Monday, January 17, 2011

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Shroeder

Title: Chasing Brooklyn
Author: Lisa Shroeder
Published: January 5, 2010 by Simon & Schuster
(415 pages, hardcover)
Summary: 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.
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My thoughts: This was my first Shroeder novel, and it's remained my favorite. Brooklyn is still reeling from the loss of her boyfriend Lucca, who died a year ago. Nico is still grieving his brother's loss by running away from his emotions. And when Gabe, Brooklyn's friend, dies, Brooklyn starts seeing his ghost. She's confused by the fact that it's not Lucca appearing. Then Lucca starts appearing to Nico, telling him he needs to help Brooklyn. Despite the seemingly complicated story lines, Shroeder's simplistic, beautifully written prose makes Chasing Brooklyn a great read.
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Even if the story line is a little bit predictable at times, the writing more than makes up for it. Ellen Hopkins is my favorite free-verse author, but Shroeder comes in a close second. She really has a talent for stripping away the unneeded details and just leaving raw emotions on the page. I was sobbing along with Brooklyn, I was running away from my fears with Nicco, and I was feeling both of their grieving along with them. It was almost painful how accurately written their grief was. Again, Shroeder has shown an uncanny ability to allow her readers to connect to her characters.
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Okay, so I have another literary crush. What else is new? Nico was sweet, cute, and sensitive. I loved how slowly Shroeder dragged everything out. I knew where the story was going from page one, but to keep from spoiling it for those of you who haven't read it, Chasing Brooklyn was a great read if you're looking for a sweet, weak-in-the-knees kind of romance. I won't say anything more in regards to the romance. Not a ton happens in the plot department; it's more of the journey to healing from major losses. It was definitely a character-driven story, but that was okay, because the way Shroeder describes everything in such raw, honest free verse, there wasn't really anything lacking in the end.
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Overall, Chasing Brooklyn was a fantastic read. It was emotional, impacting, and beautiful. I loved the story line and the characters even more so. Shroeder is one of my favorite authors and this novel was a fine example of her wonderful writing skills. In fact, it's my favorite of her novels. I know this review is kind of short and vague, but it's hard not to spoil the rest of the story by going into detail. So I'll just leave it at go read this book right, right, right now!
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Covering the Cover: I'm not big on faces in pictures, but I like the way the girl is looking at the lone handprint. And the font makes the book even prettier.
Characters: 5/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5 stars

1 comments:

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