“I really am only one infinitely small part of an aching humanity.”I had a problem when I sat down to write this review. I planned to review The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer for you all. Unfortunately, no matter how late I stay up, I just haven't managed to finish it. So it's with massive apologies I change the topic of this review to a book I've read enough times to give you an honest review. Go Ask Alice was a book my mum read when she was younger, she handed it to me when I was 12 and I read it too. The book focuses on the effects of recreational drugs via the journal entries of a young girl, Alice.
Go Ask Alice follows Alice, a young girl with a promising future, as she is introduced into the world of drugs. At first it's through no fault of her own, a spiked drink at a party. Slowly Alice begins to fall into a dark spiral. She becomes addicted, moves away from home and watches, via her journal, as her life falls apart. Alice's journal entries are extremely heart breaking and it almost hurts to watch her go through her issues alone.
Go Ask Alice was rumored to be a journal of a real girl, Anonymous, who used drugs, it even states it on the blurb. However, over the years it has become more and more clearer that the person who actually wrote the book was a lady by the name of Beatrice Sparks. Beatrice is also well known for her story Jay's Journal.
The journal entries are a great way to set out a book, it's interesting to hear the stories from a single point of view. I especially like the way that the journal entries are periodic, there's no set time interval between entries. Listening to Alice recall months at a time in a single journal entry is sad, and then we watch as Alice loses her journal and continues to write on sheets of paper and junk she finds on the streets.
Reviews on this book are always extremely different. People either hate or love this book and I think you can understand why, being such a controversial topic. Whether you believe if the book is fiction or not, the themes and story are still relevant.
I think the reason my mum handed me such a controversial book at such a young age was to deter me. The life experiences of Alice as a result of her drug use is shocking, none of which you'd wish upon your worst enemy. The book acts as shock value, scaring readers into living a life free of drugs.
Go Ask Alice provides for a short, captivating read with a prominent message. The book is timeless, regardless of being published in the early 70's, the themes are relevant for generations to come.
This book is yet another coming of age story, however I find the themes are that little more darker than your traditional coming of age book or self discovery book. If you enjoyed Crank by Ellen Hopkins, Puberty Blues by Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette, and even The Perks of Being A Wallflower.
This post was written by regular reviewer Taylah, get to know her here.