Because teenagerdom is a mess, but some people handle it better than others.
9 Books That Made Us Terrified of Puberty
by The Mary Sue Staff and Contributors | 12:30 pm, November 8th, 2011
Go Ask Alice
Billed as a “true story,” basically an anonymous girl’s diary printed as a book, this book was supposed to scare teenage girls away from drugs, sex, ever leaving the house, and everything else you can think of. But what made it dubious was that the woman who kept promoting it as a “found diary” was a Mormon youth counselor named Beatrice Sparks who shed light on many pressing issues facing teenagers including AIDS. And Satanism. So, yeah. Totally fake. But that did not stop it from actually being effective at making a teenage girl think twice about trying out the dark, scary land of drugs. Because several times, after taking drugs, our protagonist would be raped, and barely remember it, which almost makes it scarier.
But what’s the grossest part of this book? The main character ending up homeless, on the streets, menstruating. One of the most specifically disgusting, horrifying things recalled by this writer, who read this as a pre-teen for school, was the main character saying she wished she’d just had a “Kotex” after fashioning some sort of makeshift maxi pad in a public bathroom. (This book took place in the 1960s. Do you think it had belts? I’ll bet the belts were shoelaces or spider legs, or she murdered a prostitute for her bra straps.) And later on, she died of a drug overdose. But probably also: toxic shock syndrome, some raging, fatal strain of herpes, eight species of influenza, not to mention hypothermia, exposure, mange, the clap, an ectopic pregnancy (triplets), and last, but not least, DRUGS. Don’t do drugs. Everything will happen to you. So says Go Ask Alice.
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