A year after Brooklyn’s boyfriend, Lucca, was killed in an automobile accident, Gabe, the boy who was driving the car, commits suicide and, soon thereafter, begins haunting Brooklyn’s dreams. At the same time, Lucca starts showing up in the reveries of his older brother, Nico. Both spirits are persistent and demanding, but what is it, exactly, that they want? Readers of this verse novel will figure that out long before Brooklyn and Nico do, but the first-person point of view, which switches back and forth between the two teens, successfully builds suspense and foreboding in this highly readable romance-cum-ghost-story. The text could use fresher imagery (does the sky have to be a canvas, and clouds, cotton balls?), but the plot is well structured and the characters are appealing. Schroeder’s I Heart You, You Haunt Me (2009) was a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult readers, and this one offers promise of being the same. Grades 8-12. --Michael Cart
" [Chasing Brooklyn
] cut right to the emotional quick . . . . While the wrenching impact will leave readers raw, the ultimately hopeful ending is comforting. A quick read, but one with substance."
-- School Library Journal
, February 2010
"[Written in free verse] both narrators speak in compact and emotional lines. The haunting premise is an appealing one." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, April 2010
High school junior Brooklyn and senior Nico are trying to move past the death of Lucca, a pivotal figure in both of their lives. Lucca was Brooklyn's boyfriend and Nico's brother. Although it has been one year since Lucca's death, the recent overdose death of Gabe, Lucca's long-time best friend, shakes Nico and Brooklyn by reopening the wound of Lucca's sudden passing. Soon after dying, Gabe begins haunting Brooklyn's dreams. Gabe's intent is not clear, but the dreams have a malicious overtone that unsettles Brooklyn. meanwhile Nico has his own supernatural communications with his dead brother, and the clear message from Lucca to Nico is that Brooklyn needs help. Nico reaches out to Brooklyn, and their grief and love for Lucca bring them together. But soon Brooklyn and Nico's newfound friendship leads to deeper feelings.
Beautifully written is verse, this touching novel will appeal to older teens looking for a heartfelt story of redemption and triumph mixed with a little romance and tenderness. The sparse text is expertly used to convey Brooklyn's pain and longing for her loss of Lucca and her unexpected feelings for Nico. The dream sequences are more than a little creepy, adding a supernatural feeling to a novel that defies easy categorization. - VOYA April 2010