Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Release Date: January 5, 2010
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age group: YA
Pages: 412
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Restless souls and empty hearts 

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams. 

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface. 

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.


Brooklyn's boyfriend Lucca died a year ago. Since then, she has been grieving him, not knowing how to let go and go on with her life. She writes letters of Lucca, tries to keep up with their old traditions and when asked if she is okay, she tells she is. But she is not. When Gabe, the boy who survived the accident in which Lucca died, dies of an overdose, Brooklyn does not know what to think - shouldn't Gabe have been fighting because he was the one who survived? Did she do too little for Gabe, not helping him to recover? When Gabe starts to visit Brooklyn's dreams, they soon become nightmares and she cannot sleep anymore. 

Nico's brother Lucca died a year ago. Since then, he has been trying to hide his grief by running, giving him a chance to focus on something else, something complex. Suddenly he starts to see dreams about Lucca - dreams in which Lucca tells him to help Brooklyn. After a year of not being in much contact with Brooklyn, Nico contacts the girl his brother was in love with. They spend time together and eventually Nico starts to notice all the things his brother loved in Brooklyn. Things that he feels like he might be falling in love with.

Chasing Brooklyn was such a beautifully written novel. The story is told entirely in verse, which is something I have not come across that often. The words are few, but the story is very powerful and I am amazed of how well Schroeder was able to build up the characters and the relationships between them when only using verse. The pain that both Brooklyn and Nico feel after the loss of someone close to them is so tangible and heart breaking. The letters Brooklyn writes to Lucca tell about her loss, about her longing and most importantly about how she deals with the grief. Once she spends more and more time with Nico, the letters are not that constant and there is a little undercurrent of hope present.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Nico and Brooklyn - at first it is a bit awkward due to the fact that Lucca was in love with Brooklyn and Nico knows that. Can you fall in love with your boyfriend's brother? Can you fall in love with your dead brother's girlfriend? The grief that they both go through brings them together, but as they start to recover, is the something else that will keep them together?

Since the words are few, this is a very quick read. I have not read I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, but while browsing through Goodreads I realized that the books have a faint connection - the characters that I Heart You, You Haunt Me tells about are mentioned briefly in this novel. I really want to get that to my hands at some point and read it because I really did enjoy Schroeder's style of writing.

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