Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
Genre: Young Adult/Verse/Romance/Paranormal
Chasing Brooklyn is about a girl named Brooklyn who 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. (Goodreads summary)
Characters: The characters in the novel are relatable and humane. Both Brooklyn and Nico battled with their depression after losing Lucca and Gabe in different, but similar ways. In Chasing Brooklyn, Brooklyn was emotionally attached to her boyfriend, Lucca. I didn’t think her attitude was cliché, but rather appropriate for the book’s significant meaning. She overcame her sadness with the help of her family, friends, the world, and Nico. Brooklyn’s experience of recovering from the death of a loved one is how I think most people should deal with death. People shouldn’t go through chaos all alone. They should express their earnest feelings to those who care, so they can be relieved of the heavy burdens they feel within. Nico became my favorite character because he never gave up on Brooklyn. His kindness and patience toward Brooklyn made him a genuine healer and taught me the valiant virtues of how a good friend should act. By supporting Brooklyn, he helped fix a part of himself he never originally thought he was able to.
Plot: This was a very fast-paced read. I finished reading the entire story in approximately two hours and sixteen minutes, which was surprising for me, (considering the book has four-hundred and twelve pages inside), yet to be expected since it’s a novel formatted in a poetic verse style. I thought the plot was interesting. I liked when Gabe and Lucca’s ghosts interacted with the main characters Brooklyn and Nico by sending them messages to help them find their internal strengths to overcome their struggles. I also enjoyed reading about Brooklyn and Nico’s mental and emotional journeys and the lessons they learned while training for an April triathlon. However, on the other hand, some of the novel’s moments seemed a bit dull, where I wanted more emphasis on how the characters felt when they were in the process of recovering. I would’ve liked to hear more memories of Lucca from Brooklyn and Nico’s perspectives. Lucca’s character wasn’t as involved in the story as I wanted him to. If he was mentioned more, I could comprehend better why they felt such a strong threshold to Lucca.
My favorite part was when Brooklyn finally understood her dreams and its correlation with her real life circumstances.
Cover Analysis: The book’s cover is chilling and sentimental. It reminds me of Brooklyn and Lucca’s close relationship and that she missed him terribly. The cover touches the surface on what the novel wants readers to know. The handwritten script title is in Brooklyn’s handwriting to hint about the story’s revolution around her. Fading teal tones give a sense of mourning and heartache. The cool ambience radiates moodiness.
Overall: I think the book is well-written with a decent plot-line. Although I was hoping there would be more to the story at a few parts, I don’t think that would change my perception of the whole book much. I gave Chasing Brooklyn, a rating of four point three stars because I love how the book focuses on acknowledging life’s simple pleasures and the handling the stages of grief. This is a good book for people who need assurance and value empathy.
Recommended For: Fans of Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.