“Go Ask Alice”: Influential novel for teens

By Maeonne Phillips

    “Go Ask Alice” is a book composed of real life journal entries written by a teen drug user. Certain names, dates, places, and events were changed in the making of the book, and the author remains anonymous.

    The book is meant to inform readers on the dangers of addiction and the consequences of drug use.

    The horrors begin when the 15 year old narrator takes a drugged drink during a party and ends up loving the experience. From then on she begins trying all kinds of different drugs and before she knows it she is addicted.

    The drug use puts her in bad habits and, throughout the book, she becomes a struggling on and off user. Her life is thrown in different directions, and her bad experiences haunt her to want to end her addiction.

    From what I read, it was pretty obvious the book takes place in the 1960s. The narrator talks about her use of records, letters and visits to malt shops after school along with her 50s and 60s slang.

    The book truly demonstrates the horrors of drug use and the struggle to refrain from use once you start, when only one experience can get a person hooked for life.

    “After you’ve had it, there isn’t even life without drugs,” is the most influential quote of the book because with so many teens being exposed to drugs in high school, they need someone to tell them they will get hooked, and there is no “I’ll only do it once.”

    Teens rarely ever listen to adults and health classes; both give barely any effect other than dragged on awareness and scolding. The true horrors of the journal entries will put a reader in the first person perspective of the narrator, leaving one with a fearful impression of drugs.

     “Bill pulled me down, and my head rested in his lap as I watched the pattern change to swirling colors, great fields of reds, blues and yellows. I tried to share the beauty with the others, but my words came out soggy, wet and dripping or tasting of color,” the narrator describes during her first use of drugs by accident.

    She is blinded by beauty and has no idea of what terrors were to follow.

    The writer’s use of vivid colors, shapes and feelings provide an unbelievable and realistic picture for the reader who feels they are taking their own trip as the narrator takes hers. It is really a well written and effective diary.

    I think the book really had an effect on me because the narrator’s life really went downhill, and it was terrifying how highly effective just one mistake at a party led to such disaster, especially since she was the same age I am now. Her story is kind of unforgettable.  

    I think this book provides the perfect scare for all teens in this generation along with the high exposure of drugs that comes with high school.

     The novel is a great read, and I would definitely recommend it: I could not stop reading from the second I started.


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