Children: one daughter. Education: M.F.A (fiction writing.
Home—Santee, CA. Agent—Jodie Rhodes Literary Agency, 8840 Villa La Jolla Dr., Ste. 315, La Jolla, CA 92037.
Author and special education English teacher in CA.
Chloe Doe, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2007, published as Miss America, Young Picador (London, England), 2007.
Burn, Macmillan (New York, NY), 2008.
In her debut novel Chloe Doe Suzanne Phillips draws readers in with what Booklist critic Jennifer Hubert described as an "intense and emotional debut" that the critic compared to novels by Patricia McCormick and Ellen Hopkins. Chloe Doe is, at age seventeen, tough, angry, and experienced with life on the streets. Arrested for prostitution, she is sent to the Madeline Parker Institute for Girls, where her meetings with a therapist gradually reveal the reasons for her life's course. Raised in a Hispanic neighborhood, Chloe has always been pragmatic about working the streets, viewing it as a practical way to pay the rent since running away from an abusive home at age eleven. Through her discussions with Dr. Dearborn, and her growing friendships with other girls at the institute, the teen begins to reveal the feelings underlying her tough exterior, however, and slowly readers are made privy to the tragedy that caused her to spin out of control.
Through Chloe's narration, and Phillips' use of stream of consciousness and flashbacks, Chloe Doe is "a blisteringly honest portrayal of a good girl who loses, then finds, her way," according to Hubert. While a Publishers Weekly critic described the novel as "an exhausting but nonetheless authentic read," the critic also praised the author's "clear understanding of Chloe's tough yet vulnerable character." Phillips' "language is sharp and engaging, even lyrical at times," noted Kliatt critic
Myrna Marler, and in Chloe Doe the author "completely avoid[s] … easy sentimentality." Describing the teen protagonist's narrative voice as "wise beyond her years," a Kirkus Reviews contributor predicted that the girl's "spare dialogue and memories" will prove compelling to teen readers.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, May 15, 2007, Jennifer Hubert, review of Chloe Doe, p. 41.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 2007, review of Chloe Doe, p. 104.
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2007, review of Chloe Doe.
Kliatt, May, 2007, Myrna Marler, review of Chloe Doe, p. 18.
Publishers Weekly, June 11, 2007, review of Chloe Doe, p. 61.
Voice of Youth Advocates, August, 2007, Robin Guedel, review of Chloe Doe, p. 248.