I read this book about two years ago and stumbled upon it when I was rearranging my book shelf recently. This novel was published in 1971. When the book came out the author was stated as anonymous, it was declared as a non fiction work, being a real diary. However, soon after Beatrice Sparks began claiming the authorship admitting that it is indeed a work of fiction.
The story follows a female narrator. The book consists of diary entries. The girl tells the story of how she got involved with drugs. At a party she has – unknowingly – her first encounter with LSD. She begins to use drugs frequently, gets addicted to sleeping pills. With a new friend she makes she moves to San Francisco. Her vow to stay abstinent from drugs doesn’t last long. After a load of bad experiences a priest reunites her with her family. In an insane asylum she finally quits drugs. The relationship with her family improves, she now has a boyfriend. In the last diary entry she states that she no longer needs a diary as she is no totally happy. But in the epilogue the reader finds out that she died soon after that because of an overdose.
The book starts of very interestingly. At first the events seem realistic and the claim that the book is based on a real diary is credible. But when the protagonist gets involved heavily with drugs the descriptions become less credible. No young girl would write this way about the events. Especially the final parts of the book feel extremely cautionary. Therefore, it was small wonder to find out the book was indeed a fake. The writing style in general feels rather forced and artificial. As interestingly as the book starts of it gets really flat and educational which makes you feel betrayed by the claim of veracity.