susan carlton
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The Love & Haight blog tour


What readers are saying about Love & Haight and my first novel, Lobsterland.

Love & Haight

Praise for Love & Haight

"In the wild-and-crazy rock 'n' roll, aura-reading, yoga-filled, feathery environment of San Francisco, Chloe comes to terms with decisions only she can make. Ultimately, Chloe's story is not about abortion, but about a child becoming a young woman while rebuilding tenuous relationships with her loved ones. A well-framed historical, with a wholly realized setting and believable, rich, likable characters."

"Carlton (Lobsterland) blends educational elements about abortion services and attitudes in the early 1970s into her story, including descriptions of Chloe's meetings with various medical professionals, while still making this the personal story of a girl who worries both that she will regret her choice or that 'For the rest of my life, I will be the girl who had an abortion.' Readers will appreciate the different loved ones in Chloe's life who struggle to support her in a world that, as her hippie aunt Kiki says, 'shimmers in shades of gray.'"
   —Publishers Weekly

"Chloe confronts the misgivings of any young woman struggling with this decision. Minor characters inexorably raise the issues so deftly that until the very end of the book, this reviewer was unsure whether or not Chloe would go through with the abortion. The book is honest in presenting Chloe's medical care, the culture of the time, and conflicting views on this controversial topic."

"Love and Haight is particularly topical when questions about women's reproductive health fill the news; Carlton provides some much needed historical perspective."
   —Historical Novel Review

"Caught between 'An Old-Fashioned Love Song' and 'Stairway to Heaven,' Chloe's trying to figure out her own morality in the midst of Haight-Ashbury, ground zero for trippy hippies in 1971. Carlton's novel is lyrical, honest and moving."
   —Ellen Wittlinger

"What a gorgeous book. It turns out your heart isn't all you can lose in San Francisco. Brilliantly, Carlton captures the heady pace and jubilation of an era and the heartache of a girl who must pay the consequences for letting it all hang out. Ah, but there isn't an ounce of moralizing here. Carlton's writing is so smart and funny and vivid and...well, I give it a 9.0 on the Richter Scale of Fabulosity!"
   —Tim Wynne-Jones, author of Blink & Caution


Praise for Lobsterland

"Reading Susan Carlton's new novel, Lobsterland, is like running across a green lawn with Fourth of July sparklers in each hand. A dazzle of stars. A feeling of breathless excitement. A sense of possibilities to be explored. In Lobsterland, the sparks fly in the mind of 16-year-old Charlotte Alice Wise. And they create a story that is everything a good coming-of-age novel should be."
   —Portland Press Herald

"Carlton's writing is rich yet elastic, thick with wordplay while maintaining humorous energy in Charlotte's voice....Carlton avoids defaulting to cliches about either the renewed embrace of home or the enactment of the flight plan by leaving Charlotte's fate tantalizing up in the air. The unresolved messiness and complicated unknowns pack a wallop of unusual authenticity, and readers will revel in Charlotte's sharp, funny company."
   —The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books (starred review)

"Charlotte is sixteen and lives on an island off Portland that she nicknames Bleak; that about sums up her view of island life. More than likeable, Charlotte spends a lot of time running in heels to and from the ferry to Portland. The breezy style and familiar teen problems and feelings make this a very appealing teen read."
   —New England Bookselling Advisory Council

"Three cheers for Charlotte, the perfect heroine for anyone who needs to make a big decision that will change their life and hopefully make it better. Lobsterland was adorable, captivating, and completely real. The perfect read for those who need a character that kicks butt."
   —Teens Read Too

"Teens bored with their humdrum surroundings and on the hunt for something (or someplace) better will be drawn to this debut novel. Although her diatribes often sound arch or overly clever, they evoke a realistic picture of a girl who yearns for independence but secretly fears letting go of the familiar."
   —Publishers Weekly

"Carlton develops a strong voice in Charlotte that's edgy, sarcastic, and undeniably amusing."

"This book is exceptionally well written from the point of view of a brilliant 16-year-old. With the hilarious parenthetical interjections (ha!) and extensive vocabulary (which may or may not require the use of a dictionary), it's a great read."
   —Virginian (VA) Pilot