According to SparkNotes.com, the settings of "Go Ask Alice" include an unidentified college town, San Francisco, Berkeley, Denver and Oregon. The novel takes place in the late 1960s.
"Go Ask Alice" was published as the actual diary of a teenage girl in 1971, but it is thought to have been written by Beatrice Sparks, who wrote several cautionary novels in the style of diaries of troubled teenagers. In "Go Ask Alice," the unnamed protagonist is a 15-year-old girl who gets into trouble after experimenting with drugs. An epilogue indicates that the protagonist died of a drug overdose shortly after writing the last entry in the diary.