I couldn’t put this book down. I bought it from Goodwill a few weeks ago for like a buck. Sometimes I like to have a quick read right after I finish a book that has taken me awhile to get through. It breaks up the monotony a little bit.
Hopkins wrote this book as a tribute to her daughter–who was addicted to “crank” or meth. There is a sequel called Glass so I’m not sure what happens to her daughter yet. I’ll definitely be reading that when I have time. The book is written in poem format–each “chapter” is a different poem, but they flow in chronological order and it’s not so abstract that you don’t know what she’s talking about. I’m not one for poetry most of the time, but I liked the way she did this one. It was a way to tell a very sad story in a very creative way.
The book is written from the point of view of the daughter–Kristina, or as she likes to call herself when she is high–Bree. For the sake of clarity, I’ll call her Bree. Bree is your typical 16 year old girl who stays out of trouble most of the time, but then she goes to stay with her father for the summer, who is an addict. She meets a guy named Adam, who introduces her to the monster. The monster is what Bree calls meth. When she returns home to her mother and stepfather’s house, she is heartbroken over having to leave Adam, and she has no access to the monster. The rest of the story is about Bree going to any lengths to find crank and will hang out/do anything with anyone who will give it to her. This eventually leads to her downward spiral–details I won’t reveal.
As I said before, I really liked the format of this book. It breaks up your typical novel and your eyes dart all over the page, much like Bree’s probably do when she is high on the monster. As someone who has never tried drugs, I’ve always wondered why someone would want to do them in the first place–what is the attraction? I thought Hopkins did a nice job of depicting the attraction–the high highs of meth, while also portraying the crashes and burns of coming off a high. We also see the desperate need for more and more, and the effects it has on Bree’s relationships with everyone around her.
I thought this was an excellent book, especially for impressionable teenagers and high school teachers. I also think if you liked Thirteen Reasons Why, this might be a good read for you as well.
“Go Ask Alice” is a book that I feel most teenagers should be exposed to, especially 8th grade level through early college. This book would never have passed the curriculum in my high school (private, Christian school) but I think it would have benefited many kids there.
The book was published in 1971, during the peak of sexual and drug exploration in America. The author is a young, 15 year old girl, writing in her diary. We never learn her name, but we learn about her battle with drugs through her personal thoughts in the diary.
The author goes to several more parties and tries every drug in the book, LSD, Heroin, Pot, Cocaine, you name it. Her favorite that she seems to keep coming back to is pot. It gets to the point where she cannot go a day without getting high.
I won’t give away much more of the book, because it is rather short, but the author gets herself deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of drugs (an allusion made to Alice in Wonderland in the book which probably alludes to the title).
Even though this book, this life took place over 30 years ago, many of the elements and themes are extremely relevant today, which is why I think this would be a great book to teach (if I were going to become a teacher).
I give this book a rating of 4/5.