Letter Essay #8 – Go Ask Alice

Recently I finished the book ‘Go Ask Alice’ a novel written by Anonymous. It’s a nonfiction book, composed of about 184 pages. After finishing my last book, I was unsure of what to read next. While searching a friend recommended ‘Go ask Alice’, with the promise of a horrible yet beautiful book that reads the truth. It really intrigued me that the author chose to remain anonymous, rather than taking credit for the story. I’m assuming the author was the girl who the book is about, but I can’t be sure.


It all starts off with Alice and her first entry into her diary. She is constantly worrying about her weight, recording her adolescent woes, of course…boys, difficulty with school, and she has a hard time with her parents relating to her. Alice’s father accepts a new job forcing Alice to move to a new school. Alice is excited about the move but she realizes that it is very difficult for herself and others. One day at school Alice is invited to a party and at the party Alice unwillingly takes LSD. After the incident, she vows never to take drugs again. That didn’t last very long. Alice sadly experiences with more drugs and loses her virginity while on acid. During all of this she is to scared to talk to anyone about her drug problem. Not her parents, friends, siblings, or the boy she admires. Alice meets a new friend that has the same interests as Alice and they make for good friends. They use drugs and are popular at school.  Alice and Chris get tired of the life they have now and they move to Berkeley and open up a jewelry shop which turns into a hangout spot for most the neighborhood kids. Alice misses her family and returns home. She wants to start new so she returns to school and avoids drugs. Alice eventually meets a freshman at the local university called Joel. Alice thinks that Joel is the one and she has true love for him. She fantasizes about marrying him. One day Alice finds out she is being sent to an insane asylum. Life in the asylum drains Alice but Joel is keeping her alive for now. Alice then returns home and happy. She comments that she no longer needs to keep writing in her diary because for now she has people she can rely on. During the epilogue, the reader experiences the tragic death of Alice three later she ended the diary due to an overdose. She was one of the thousand deaths that year.


I liked the way the author makes the book feel the same as the actual diary so the reader gets the experience as if he/she wrote the diary. It also allows the reader, if needed, to connect with the text if they are going through the same things that Alice had to go through growing up and in her teenage years. She sets this tone of the book that makes the reader feel immersed in the book by the way she keeps Alice’s words the same. The character development is put together very well. This is due to the actual dairy that Alice wrote. It portrays how an actual teenage girl grows up with all this difficult obstacles in her path and more than just the ordinary like drugs. It is very compelling how the author doesn’t change the word choice and how Alice chooses to live her life and leaves it in the book. I feel that if that was changed out and replaced with something a little more fake and extra it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as the book is now. The climax of the plot for me, is when Alice is at Berkeley with Chris and she misses her family. The reason why I think this part of the book is the climax is because she makes one of the biggest decisions of her life without anyone knowing but then she realizes she can’t do it and she comes back home where she belongs.


The scene where this takes place is when Alice is at her lowest point she can be at. She hit actual rock bottom and is unsure of what lays ahead of her. “I wish I were popular and beautiful and wealthy and talented.” (pg. 57) In this scene, it’s almost as if you can feel Alice’s sorrow and depression. You can tell how low her self esteem/worth is and it’s heartbreaking to read. Overall I would rate this book an 8.5/10. It was a truly amazing book and I recommend it to everyone. It shares the unseen world of drugs and abuse and demonstrates the lifelong effects that drugs can have on you.



Madison Ganim

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