I read this book probably 10 times as a teenager, and was fascinated by the deviant behavior of the protagonist. It would be interesting to read it again as an adult. Here's a link about the book being an urban legend, rather than an actual diary: http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/askalice.asp
Originally published in 1971, this book has sold millions of copies. Most editions say on the front cover "A real diary."
From the back of my copy:
"You can't ask Alice anything anymore. But you can do something -- read her diary. Strong, painfully honest, nakedly candid. The actual story of a desperate girl on drugs and on the run who almost made it.
'An extraordinary work... A document of horrifying reality.' The New York Times"
Actually, it's a fake, written by Beatrice Sparks. Read more at Snopes.
Trivia: In the 1973 made-for-TV version, William Shatner starred as the doomed girl's father.
excellent true-life journal of adolescence gone down the wrong trails, a bit dated [late 60s/early70s] but not too much even for todays kids...if you want a scary but heartning anti-drug example, this is reality
As others have said, this is a fictional piece and, in my opinion more propaganda than an interesting memoir. When I read it at the age of 12 it made me curious to experiment with drugs more than it did deter me. I don't recommend it.
Very, very good. I loved that the format of the book was actually in diary form. This book is moving and very emotional. The ending catches you very offguard as well. I would suggest giving this book a try!
I first read this book when I was 13 years old and I do credit the book with keeping me away from hard drugs. I also had my daughters read the book as well. I just recently re-read the book to see how I would view it as an adult. I still view it as a very enlightening book. Whether the book is a real diary of a 15 year old girl, or a work of fiction is not important here. The book shows what it feels like to be a teenage girl facing the problems all teens face. Its a good book for all ages, but I would encourage parents to have their daughters read it around age 12-13. I don't have any sons so I don't have any idea if this book would be good for them to read. I still highly regard this book 35 years after I first read it.
I don't know what I think of it. In the beginning I liked it, then I hated it, then I thought this would be great for kids to read so they know what happens when you take drugs, and later when you regret you took them. Then I got to the end and hated it again.
I found it quite horrifying. Maybe I was just that sheltered as a kid, but I never came into any situation of "friends" like her's or drugs like that. I found the book seriously scary to think a kid might read it and walk away with an entirely different view about "awesome drug experiences" or something like that.
And I still do not know if this is a true story...!
This book was SO EXCELLENT! I loved everything about it especially the reality and how the book throws you into the life of a teenager addicted to drugs. This book is in the form of a diary, which was a plus in my opinion because diaries of peoples lives interest me. Here is a paragraph from the back of the book:
"The harrowing TRUE story of a teenager's descent into the seductive world of DRUGS. A diary so honest you may think you know Alice -or someone like her. Read her diary. ENTER HER WORLD. You'll never be able to forget ALICE.
Another great book, Alice writes her life down through diary entries, chronologing her struggles through life, from running away, to relationships, living life on the streets, and even experimenting with drugs, again, a great read.
As a teenager, this book lost all credibility to me when I found out it was fictional. After reading it believing that Alice was a true person and that this story was real, I was sorely let down to find out it was not a true diary. It instantly went from a chilling chronicle of a real life gone wrong to another cautionary tale trying to scare young teens out of drug use.
If I had gone into this book viewing it as a novel, I can't say I would have liked it. It's okay at best.
I love this book, I will not give anything away though but I will say it is a must read. Adults and teenagers alike will find this book moving and painfully real. Be warned though this book is not for the young as it contains "adult themes", it deals with drug use.
I thought this book was really good. Every now and then the language seemed a bit odd, but I suppose that's because I wasn't around in the '60s, '70s. In my opinion, it's a good way to teach teens the different forms of drugs. When I read it as a 13-yr-old I didn't know about LSD or dropping acid or any of that, all I really knew about was cocaine and marijuana. So for me, it was a good way to learn about the drugs without being influenced to actually try them out.
I read this as a teen, now my daughter read it as a teen for a report. No matter how long ago this book was written, it seems to give an accurate account of drug abuse. That begs the question, we change evolve and things improve or get better, but drugs when abused have the same outcome and travel down that spiraling staircase to nowhere????
A good read for any teen I think. Although this is an extreme case of drug abuse by a young teenager.....it is still worth paying attention to.
I just got done reading this book, and enjoyed it very much. It really hit my heart. And I never wanted to ever try drugs, after reading this. I know for a fact I don't want to. It is very sad. I most likely will read it again. But I am disappointed that it is a fake. The author Beatrice Sparks did a good job writing it though. It does seem as if it really was written by a 15 year old drug addicted. They said that High School teachers like for their students to read it, and well if I was a teacher, I would highly recommend it. It is a good example of the slow down fall from being an innocent teen in the late 1960's and becoming the thing you could never imagine you would become. I really do think this is a wonderful book for teenagers to read, and I recommend it for everyone. Even adults.
This book was written in Diary form, which I think was the best way to read it. This girl had gone through so much mixed up with the world on drugs. I don't want to spoil anything but I was so heartbroken at the end of the book....Short quick read, but in my opinion, not to be taken lightly. Great book!
this book is really awesome... im 16 and i loved this book.. it gives you great ideas of who you want to be and what roads you want and dont want to take... i highly recommend this book for anyone who has teenagers... let them read it :D bye
I found this a moving and provocative novel. The reader feels as if they know her. You are lying next to her at night while she writes, on the floor next to her after she was unknowingly given drugs, looking at the blurry lights with her. The editor does an amazing job of bringing to life someone whose death was senseless.
Imagine a diary from a troubled 15 year old girl from the 70s. Then imagine a corporation that stands to lose a lot of money if drugs were legalized. Now imagine that the corporation contracted someone to write the fake diary of a troubled 15 year old girl with the intent to scare the bejesus out of parents who know nothing about illicit drugs. GO ASK ALICE is what that book would be.
While the underlying message may be somewhat relevant to parents that are concerned about their children getting mixed up with the wrong crowd, only a child (or parent) living under a rock would take it seriously. I would highly discourage any parent from allowing their child to read this book. I would instead recommend that they watch REEFER MADNESS so they can at least gain some entertainment value from such dated material.