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.
Lucca is doing some haunting, but he is visiting his brother Nico, urging him to help Brooklyn. Both Nico and Brooklyn refuse to admit to each other that they see ghosts, which is the only thing that would help them move on.
Told from the perspectives of Brooklyn and Nico, this book supports my belief that having a plethora of novels in verse will hook readers. Chasing Brooklyn is a companion to I Heart You; the characters attend the same school and briefly interact with each other. I love when authors do this, and it gives me hope that I will see Brooklyn and Nico in future books. In my opinion, Chasing Brooklyn is a much stronger novel: the dual narrators flesh out the story, the reactions to the hauntings are more realistic, and Schroeder has found her groove as a writer.
I particularly enjoyed that all the characters are likable and their response to Lucca's death evolved gradually and subtly. While death plays a central role in the story, the main message is about hope and perseverance. I am excited to add this to my library and share it with readers who enjoy romance, the paranormal, and novels in verse.
Schroeder's novels in verse just keep getting better.
Protagonists Brooklyn and Nico are both haunted by the deaths of two classmates—best friends Lucca and Gabe. Lucca was Brooklyn’s boyfriend and Nico’s brother. In a paranormal twist, both are visited by the ghosts of the two boys, and all signs seem to point that the supernatural world wants Brooklyn and Nico to be friends. Chasing Brooklyn is narrated in alternating chapters between the two protagonists’ perspectives, covering the development of their friendship as they deal with grief and loss.
A lot of aspects of this book are a bit cheesy and clichéd. I think Lisa Schroeder’s poetry helped alleviate some of the near-suffocating fluff, though. Poetry lends a story rhythm and fluidity, and the sections where Brooklyn was reunited with her boyfriend’s ghost, etc., didn’t feel as cloying as they could have otherwise.
Beyond that, I think Schroeder’s free verse is good. It’s simple, and maybe a trifle flowery, but it’s also honest. It was so simple that at first I wasn’t certain if I would like it, but once I got a feel for Brooklyn and Nico, things flowed better, and I really began to get into the story, to feel it, so to speak.
Sometimes-sappy or not, I think Chasing Brooklyn offers a real view of what it’s like to lose someone you love, and how it’s hard to move on from that. Even the paranormal aspect didn’t throw off the authenticity in the author’s narration. The things Brooklyn and Nico were going through felt truthful to me, and that’s what matters most with a story like this, regardless of the clichés or the ghosts.
For lovers of novels in verse, Chasing Brooklyn is a great read. Schroeder’s style makes this a quick read that’s nevertheless honest and thoughtful. I’m personally not even a huge fan of ghosts or the like present in my contemporary fiction, but that didn’t feel out of place at all.
his is a book that is both heart breaking and breath taking all at once. There is so much pain in Brooklyn and Nico's life after Lucca dies and then his good friend Gabe soon after, that at times it was hard to read. Brooklyn lost her first love and someone she considered to be her soul mate. Nico lost his brother and best friend all at once. I honestly can't imagine and I don't want to try. But through Lisa Schroeder's powerful verse I feel like I was taken on a journey that was both eye opening and good for the soul.
A year after Lucca's death, Gabe ends his life. People believed the guilt he felt over being the driver of the car the night of the accident that killed Lucca was too much for him to live with. Shortly after Gabe's death, Brooklyn starts dreaming of Gabe and not in a comforting way. It's like he's visiting her in her dreams to send a message and not a gentle, soothing one, she's terrified. She's having these awful nightmares and doesn't seem to understand what he's trying to say to her, if he's trying to tell her anything at all. At the same time Lucca visits Nico and begins asking him to "help" Brooklyn, with no further details or any kind of explanation. And so the the story really begins. The journey these two take is remarkable and life changing. I could try my best to describe it but I would fall terribly short and would not do the book, or Schroeder justice.
To deal with her grief, Brooklyn writes letters to Lucca, beautiful, pleading, heartfelt letters. Sometimes I'd get to a page where she'd write one asking for his help and it would just break my heart; she felt so alone and missed him so much. Watching Nico and hearing his side of things was also both wonderful and terrible. He was struggling just like Brooklyn, but in different ways. He too felt like he was on his own, his parents were in no state to offer him much support when they were having trouble themselves with the loss of their son, so he attempted to put on a good front around them, tried to lessen the burden on them. So seeing Nico latch onto a purpose, to help Brooklyn at Lucca's request and together their training for the "finish line" was inspiring.
Like I said at the beginning, this story was both heart breaking and breath taking and it has instantly been placed on my 2010 favorites list and will be added to my collection for all time.