Chasing Brooklyn Review

Elisa Perez, Social Media Editor

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Due to my love of novels written in verse, it was recommended that I read “Chasing Brooklyn” by Lisa Schroeder. I had no prior knowledge of the subject or plot of the novel, but I was drawn in by the novel’s eerie cover that depicts a solemn-looking girl touching a foggy window with a ghostly hand touching the glass as well.

“Chasing Brooklyn” follows the lives of the two main characters, Brooklyn and Nico, who alternate as narrator of the novel. One year ago, Brooklyn’s boyfriend and Nico’s brother Lucca was killed in a car accident. In addition to this tragedy, Lucca’s best friend Gabe, the only survivor in the accident in which Lucca died, dies as a result of a drug overdose. Brooklyn and Nico are both having difficulty dealing with the deaths of Lucca and Gabe. Lucca was Brooklyn’s first love and his death caused her give up art, one of her greatest hobbies. Nico feels that Lucca was his parents’ favorite son and therefore thinks that he can never be as great as Lucca. Matters get worse when Lucca begins to haunt Nico and demand that he help Brooklyn. This causes Nico to become scared and have no choice but to contact Brooklyn. Brooklyn has a similar dilemma as she has nightmares in which Gabe appears and reprimands her for “giving into fear.”

“Chasing Brooklyn” is Schroeder’s second novel following her first novel “I Heart You, You Haunt Me.” “Chasing Brooklyn,” published in 2010, has been recognized as an ALA Quick Picks Nominee, a RITA Award Finalist – presented by the Romance Writers of America and has been featured on the Texas Tayshas High School Reading List. In addition to the kudos from these organizations,”Chasing Brooklyn” has received mostly positive customer reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other websites.

The novel begins with a clear establishment of the situation at hand and the relationship of the characters to one another. The reader is left with no questions about the deaths of either Lucca or Gabe as their causes of death are clearly explained by the narrators while refraining from going into gory details. The plotline progresses very quickly without much unnecessary fluff and the conflict is introduced almost immediately, which is one of the advantages of reading novels written in verse.

The paranormal instances experienced by the narrators give the novel a new dimension that is delightfully creepy and unique. Despite the unique paranormal aspect, “Chasing Brooklyn” is generic in the sense that the reader can easily and successfully predict that romance will develop between the two narrators. This predictable plotline makes me wish that Schroeder had created a plot twist that broke up the typical teenage romance plot. Fans of Ellen Hopkins novels will be especially fond of “Chasing Brooklyn” as they share a similar style. Both authors write in verse which makes the novel go by much faster and keeps the readers’ attention much better than a full page of text. The novel switches about every other page between the two narrators. This may confuse some readers who are not used to this form of storytelling, but I find it keeps the story interesting as it shows the same event from two different points of view.

Karen E. Brooks-Reese, from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA is also fond of “Chasing Brooklyn.” In her review of the novel, she states “Chasing Brooklyn is told in a verse format that enables the author to cut right to the emotional quick. The short sentences and minimal dialogue keep the focus on the pain and fear of the two main characters as they become friends, training together, and trying to vanquish the ghosts from their lives. While the wrenching impact will leave readers raw, the ultimately hopeful ending is comforting. A quick read, but one with substance.”

So go ahead and hit up the school or public library, pick up this “quick substantial read” and enjoy!

I give “Chasing Brooklyn3 out of 5 eagles.

 

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Chasing Brooklyn Review