As a pre-teen, I devoured the book Go Ask Alice. It absolutely terrified me.
For those of you unfamiliar with the work, it's heralded as the diary of a young gal who innocently gets involved in drugs, alcohol, prostitution and everything that goes with those poor life decisions. She spirals out of control and winds up in a mental hospital. Gripping.
I was mesmerized by it.
I read it over and over, so glad that she had kept a written trail of her journey into hell. And I was greatly disturbed to read the ending--she died of an accidental overdose.
Man, it scared me.
However, I was duped.
Apparently, it's well known (at least in the literary world) that the work is a fake, written by a preachy adult who wanted to horrify kids like me and set us on the straight and narrow path. Most analysts seem to feel that the tone of the diary is "off", that it sounds unlike a young person. Truly, I never noticed that--I fell for it entirely and never once questioned it.
It makes me wonder just how many of the memoirs and diaries out there are filled with half-truths and outright lies. No, wait... it doesn't make me wonder. It makes me certain that most of them have probably had the reality edited out of them and falsehoods added for "spice".
Hrumph. I don't like feeling foolish on such a beautiful Friday morning.