How Received: bought for class
January 24th. After you've had it, there isn't even life without drugs...
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.
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.)
Final Comments: Read it for a look on the development of ya lit in history and if you're really into darker contemporary fiction, but I'd stay away otherwise. There are better reads with better character voices.
Have you read Go Ask Alice? What did you think?