I'll be honest. I don't do book reviews.
Maybe it's because of Film School, where we were NEVER allowed to turn our papers into reviews. Or maybe it's because I'm not big on criticizing someone's art--especially in public--so I can't imagine ever giving a negative review (which then kind of negates the purpose of doing a review). Either way, I usually prefer to do book recommendations and just rave about something I love. So I was more than a little nervous when I realized I would need to do an actual review of Chasing Brooklyn when I organized Lisa Schroeder week--especially since I hadn't read the book when I was putting everything together.
But when I got my hands on Chasing Brooklyn a few weeks ago I realized I had nothing to worry about. Only glowing, five star reviews here. So now the only challenge is figuring out a how to talk about what makes it so wonderful in a way that does it justice. It's kind of a stretch for me. Silly I can do. Intelligent is a WHOLE other ballgame.
Never-the-less, here goes:
Here's what the publisher says about Chasing Brooklyn:
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.
I would add that it's a verse novel, a dual narrative, and while it is Lisa's gift to fans of I Heart You, You Haunt Me, it's not a sequel, and definitely stands alone. There's loss. There's love. And above all else: there's hope. It's also my favorite book she's written thus far.
What I love about all of Lisa's books is that she has a way of making me like things I normally wouldn't. I'm not really a big verse novel person. Nor am I into ghost stories. And I'm generally not a fan of anything that makes me cry. But I adore her books. I would love to figure out how she does that, but it remains a mystery. Maybe she has magic powers I don't know about.
Somehow she manages to make me forget that I'm reading poems instead of paragraphs. In fact, I think this story would lose its power if it were written traditionally. The verse feels so intimate--like diary entries--that you really connect with the characters on another level. And while the format makes for a quick read (my first time through only took a couple hours) I would strongly encourage anyone to read slower (or to read it twice) because there are subtleties woven through the words that are too easily lost while speed reading.
Bottom line: It's a wonderful story to sip and savor--not gulp--and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves touching stories about living with loss and finding a reason to keep going.*
I won't say anymore because I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I'd love to know what you think of any of that, so I'm willing to bribe you. I'll give one extra contest entry to anyone who leaves me a comment about this post (just make sure you give me the name you entered the contest under so I can add it accordingly) And if you're not entering the contest I'd still love to hear from you, and I'd love to know if any of you plan on reading Chasing Brooklyn (not because of my review, just because it is awesome) :)
Oh, and time is running out to enter the Lisa Schroeder Contest. Remember, I'm not only giving away a three book prize pack (one of which is signed). I'm giving a the second prize winner a copy of Chaing Brooklyn too! So if you haven't entered yet, you might want to get on that.
Thanks for reading!
*And to fulfill the FTC's requirements, yes, I was given a free copy of Chasing Brooklyn for hosting a day of the blog tour. But I also bought my own copy and I'm giving the free one away so it did not affect my opinion in the slightest.