Saturday, 6 February 2010
Review: Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: January 5th, 2010
Grade rating: B+
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.
Chasing Brooklyn is a beautifully written verse novel that explores grief, loss and moving on. Brooklyn and Nico both narrate the story, taking turns to say their piece. Schroeder has done a fantastic job of writing from both a female and male perspective, though in this case I think I prefer Nico's voice to Brooklyn's.
This book draws on many emotions, and invites the reader to feel what the characters are feeling. The writing is lyrical and powerful, and once you're in this world of ghosts and hauntings, it's very hard to leave. Brooklyn and Nico's dependence on each other is a really subtle start to their relationship, and I loved how Schroeder included feelings of uncertainty and guilt. Dating your dead boyfriend's brother would never be an easy thing to do, and thankfully it's portrayed here with the right amount of doubt and apprehension.
It took me a while to get to know Brooklyn and Nico, which I'm sure is down to the novel being written in verse. I did eventually come to understand what they were feeling and where they were coming from, though it took longer than I'm used to. On the subject of characters, it was great to see a couple of familiar faces from Schroeder's debut I Heart You, You Haunt Me. Although the books aren't related in any way, it's a clever connection, and one that fans will definitely pick up on.
Chasing Brooklyn is an emotive, poignant look at what it means to lose someone you love. It shows that life does have to go on, and that even though you may feel like you're alone, you never really are.