Go Ask Alice

Go Ask Alice

by Anonymous


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A teen plunges into a downward spiral of addiction in this classic cautionary tale.

January 24th
After you’ve had it, there isn't even life without drugs...

It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth—and ultimately her life.

Read her diary.
Enter her world.
You will never forget her.

For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl’s harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful—and as timely—today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416914631
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 12/27/2005
Series: Anonymous Diaries Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 21,680
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 1010L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

A Simon & Schuster author.

Read an Excerpt

September 16

Yesterday I remember thinking I was the happiest person in the whole earth, in the whole galaxy, in all of God's creation. Could that only have been yesterday or was it endless light-years ago? I was thinking that the grass had never smelled grassier, the sky had never seemed so high. Now it's all smashed down upon my head and I wish I could just melt into the blaaaa-ness of the universe and cease to exist. Oh, why, why, why can't I? How can I face Sharon and Debbie and the rest of the kids? How can I? By now the word has gotten around the whole school, I know it has! Yesterday I bought this diary because I thought at last I'd have something wonderful and great and worthwhile to say, something so personal that I wouldn't be able to share it with another living person, only myself. Now like everything else in my life, it has become so much nothing.

I really don't understand how Roger could have done this to me when I have loved him for as long as I can remember and I have waited all my life for him to see me. Yesterday when he asked me out I thought I'd literally and completely die with happiness. I really did! And now the whole world is cold and gray and unfeeling and my mother is nagging me to clean up my room. How can she nag me to clean up my room when I feel like dying? Can't I even have the privacy of my own soul?

Diary, you'll have to wait until tomorrow or I'll have to go through the long lecture again about my attitude and my immaturity.

See ya.

Copyright © 1971 by Simon & Schuster

Reading Group Guide

A Guide for Reading Groups
About This Book
She doesn't want to get hooked on drugs. Every time after she uses, she feels guilty and low and vows to stay away. But she just can't resist the way the drugs make her feel — beautiful and popular and connected to the world around her. And since nobody understands how alone and miserable she is without the drugs, how can they possibly understand how much she needs them? We may not know her name, but we can imagine how she feels as her diary records a descent into drug-induced madness.
Discussion Questions
1. Every time the main character has something important happen in her life — a summer with her grandparents, her family's move, an invitation to a big party, etc — she focuses on her weight and wardrobe. Does this help her fit in and make friends? Is it good for her? Are there any connections between this and the things that happen to her later?
2. As her family prepares to move, the narrator says, "Even now I'm not really sure which parts of myself are real and which parts are things I've gotten from books." Do you understand what she means by this? As time passes, what else does she use to define who she is? What are some other (possibly better) things that you can use to create an identity for yourself?
3. The main character does not feel like she fits in with her other family members, nor does she belong to any group at school. What causes her to feel so separated and different? Do these reasons change throughout the course of the story? Do you think she really is as odd as she feels?
4. How does the writer get along with the other members of her family? Do her parents understand her? Is her relationship with her mother unusual for a teenage girl?
5. "Anonymous" makes friends at different times throughout the book, but none of them are in her life for very long. Why do the different friendships end? What does each person — Jill, Gerta, Beth, Chris, etc — mean to the writer? Is she a good friend to each of them? Who do you think is the best friend to have?
6. Do you think that the narrator's life is really as horrible as she makes it out to be? Do you know of people who have it worse than she does? Where else, besides drugs, could she have turned to solve her problems?
7. The main character spends a lot of time justifying her actions — she only sells drugs to kids who would buy them anyway, she didn't realize she was dropping acid the first time, etc. What are some of her other excuses? Does she really believe all of these? Do you think any of her actions are justified?
8. Why is it so hard for her to remain clean? Why do her former friends give her such a hard time? Is there anyone who helps her go straight? Would it be that hard to switch crowds at your school?
9. The second time the writer runs away from home, the tone and style of her diary entries change radically. What are some of these changes? Why do you think her writing style changes during this time?
10. Why is the author so obsessed with death, and with what happens to bodies after they are buried? Do you think these thoughts affect the acid trip that lands her in the hospital?
11. How do you feel about the ending of the book? Does it fit with the rest of the story?
12. There has been some debate about the authorship of this book, with many people saying that it is not an actual diary but is instead a fictionalized account created by an editor or another writer. Who do you think wrote the book? Does the author understand what it's like to be a teenager and address the problems that young people have? Does it change the way you feel about the book to think that it might not be a true story?
13. Go Ask Alice was written over 30 years ago — is it still relevant today? How has life changed for people your age? What things are the same?

1. Most communities have a helpline that people can call when they feel like they have nobody to talk to. After completing some training, you may be able to work at such a helpline. Check into opportunities and consider volunteering. Or talk to your school officials about starting some sort of peer counseling group at your school. You can help others just by listening to their stories.
2. Choose your favorite scene from the book and rewrite it using modern language. Make it sound like something that you might write in a diary.
3. Go Ask Alice was written in the 1970's, a decade with a very unique sense of style. There are several books with 70's-style crafts — macramé, string art, clothing items, etc. Make your own 1970's project to wear or use as decoration.
4. The narrator tries to change her image several times throughout the story. Figure out how you could change your image, even for a day, and see how it works. Consider changing your clothes, your hairstyle, the people you hang out with, or your attitude toward school. See if you have as much trouble changing as the character does in the story.
5. In the book, the main character talks about how drugs make her feel more connected, both to other people and to the world that she lives in. Find something that makes you feel like you belong and make it a part of your life. Perhaps you can do some charitable work, start a book club, paint, or chat online. Be creative!
6. There have been other books that deal with teenagers and drugs, most notably Crank by Ellen Hopkins and Smack by Melvin Burgess. Read one or more of these books and compare them to Go Ask Alice.

This reading group guide has been provided by Simon & Schuster for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers * SimonSaysTEACH.com

Customer Reviews

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Go Ask Alice 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1805 reviews.
SamanthaRenae91 More than 1 year ago
I think that many people will appreciate this book and will find it helpful in understanding the life of a drug addict. This book makes people see the other side of an addict, they can really get to know alice in the book. And not just as a drug addit but as a person who is struggling to be a better person for herself and for her family. I think everyone should read this fantastic book.
Sara-Stewart More than 1 year ago
Most of us know by now that this is not a "true" diary, but a fiction. Nevertheless, it's highly entertaining as a cautionary tale of drugs and a teenage descent into hell. It reminds me a lot of the German film, CHRISTIANE F. -- another story of a downward spiral into oblivion due to drugs. In many ways, it also reminds me of a 1970s' "movie of the week" -- and in fact a movie does exist of this (and it even features William Shatner); though I haven't seen it. This is a terrific book for those with a morbid curiosity (like myself) about drug addiction and runaways. It's a dark entertainment and a dark fantasy that poses the question: What if? (What if I allowed myself to go there?) It's like a death wish in many ways. But I do recommend it -- I kept wanting to see how far it would go -- and if it would end tragically. Some have found the writing to be less than spectacular, but I don't care: I was fine with it. For a so-called "young adult" book, it's edgy. It's also a period piece in many ways. A peek into the drug culture during the late hippy days (not to sound disparaging). It has that hippy culture-gone-bad vibe. Recommended (for unconventional readers).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this the first time in my late teens...20 years ago! I remembered really enjoying the book, but couldn't remember the specifics of it. So when I recently came accrossed it again, I re-read it. It was just as good 20 years later!! Definately a classic!! And in a few years when my daughter is old enough, I will reccomend it to her! And although some have questioned weather this book is an actual diary or a work of fiction, I don't believe it makes much difference. Fact is, this HAS happened, CAN happen and sadly, will continue to happen girls/young women.....
Screekmore0122 More than 1 year ago
I have read this book every summer for the past 6 years. Plus I have also read it a few times here and there and in school. I get somethig out of it every time. The last 50 pages of this book fly! I love it so much because I believe it so much in that I know it's not someone writing about someone, it truly is Alice's diary. No one and I mean no one could describe an LSD trip like Alice does in the later parts of the book. I personally have never done drugs, but they way she describes it is what i would really imagine it to be like.Colorful dripping maggots.....IT'S A MUST READ!! for any and all young teens and other adults!
hannahmccreless More than 1 year ago
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous was a diary of a fifteen-year-old girl, named Melanie. She was like any other teenager that had a school crush, wanted to be popular, and was always conscious about the way she looked. When she was only fifteen she was slipped LSD in her drink at a party and she loved it. Throughout the entire book, she is caught in a vicious cycle of good and bad. She constantly battled the inability to handle drugs verses her yearning to be drug free. It got to the point where she would trade sex for drugs and eventually had to get help, even though the medical intervention was not the final answer. She finds that when she tries to give up drugs, everyone befriends her and her life is miserable with out them and resorts back to drugs. This situation basically makes it impossible to ignore the urge to use drugs. This book was fairly easy to read because it always kept me wanting to read the next page. This book is real and the character doesn't hold anything back. It's full of unexpected turns and I always want the main character to get through the situation. I loved this book because, sadly enough, I love reading about how other peoples lives are worst than mine. It made me realize how one drink at one party when you were fifteen can affect the rest of your life. It also made me realize that Melanie was just like me and my friends in how we worry about what others think about us, what our social status is, and how we look. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a story that will change your perspective on things that matter to you the most.
Guest More than 1 year ago
About halfway through this book I began to suspect this book was just fiction, intended to scare young people away from drugs. My suspicions arose because this wasn't written like a real diary and didn't sound like a real chronicle of events. Some examples: '1' Music is extremely important to most teens, so I would expect a lot of song titles, group names, and talk about going to concerts, but there was only one song reference--The Beatles' bland 'She's Leaving Home'--as if music never had much meaning for her. '2' The author was beaten up and raped while on drugs one night, but never mentions her recovery or lingering pains or bruises, as if it were just an 'Oh well' event to be forgotten. '3' There is a surprising lack of philosophy, as if she were just a spectator of events happening to her, as if she couldn't correlate or generalize her hard-earned lessons. '4' It is unrealistically focused. Real diaries have loads of irrelevant thoughts and incidents--trips to the dentist, TV shows, movies, new hobbies, cute guys who come and go quickly--but this story seems a little too simple and streamlined to be a sampling of real life. '5' Erroneous information about homosexuality. Twice the author gives examples of friends who 'went homo' after getting involved in drugs, which I don't believe happens. A person's sexual preferences are remarkably stable throughout life, so it looks to me that the writer got caught making a technical mistake regarding this old homosexuality myth of the '70s while trying to scare people away from drugs. '6' Her delight with marijuana seems backwards. After starting with LSD, which is one of the most extreme drug experiences, she enthusiastically talks about how marijuana was all that it was said to be. It seems to me that the effects of marijuana, which are often so slight that many people can't even tell they're high, would be a major disappointment for someone who liked LSD so much. And if she liked her LSD trip so much, wouldn't she be writing about it frequently afterwards, instead of moving on and immediately forgetting about it? There are similar descriptions that seem inconsistent and unrealistic to me. The end with the psych ward is more realistic, though, as was the on-again off-again battle against addiction. The end was very unexpected, but even that is suspicious: did nobody follow up to see what happened? Overall I think the book was realistic enough and important enough to be a good read, and I feel better believing this was a real diary, but I have suspicions to the contrary.
Firannion More than 1 year ago
I'm not at all surprised that the people giving this book positive reviews are all saying things like, 'I've never tried drugs, but this sounds so realistic, this must be what it's really like.' Well, this is not AT ALL what it's really like. I read this book when it first came out in the early '70s, when I was in college and experimenting with a number of drugs. As soon as I read it I knew that it wasn't a real diary by a real teenager. The descriptions of 'Alice's' experiences sounded so hokey, they could've been the script for one of the government drug-scare movies of the '30s like 'Reefer Madness.' For one thing, hallucinogens like LSD aren't addictive. If you want to know more about what it's really like to take drugs from people who have been through the experience for better or worse, there are plenty of good, factual resources out there, but this book is NOT one of them. It's just trashy, sensationalized pulp propaganda, and I think that it's a shame that it still sells well.
McLoving0310 More than 1 year ago
This Book Go Ask Alice is a private journal from a patient who has went through it all. This little girl grows up alone in the world thinking everyone is against her. Drugs, sex, parties and much more is found in this book like you would find in the ¿real world¿. It is really interesting how she went through life with different obstacles, also that she was a victim to the party. I loved this book, I would recommend this book to any teenager wondering what the dark side of the real world is.
anysia_absence More than 1 year ago
This book may be small but it is packed with emotions. This book was originaly a dairy kept by a very troubled girl. She goes through many battles to find herself. It is a sad but great book. If you like anything by Ellen Hopkins like crank or glass then you will love this book.
Fred_DeLeon More than 1 year ago
I didn't expect it to be as well written as it was. It was also very interesting and poignant.
ML91 More than 1 year ago
Go Ask Alice has recently become one of the most interesting and captivating books I have ever read. I found it very hard to put down the book once I began reading. Though the book is an easy read, I would not think any less of the story itself. This book really opened my eyes to the effects of drugs. And by the effects, I don't mean how you feel while you are on them, but the ridiculous addiction you can fall into just after one time. It really makes you think of those you know and love who have fallen into the pressure of doing drugs. Even if they say they can stop any time they want, this book makes it obvious that once you have done them there is no turning back. The book itself is a roller coaster. Just when you feel secure with "Alice" she throws you off with another crazy trip. Alice is constantly jumping back and forth between social groups trying to figure out where she belongs in it all. Go Ask Alice shows the struggle for a young girl just trying to find her identity in a harsh drug-filled world. The book can be quite graphic at times when it comes to certain descriptions of her "trips." This book is most definitely unforgettable and I would recommend it to anyone interested in books with such harsh content and could relate to the search for identity. I would not recommend this book to any young readers, for the content might be a little too mature for them to really take in. The book will have you thinking about your own life and your own identity for weeks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is obvious to me this author has never done drugs in her life. I have met many addicts in life including LSD addicts, they are almost nothing like the protagonist in this book. If anyone thinks that this is a good representation of all "drug addicts" then I suggest you do your research on it. I hate authors who think they know what they're talking about and yet the've probably never done the activities themselves. You can't write an accurate representation without going through it yourself.
Courtdork13 More than 1 year ago
I finished it in one day and its amazing. When she first described the feeling of being on drugs, i thought that it all would feel relaxing. But as the story continued, everything went downhill and scared me. I always remember Alice when someone says something about drugs.
Taylor-Marie More than 1 year ago
I don't really care for drug stories much, but this book is postively riveting. While most stories go on in first person or third person, this one came with a new twist of actual diary entries, making it even more realistic. The true story of a girl who struggeled with drugs makes an impact on those who are surrounded by drugs in their daily lives, and living proof in writing. The only sore spot is that the girl's name is never revealed so reading the story makes it difficult. Other than that, the story is a great life lesson for teenagers to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i think this was a very good book. you can actually put your self in alice shoes and see and feel what she's really going through. It makes me realize what my life coulld of been like if i had chosen the wrong path... i recommend this book for someone in a high school... it can make them realize something just like i realized it myself...
teenelizabeth More than 1 year ago
This is an openly raw and emotional book. The reader is immediately drawn into the story because the main character could be anyone.
chocoluvazy More than 1 year ago
If you want to read how drugs and dangerous choices can ruin a person's life, read the CRANK series by Ellen Hopkins (or anything by her, really).  It is written in poetry form, but that just makes it more stunning and haunting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My mom recommended this book to me when I was around 13 years old and it has stayed with me my whole life. Because of this book when most of my friends were doing drugs and experimenting I was the one saying no I'm not interested. To this day it is one of my favorite books and I strongly recommend it. Whether its a real diary or not this happens everyday and shouldnt be ignored.
Jackie Palmer More than 1 year ago
This is the most scary and amazing book I've ever read! I am forever changed. I am never going to touch drugs in my life. You have to read this book. This will truly change your life and your perspective on life, death, family, and drugs. It is a must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The biggest problem with this book has to do with its covert propaganda that "children of divorce will become addicted to drugs."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a Good Choice For Educating Teen About the Dangers of Drugs Who ever wrote this book clearly didn't even do any research into what some of these drugs actually do to a person. During the entry where Alice tried pot for the first time I almost put the book down. This is a book written to scare teenagers (who don't know any better) out of doing drugs and that's all fine and dandy. Teenagers don't need to be experimenting with some of the things that are addressed in this book, but if you hand it to a teen who has done these thing, they are going to laugh and chuck it into the garbage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can anyone tell me why in the editoral review it tells you the ending? What the heck
wordforteens More than 1 year ago
I normally don't review books that I read for class, mainly because I tend to think in two different patterns - one when I'm reviewing, and one when I'm analyzing a text for all it's literary nuances and how it uses certain phrasing and whatnot. And, for most of Go Ask Alice, I managed to keep in the thought process of of literary nuances and how it uses certain phrasing and whatnot. But the reviewer part of my brain was nagging me, going, "You would recommend Crank over this. You know you would and you know you know why." And since I can never deny the reviewer half of me... I would recommend Ellen Hopkins' Crank over this. It's not because Go Ask Alice lacks merit; I see why it would have transformed the world around it and so on and so forth when it was originally published. But I don't think a lot of readers today, myself included, are going to be as aweshocked as they were back then. Not because we're exposed to more reading material like it, but damn it all if Alice didn't talk the same way every stereotypical drug addict from that time period ever talked. I mean, I know stereotypes come for a reason, and I know it was a real diary and whatever, so it can't exactly be helped. But it borders on being cheesy at times - talking about The Establishment and the man in ways that drive me insane. It's part of that time period and she is young and that's how she thinks. But I can't help but be annoyed by it. It just comes across a bit fake, even though they claim it's not. Unfortunately, it is, of course; perhaps if it were a true story, I'd be able to deal. But despite how it's marketed, it is placed in the fiction section for a reason - it was written by two adult women. (When we talk about this in my ya lit class, I'll mention how that affects how people read it and so on and so forth, but really, it's just more annoying than anything.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing. No matter what anyone says it feels real to me.i am a 14 year old girl and when i first read this book i thought it was goung to be like any other but no it speaked to me and now oi have changed my mind about my existist. I am no longer worthless i do matter i no longer want to end my life cause the world needs me. I am not a waste of space and "alice" told me that. This book can change anyones mind so why not open your mind to the idea of reading it?
Lauren_55 More than 1 year ago
this book was really fantastic. i felt like i was part of the book and juts looking at this girl go thorugh all of this horrible stuff. it made me want to jump in the book and save her. this defintly made me not want to ever do drugs. this book changed the way i felt about the things and like wanted me to just read more about drugs and things like this. this was my first book on drugs and addicts and ever since i read thiss book it made me want to read books like twisted, cut, lush, perfect, thirteen reasons why, safe, and speak. i lovee this book and you should defintly read it. It will change your life forever