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Chasing Brooklyn Paperback – April 19, 2011
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"[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
" ["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
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"
Top customer reviews
Genre: Young Adult/Verse/Romance/Paranormal
Chasing Brooklyn is about a girl named Brooklyn who 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. (Goodreads summary)
Characters: The characters in the novel are relatable and humane. Both Brooklyn and Nico battled with their depression after losing Lucca and Gabe in different, but similar ways. In Chasing Brooklyn, Brooklyn was emotionally attached to her boyfriend, Lucca. I didn’t think her attitude was cliché, but rather appropriate for the book’s significant meaning. She overcame her sadness with the help of her family, friends, the world, and Nico. Brooklyn’s experience of recovering from the death of a loved one is how I think most people should deal with death. People shouldn’t go through chaos all alone. They should express their earnest feelings to those who care, so they can be relieved of the heavy burdens they feel within. Nico became my favorite character because he never gave up on Brooklyn. His kindness and patience toward Brooklyn made him a genuine healer and taught me the valiant virtues of how a good friend should act. By supporting Brooklyn, he helped fix a part of himself he never originally thought he was able to.
Plot: This was a very fast-paced read. I finished reading the entire story in approximately two hours and sixteen minutes, which was surprising for me, (considering the book has four-hundred and twelve pages inside), yet to be expected since it’s a novel formatted in a poetic verse style. I thought the plot was interesting. I liked when Gabe and Lucca’s ghosts interacted with the main characters Brooklyn and Nico by sending them messages to help them find their internal strengths to overcome their struggles. I also enjoyed reading about Brooklyn and Nico’s mental and emotional journeys and the lessons they learned while training for an April triathlon. However, on the other hand, some of the novel’s moments seemed a bit dull, where I wanted more emphasis on how the characters felt when they were in the process of recovering. I would’ve liked to hear more memories of Lucca from Brooklyn and Nico’s perspectives. Lucca’s character wasn’t as involved in the story as I wanted him to. If he was mentioned more, I could comprehend better why they felt such a strong threshold to Lucca.
My favorite part was when Brooklyn finally understood her dreams and its correlation with her real life circumstances.
Cover Analysis: The book’s cover is chilling and sentimental. It reminds me of Brooklyn and Lucca’s close relationship and that she missed him terribly. The cover touches the surface on what the novel wants readers to know. The handwritten script title is in Brooklyn’s handwriting to hint about the story’s revolution around her. Fading teal tones give a sense of mourning and heartache. The cool ambience radiates moodiness.
Overall: I think the book is well-written with a decent plot-line. Although I was hoping there would be more to the story at a few parts, I don’t think that would change my perception of the whole book much. I gave Chasing Brooklyn, a rating of four point three stars because I love how the book focuses on acknowledging life’s simple pleasures and the handling the stages of grief. This is a good book for people who need assurance and value empathy.
Recommended For: Fans of Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.
This story is a haunting tale (literally) about dealing with, and moving on after tragic loss, and finding love when you least expect it.
Brooklyn lost her boyfriend Lucca in a tragic accident one year ago, and now his best friend, Gabe, has died of an overdose. Brooklyn was very much in love with Lucca, and hasn't been dealing with the loss well. Who would? She's abandoned her art, and writes letters to Lucca every day. All of a sudden Brooklyn starts having nightmares about Gabe. Truly heart-pounding, scary, run-for-your life nightmares! She has no idea why, and is beyond frightened.
Nico is Lucca's older brother, and has barely been coping with the death of his brother as well. Lucca was the favorite child of his parents and he feels he's a poor substitution. Lucca starts visiting Nico in his dreams, begging him to help Brooklyn. He has no idea why she needs help or how to provide it. But Lucca's request is desperate enough that Nico arranges to meet up with Brooklyn to make sure all is well. Nico can tell there is something wrong but Brooklyn won't say what.
This story was told in verse, a form of storytelling I am quickly beginning to love. A verse novel can speak volumes with very few words. It's like a focused type of storytelling. Lisa Schroeder did a masterful job in capturing just the right emotion, at the right time. I found from the beginning I was riveted, and didn't want to put this book down. It was suspenseful and scary, but also heart-warming, and heart-breaking. Nico is so swoon-worthy, a total knight-in-shining-armor type of guy. You find yourself falling for him just as Brooklyn does, not that she is completely aware of this at first. Love this verse from her:
When I wake up
I whisper prayers of thanks.
Thank you for a night free of ghosts and nightmares.
Thank you for another day of living.
Thank you for a race that gives me purpose.
Thank you for a lullaby last night.
Thank you for the boy who sang it.
I think he called me lovely in the song.
Yeah, he did.
And I feel my heart
do a dance of joy
at the thought.
If you haven't read a verse novel, do yourself a favor and give one a try. They're a fast, and if done right, powerful read. I highly recommend this one.
It was my first time reading a verse like book, I wasn't even sure I was going to liked it but I was hooked after the ten first pages and believe me I think if it was written in any other way it wouldn't have been so special and unique book. It was an emotional, gripping and beautiful story. There were times where I was smiling, others I was a bit spooked because of the supernatural factors of the story and others time I was a bit sad. This is how powerful this book, it takes you into an emotional ride but in the end it makes you hope, hope that after a situation such as difficult as loosing someone you love, you would be able to move on.
The story is narrate through Nico and Brooklyn point of view which interesting because you get to side of the lover and the side of the family of the person who passed away and how they dealt with their lost and how turning into each other helped them to heal and move on. And of course I can't help to mention that I love Nico... totally cute and consistent character and you can't really blame Brooklyn into trust him so easily.
So after all my ramblings about the book, I hope it sounds a good rambling so you would go and buy the book, because your money would be well spent and you would be so satisfied with when you are done, that you would try to review as I am now and not find the expert words of critic but you would rambling just like me.
Most recent customer reviews
I love the author's writing style and that it's written entirely in prose.Read more