Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

Hardcover: 412 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1416991689
ISBN-13: 978-1416991687

Restless souls and empty hearts

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 takes place about a year and six months after Jackson's death in I Heart You, You Haunt Me. Surprisingly enough, I did not figure this out until the very end of Chasing Brooklyn, when Ava makes a personal appearance, which I very much appreciated because I love knowing how characters are doing after the fact.

Originally, I rated Chasing Brooklyn a grade lower than I Heart You, You Haunt Me the first time I read it. I don't think I'm changing that this second time around because it still feels like the story dragged on more than it should; and its similarity to Schroeder's first novel does not go unnoticed. However, there so many more elements in this story to enjoy and experience than in her first novel. Also, the two deaths that are the center of this book, give it more sustenance than you would expect. What I noticed about the two main characters--Brooklyn and Nico--from the very beginning was their individual voices when it came to grieving family/friend/boyfriend. Something I thought would have been a difficult feat to pull off--and in verse, no less--was the constant alternative perspective when switching view-points from Brooklyn to Nico and vice versa. The smoothness with which Schroeder had the ability to write was incredible, and I'd like to commend her easy way of making the reader understand all of the character's emotions. The absolute vividness of every frustrating nightmare and ghostly appearance was in itself spooky but it definitely added something to the book that made it all the more intriguing.

I can only hope that The Day Before brings some light into these otherwise dark and rejuvenating tales, and I will be reading more of Schroeder's future works as well.

Grade: C

Source: Publisher