Review: Chasing Brooklyn

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. –Jacket Copy

I’ve been in a reading slump lately. I keep starting books and giving up on them rather quickly, which is atypical for me. I suppose it’s because I’m so busy these days, and it feels like I can’t spend time on anything that doesn’t grab me right away. Even the last couple books that I did push through didn’t satisfy me, and I’m sure that some of that is a reflection of my mood more than the books themselves. I’ll have to go back and give some of my recent reads another shot someday. With that said, Lisa Schroeder’s Chasing Brooklyn was just what I needed today.

This novel in verse is a quick read with precise language that gets right to the heart of the book. Schroeder’s books offer the depth of a traditional novel, without the superfluous fluff. (Bad metaphor alert: It’s like picking up a jar of deliciously marinated artichoke hearts instead of having to steam an artichoke and shave away at all that excess fuzzy stuff around the middle. That can be good, too, but sometimes you want something easy and still delicious.) This book got me out of my slump, even just for a short while. I needed to read something with the immediacy of Schroeder’s poems, which move quickly from tragic and gloomy to romantic and sappy and back again. Of course, this book is not perfect. At times, it felt cheesy and cliche, but I think there are moments we all need a little bit of cheesiness in our lives. This was absolutely the right book at the right time for me, and I highly recommend it for other readers looking for a speedy pick-me-up.

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