Review: Love and Haight by Susan Carlton
It’s 1971, and seventeen-year-old Chloe and her best friend MJ head to San Francisco to ring in the New Year. But Chloe has an ulterior motive—and a secret. She’s pregnant and has devised a plan not to be. In San Francisco’s flower-power heyday, it was (just about) legal to end her pregnancy.
But as soon as the girls cross the Golden Gate, the scheme starts to unravel amid the bellbottoms, love-beads, and bongs. Chloe’s secrets escalate until she betrays everyone she cares about. MJ, who has grave doubts about Chloe’s plan. Her groovy aunt Kiki, who’s offered the girls a place to crash. Her self-absorbed mother meditating back in Phoenix. And maybe, especially, the boy she wishes she’d waited for.
LOVE AND HAIGHT isn’t your average YA novel. It deals with some very heavy and taboo concepts that a lot of people aren’t willing to acknowledge. I’m still not quite sure what to say or how I feel about it. It definitely brought out some raw emotions in me and I felt like Carlton attempted to handle the situation as well as she could. LOVE AND HAIGHT isn’t one of my favorite YA novels, but I grew on it.
Chloe is one messed up 17-year-old when the novel opens. She has a very difficult decision to make and she doesn’t feel like she can be open about it with anyone but her best friend, MJ. While I did find her to be a little cold at times, I could understand where she was coming from. She regrets her mistake and wishes that she didn’t have to deal with the consequences. In the end, it is a big eye-opening life lesson for Chloe.
While Carlton didn’t dive as deep as she probably could have on the serious issue of abortion in LOVE AND HAIGHT, I did find myself tearing through the pages. The issue fascinates me and while I don’t think I would even consider what Chloe thought about, personally, it brought up some questions and things for me to ponder. Even if you aren’t sure of the subject matter in this one, give it a try! You may find yourself surprised at what you find in LOVE AND HAIGHT.