The novel should be shown in every high school across the country, Go Ask Alice should be required reading for every junior high student. Targeted more toward a female audience, I don't think young men would get the powerful message conveyed in this simply written diary as well as young women but the point would still get across.
The main character starts off as a 15-year-old girl full of anxiety and pubescent woes. She's not as thin as she would like to be, not as popular as she would like to be and doesn't really have any friends. Her self-esteem lies at the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean. When her father gets a new job and the family has to move, she sees it as a new start. Her self-esteem shoots to the sky. But... she doesn't make any friends right away, so her self-esteem plunges yet again. This roller-coaster action sets the blueprint for the rest of the novel.
Drugs are introduced into the story and this enemy makes the story more all the more vicious. The events that take place are shocking and the diary format makes them more personal. The fact that it's a real diary, makes it even more poignant. You are right there with her, pulled along for all the twists and turns, ups and downs.
I couldn't have been more surprised with this book. First published in 1971, some of the terms may seem dated but it was more endearing than anything else. The people she interacts with are well written so they have a powerful and lasting effect. I actually teared up at a couple parts. I was swept up into story and in the end, I was left emotionally drained.