Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Book Review: Chasing Brooklyn
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 10, 2010)
Reading Level: YA
Description 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.
A few months ago I read and reviewed Lisa Schroeder’s IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES. You can read my review here. I had her YA books I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and FAR FROM YOU and CHASING BROOKLYN on my TBR list. In preparation for her book signing at Vroman’s (check out my post on her visit here), I delved into I HEART YOU and found myself completely absorbed in Ava’s story. It was my first novel in verse and I had been hesitant to read “novels in verse” before since I tend to really not like poetry. Yet Schroeder managed to capture the emotions and mood with amazing clarity and depth. I wanted to go around handing out copies of it because it was such a powerful little story.
Next I quickly picked up FAR FROM YOU and found myself just as absorbed. I kept thinking I need to go to sleep and instead I kept turning pages wanting to know what was going to happen to Ali and her family. The emotions and feelings so real but tapered with so much hope.
I saved CHASING BROOKLYN until after Lisa’s signing. I discovered from listening to her talk about how her books came about that CHASING BROOKLYN is technically a companion novel to I HEART YOU. Schroeder indicated that her editor felt that Ava from the first book was left in a good place and was there another story that could be explored. The result was Schroeder’s story of Nico and Brooklyn which became a gift for fans of I HEART YOU. Set in the same world the story further explores loss, love, grief, and healing from a slightly different angle. Without spoiling the story for anyone, Brooklyn’s boyfriend Lucca died in a car accident. As she struggles to deal with her loss, Lucca’s brother Nico reaches out to her based on what he believes is the prompting of his brother. I will stop there because anything further will spoil it for you. However, I will say, I have a new fictional crush – Nico has some wonderful qualities and he cooks.
It was fun to watch Schroeder’s growth as a writer but how throughout all 3 books you see these deep emotions that are so beautifully paired with a message of hope. I would highly recommend her books to any teen and even reluctant readers will find her stories easy to read but with powerful lessons/messages. I have also mentioned Schroeder’s books to several counselors that I know because of the topics and how I can see the books being beneficial to a reader who is dealing with loss and grief.
I am already pining for Schroeder’s next book which she hasn’t even finished writing, but until then, I just might have to re-read Chasing Brooklyn.
As a special treat to readers of our blog, I asked Lisa Schroeder to sign a copy of CHASING BROOKLYN that I could give away in a contest. You have a chance to win a signed hard cover copy of CHASING BROOKLYN, a postcard showing all three covers, and an I HEART YOU bookmark.
To Enter the Contest:
1. You must fill out the form below.
2. You must be 14 years or older to enter the contest.
3. You must submit the form prior to 11:59 p.m. PDT on Sunday, July 11, 2010
For Extra Entries:
- Leave a comment in the comment section about why you want to read Chasing Brooklyn (1 extra entry)
- Tweet it, Blog about it, or post it on your blog or Facebook page (each item will earn you 2 extra entries)
- Follow the Blog (New followers will get 1 extra entry, Current Followers will get 2 extra entries)
Click Here to Complete the Entry Form