Tuesday 19 October 2010

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

From Goodreads:
Restless souls and empty hearts.

Brooklyn can’t sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca died a year ago, and now their friend Gabe has 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 chasing her through her dreams.

Nico can’t stop. He’s always running, trying so hard not to feel the pain of missing Lucca. But when he begins receiving messages from his dead brother, telling him 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.

I adore Lisa Schroeder's writing.  There is just something about it that completely captures my attention - it's as if she has the ability to strip down a story to the perfect number of words and then makes them as beautiful as possible.  I wish I could explain it more articulately - but for me her writing just has it.  I'm starting to think she could make a shopping list sound fabulous!  So perhaps I should apologise in advance for what is going to be a rather gushing review of Chasing Brooklyn.

Having read and loved I Heart You, You Haunt Me, and absolutely adored Far From You I'm just blown away by Chasing Brooklyn.  I loved the story, the characterisation - it make me laugh and cry and I want to start at the beginning and experience it all over again.

The story is centered around two main characters: Brooklyn, who's boyfriend Lucca died a year ago and Nico, Lucca's brother.  Although a year has past both are finding it hard to move on with their lives.  Brooklyn no longer draws and all Nico can think to do is keep running.  When another boy from their school dies of an overdose it hits them both hard.  Because Gabe was Lucca's friend, and he was also the boy driving the car that killed Lucca.  Now he haunts Brooklyn and Nico starts to get messages from Lucca to help Brooklyn.  So Nico contacts Brooklyn, starting the friendship they both desperately need.

One of the things that still amazes me about verse novels is how much story and characterisation can still be present in what can be a quick read.  But believe me it is!  In this case, having the story told from both Nico and Brooklyn worked brilliantly and I instantly knew who was narrating.  Brooklyn came across as incredibly sweet and Nico was just really kind and nice.  I absolutely adored him, and the relationship that grows between him and Brooklyn is just so lovely - something that wasn't just about being attracted to someone but based on friendship and genuine feelings.

The story also deals with the realities of grief and loss in such an honest way - showing the devastation of losing someone close to you and how easy it could be to lose yourself in grief.  To just isolate yourself so you don't run the risk of getting hurt again.  I loved how the story had me crying one minute and laughing the next - usually at one of Nico's attempts to lighten the mood.  It was just brilliantly done and it's definitely my favourite book of hers so far.

I really, really loved this book and hope you give it a try.  Utterly brilliant!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

That's a beautiful review, and has reminded me how much I want to read this one. I love your enthusiasm for verse novels in general too.


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