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Chasing Brooklyn Hardcover – January 5, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416991689
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416991687
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #604,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Once upon a time, Lisa Schroeder wanted to join Encyclopedia Brown on his fun adventures. Since that didn't work out, she decided to be an author instead. Lisa's written over a dozen books for kids and teens including the popular verse novels for teens I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and CHASING BROOKLYN, and her most recent YA novels, THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU and ALL WE HAVE IS NOW. She's also the author of the middle grade novels IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES, MY SECRET GUIDE TO PARIS and THE GIRL IN THE TOWER. Her books have been translated into foreign languages and have been selected for state reading lists. Lisa is a native Oregonian and lives with her family outside of Portland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Denise Crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Teen girls and reluctant readers will enjoy this book written in free verse. The sparse language and lack of descriptive detail keep the story moving forward and also bring out the emotions experienced by the characters in a more stark manner than does the typical novel written in prose.

This story, told in alternating voices, is about Brooklyn and Nico -- both are being "haunted" and experience visions and visits. Nico by Brooklyn's boyfriend and his brother Lucca and she by Lucca's friend Gabe. The two boys are dead -- Lucca in a car wreck and Gabe a suicide. Both are trying to pass along an important message to Brooklyn and Nico -- to choose life instead of wallowing in solitude and despair.

Although a bit contrived and predictable, the journey that each takes is a bittersweet effort to reconnect with friends and family. Brooklyn and Nico learn that the path to happiness involves making choices to stay involved and active in the world without staying constantly in the past. It's about getting over a terrific and horrible loss, and somehow finding peace and the desire to go on despite the pain and grief.

Recommended for high school libraries.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Adlam TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having read and enjoyed 'I heart you, You haunt me' all I needed to see was Lisa Schroeder's name to know I wanted to read 'Chasing Brooklyn', which is another book written in verse and set in the same location as the former. Ava, the protagonist from 'I heart you, You haunt me' even makes a cameo appearance.

'Chasing Brooklyn' is the story of two grieving teenagers and their path to healing. A year after the death of Lucca, Brooklyn's boyfriend and Nico's brother, his best friend Gabe dies under suspicious circumstances (many speculate that it was suicide). That's when Brooklyn starts having nightmares starring Gabe as the villain and Lucca begins haunting Nico.

I went into this book expecting another heartrending, yet beautiful read, but when compared to 'I heart you, You haunt me', some of the sections in Chasing Brooklyn felt contrived rather than part of the natural grieving process. I also expected more to happen with the haunting of Brooklyn and Nico respectively. In the end, the hauntings were more side thoughts.

Those complaints aside, this was still a beautiful book with an ethereal quality to it. Because of the short, punchy, and often evocative sentences, this was a very quick read. The story development between Brooklyn and Nico, unfolding via alternating chapters from each of their perspectives, was sweet if a bit predictable. Halfway through the book, it was easy to figure out what was going to happen, but sometimes it's not about the destination, but the journey--and so is the case with this book.

I wish I could say I adored this book as much as 'I heart you, You haunt me' but I can't. I did enjoy it, but at times I was pulled out of the story and felt an emotional disconnect from the characters. Still, this was an emotionally moving story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Enchanting Reviews on February 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
YA contemporary
Simon Pulse

Rating: 4 Enchantments

Brooklyn's life comes crashing to a halt after her boyfriend Lucca's death. It's been a year now. Lucca's friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. His ghost haunts her dreams. She doesn't know what Gabe wants and why he's bothering her. She can't sleep.

Nico is Lucca's brother. His way of dealing with Lucca's death is by running. Then one day he finds a note telling him to help Brooklyn. He feels that Lucca is haunting him. Even worse, he doesn't know how to help Brooklyn considering he hasn't seen her in the year since Lucca's death.

Brooklyn's nightmares escalate. So do the notes to Nico. Nico decides to reach out, not knowing what to say to his brother's girlfriend. Both are being haunted but struggle with telling each other. But until they can trust again, neither Gabe nor Lucca can rest in peace.

I loved this novel! Yes, this story deals with spirits but it doesn't read like any other paranormal novel out there. Schroeder nailed it right on the dot on what a loved one feels after the tragic death of a loved one. I loved how she was able to weave back and forth two points of view effortlessly. Both voices are unique in showing how Lucca's death has affected them and how at first they avoid coming to grips with their feelings. Powerful and strong, this novel sweeps the reader into not only the tragic sense of loss but how two individuals are able to reach out to each other.

The free verse in this novel has its own special beauty too. Each beat resonates with the reader on how painful it is to lose someone you love. Schroeder digs deep and shows a range of emotions that come from loss. But it doesn't stop there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love this cover. And I love the title. And I just really love this book. I'm so glad some thoughtful reader nominated it for a Cybils award this year, because I honestly don't think I would have picked it up otherwise. And I have no good reason for that except I think I somehow got the mistaken impression it was just another problem novel and I wasn't in the mood. Shame on me for making my ignorant assumptions and not giving this lovely novel a try before now. CHASING BROOKLYN is Lisa Schroeder's third novel for young adults but the first that I've read. I'm happy to say it will definitely not be the last! Interestingly, it's billed as a companion novel to Schroeder's earlier I Heart You, You Haunt Me. I believe it features a couple of side characters from that book, but I found no trouble at all falling into this story without having read the first. It stands very strongly on its own two feet. I haven't read a really good novel in verse in quite awhile and I just adore them when they're well done. CHASING BROOKLYN is a perfect example of a novel in verse that is lyrically light on its feet, but pulsing with that breathtakingly uncertain blend of loss, longing, and love.

It's been a year since Brooklyn's boyfriend Lucca died in a car crash. One year since it became difficult to draw breath in and out every day, to get up every single day and make food for herself and her dad and then eat it, to go to school and pretend she's fine and not coming apart at the seams. To the outside world--her worried friends, her lonely father, her faraway mother and little brothers--she puts on a bright face. In her journal each day and in frequent letters to Lucca, she pours out the grief that consumes her.
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