whole time, I was waiting for it to get better--for her to "overcome", but she didn't. She overdosed and died. I really can't stomach books with children doing harmful, illegal, or degrading things. It was much to depressing for my taste and after reading it, I really just felt like I needed to take a shower...

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