Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book Review: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Title:  Chasing Brooklyn 
Author: Lisa Schroeder 
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Paperback: 432 pages
ISBN: 9781416991687 

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.

Overall rating: 9/10 flowers

To buy this book:  IndieBound | The Book Depository | Powell's | Amazon
Add this book to your:  Goodreads | Shelfari | Library Thing | Visual Bookshelf

Lisa Schroeder's Chasing Brooklyn is a moving novel that follows two individuals as they find themselves drawn together by a shared loss.  Told in verse from alternating points of view, this compelling story follows Brooklyn and Nico as they attempt to navigate their way around the hole Lucca's death left in each of their lives.  A year after Lucca's death, the unexpected loss of a friend brings Brooklyn's heartache back to the surface and leaves her feeling haunted.  Nico has always known he couldn't fill his brother Lucca's place within his family, and he still finds himself running away from the emptiness that he can't seem to fill.    Both narratives are written in very accessible verse, and once again Lisa Schroeder manages to cut straight to the emotional core of the heartache holding each of the main characters captive.  The story is suspenseful, romantic, and emotionally captivating.  I thoroughly enjoyed Chasing Brooklyn.

What I Liked:
-     The alternating perspectives helped propel the story forward and made me long for Nico and Brooklyn to connect with one another from the very start.  Glimpsing each of their individual thoughts and realizing how much they could both benefit from opening up to one another added a compelling level of tension to the story.  
-     It was easy to sympathize with Nico and Brooklyn.  My heart truly ached for them both.  They are  believable  characters, and each of their verse-style narratives is remarkably clear and easy to follow.  
-     The suspenseful elements of this book were well-crafted.  At times, I found myself on the edge of my seat with butterflies in my stomach as I wondered how the story would end.  
-     The paranormal aspect of this novel has a sinister feel to it as Brooklyn is haunted and pursued by the ghost of her recently-deceased friend.  Eerie and frightening.
-     I enjoyed the roll Ava (the protagonist from Lisa Schroeder's first verse novel) played in Chasing Brooklyn.  It was a small but lovely part, and it was nice to see her supportive gesture passed along by the end of the novel.
-     As in I Heart You, You Haunt Me, feelings of loss and guilt are at the core of this book, but again the overall tone is not one of despair and hopelessness.  Chasing Brooklyn is also a longer, spookier, and more romantic story.

What I Wished:
-     I still wanted a little bit more at the end.  The novel definitely feels complete, but I liked Nico and Brooklyn so much that I was reluctant to let either of them go even after the main plot points were resolved.  Basically, I was ready to start reading this book again the moment I set it down.

Chasing Brooklyn is a beautiful and memorable story about the bravery it takes to move forward and embrace life after losing someone you love.  If you liked I Heart You, You Haunt Me, then you absolutely MUST read this book!  It is a companion novel rather than a sequel, so you can also enjoy Chasing Brooklyn without having read I Heart You, You Haunt Me.  I would recommend Chasing Brooklyn to anyone who likes contemporary/paranormal YA and to anyone who is intrigued by the idea of a verse novel.  It is a fast, compelling read, so it would also be a great choice for reluctant readers.  You can learn more about Chasing Brooklyn and Lisa Schroeder's other books on her website | blog | twitter | facebook | YouTube.  Chasing Brooklyn was recently nominated for the ALA/YALSA 2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults list!  You can read the first nine pages of Chasing Brooklyn HERE.

Contest note:  We are giving away a signed copy of Chasing Brooklyn HERE (ends 5/31), and we will also be giving away a signed copy of Lisa Schroeder's middle-grade novel, It's Raining Cupcakes this month!  :-)


Book Crazy Jenn said...

Beautiful review, I loved this book - soo very much! I love all of her work I think, I have one of them on my fav.s shelf - LOVE ;)

Christa said...

This book sounds intense. Good, but intense. Like you need to be ready to pick up a light-hearted fun read right after...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Love the "likes" and "dislikes" format of the review... when a book has no "real" dislikes, you know it has to be great. ; )

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I'm ready for an on-the-edge-of-my-seat read! Thanks for the review!

Midnight Sapphire Books said...

Great review ... I've heard good things about this books!

elizabeth said...

Thanks for the review! I definitely want to read this book now :)

Mama Bookworm said...

Wow! This book sounds fantastic!

Lena said...

Awesome review. I read this when it first came out and loved it. I agree about the ending. I think it's because you love the characters and the story so much, you don't want to let it go.

skyla11377 said...

Fantastic Review, You Have Made This A Muct Read Book For Me. Thank You So Much For Bringing This Book To My Attention.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful review. Nine out of ten stars is impressive. I must read this soon!

Kelly said...

Great review! I am a new fan of Lisa's books. My copy of Far From You should arrive in the mail soon. :D

Bookaholic said...

I immediately loved the cover of this book. I've wanted to read it since then.

Loved the review. Sounds like it is a really great read!


Charchelar said...

The book sounds hauntingly great and I love the way you do your reviews I like how you put down what you liked and what you wished there would have been. Excellent.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

This one sounds kinda spooky! Thanks for the review!

Faye said...

Awesome review! I've always loved Lisa's book. Ever since i've read I haunt u.. She is should a great review. :D

Liz said...

Great review! I haven't read anything by Lisa, but I'll have to check this out. Also, thanks for sharing the book trailer. I didn't know one existed for this book!

Angel said...

Great review! I love all of Lisa's books, they are so great. I love how Ava showed up in this one too!

Anonymous said...

Great review!
I want to read her books, since verse is something I haven't read.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I really enjoy books that are told from different perspectives - this one sounds really good!

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