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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book Review: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Reading level:
Young Adult
432 pages
Simon Pulse; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
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.

It's been a year since the tragic death of Brooklyn’s boyfriend Lucca. The loss has been a brutal blow to both Brooklyn and his brother Nico. When their mutual friend Gabe overdoses, both characters sink even further into a pool of guilt, sadness and anger. Soon Gabe's ghost begins haunting a terrified Brooklyn while Nico receives visits of his own from Lucca. Nico knows Lucca wants him to help Brooklyn, but he's reluctant and unsure what to do. He reaches out to her and the two form a bond. But until they learn to trust one another, neither Nico or Brooklyn will find peace or be able to move on with their lives.

Chasing Brooklyn is a novel that explores themes of love, loss and healing. I tore through it in just a couple of hours and walked away with so many emotions swirling inside my head. It is a fascinating ghost story but it’s also so much deeper than that. It is inspirational, heart breaking and incredibly heartfelt. The novel alternates between the viewpoints of both Nico and Brooklyn and is told in verse format. Before I started Chasing Brooklyn, I was a bit worried about whether I would enjoy a novel set in verse. But I ended up really appreciating Schroeder's use of the format. Since each word needed to be carefully selected and made to count, Nico and Brooklyn's emotional struggles seemed much more raw and poignant for me than I think they would've otherwise been.

This is the type of book that you can race through, but I urge you to really savor the words slowly. If you have ever lost anyone in your life, I think you will identify with Brooklyn and her struggle to face her pain and ultimately find peace within herself. I was so impressed by this insightful, beautiful tale of love, loss and newfound hope. Bottom line: Chasing Brooklyn is a novel you will contemplate and reflect on long after the last page has been turned. I know it is one that will stay in my heart forever.


Lisa Schroeder is a native Oregonian, which means her childhood summers were spent camping, fishing, reading books (of course!), and playing in the sun, when it finally came out. These days, Lisa spends her summers, and every other part of the year, sharing all the wonderful things Oregon has to offer with her husband and two sons. She is the author of three novels for young adults published by Simon Pulse - I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, FAR FROM YOU, and CHASING BROOKLYN. Her middle grade debut, It's Raining Cupcakes, will be published by Aladdin in March, 2010.

Lisa lives with her family in Oregon. You can visit her on the web at lisaschroederbooks.com.


RaĆ­la said...

God. I'd LOVE to read ALL of her books one day if I could. Her books sound AMAZING. They're all well-reviewed. :)

Book Crazy Jenn said...

awesome review - I just read this yesterday and though your right it's not one to rush though, I read it in a day...I just could NOT stop nor did I want to. It's an amazing book as are all of Lisa's novels.

Nely said...

I almost purchased it last night but was intimidated by the way it was written. It looks like its written in prose. I think it might be worth me checking out. Thanks for the review.


Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oooo I love a book that leaves you feeling and thinking. Nice review as usual :)


Great review! I look forward to reading it soon :)

Daisy Whitney said...

I adore Lisa Schroeder! I have loved all her books and I can't wait to dive into Chasing Brooklyn, which is calling out to me from my nightstand!

Emma said...

Lovely review! I have to read this one!

Kari (Flamingo1325) said...

I really loved this book. It was so well done.

And I have an award for you: