Tag Archives: Lisa Schroeder
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.
Lo says: I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. It’s weird how it sneaks up on me when I should know by now that it happens when I’m intensely writing and/or editing. Sometimes I can balance the reader/writer roles simultaneously, and other times I just… can’t.
The manuscript is a bear right now. We are doing requested edits – which is exciting – but it’s exhausting (as anyone who has been through the umpteenth revision on a novel knows) to try to see our book with fresh eyes. I’ve just needed a break from it, and reading is such a critical part of writing.
So, I went to the bookstore Wednesday night and flipped through about forty books, hoping in the middle of one I’d find a line that would make me need to go back to the beginning and wonder how it grew into that phrase. And it’s funny, really, because I have (and I just counted) twelve unread books on my shelf and another ten on my kindle. Clearly the bookstore was the last place I needed to be. But I wanted to read, and nothing on my bookshelf was calling to me.
I opened CHASING BROOKLYN by Lisa Schroeder. I’d heard about it on Twitter and elsewhere but I’ll admit it wasn’t on my radar other than familiarity with the title. What grabbed me instantly was the prose, how it was formatted almost as poetry. Simple, honest, relatable. I was immediately interested.
The line that drew me in:
“Stop it,” I say, pointing my finger at her. “Don’t worry about me.” It wasn’t even said by who I thought, but it would have worked either way. I’m not sure why that line was the one that did it, even now. It’s not particularly telling or profound, but I like the dialogue and the subtle combination with gestures and expressions. She gives just enough of words and direction for the reader to imagine the characters. But, unlike many YA books, I’m not hit over the head with physical descriptions. I’m perfectly fine imagining them on my own.
Many YA novels lately are epic fantasy or paranormal, stories of The One (whether romantic, magical, or otherwise), or books that pull us into completely new worlds. (And I love those books.) But what I needed this week was something quieter, simpler. Something I could relate to. This book was sincerely lovely. How can Schroeder tell such a complicated and heartache-filled story in so few words? How can Nico be so wonderful while living in the shadow of the perfect boyfriend? I loved Brooklyn’s fears and hopes and also her openness. Schroeder can be sparse with her words because she uses only the important ones.
It’s not an easy story but somehow it was a fast read, and never felt even an ounce overdone. If you have an afternoon and want some sweet angst, read this. There is plenty of swoon, too. Thanks for pulling me out of my slump, Lisa.
About the author: (from Amazon page) Lisa Schroeder is a native Oregonian, which means her childhood summers were spent camping, fishing, reading books (of course!), and playing in the sun, when it finally came out. These days, Lisa spends her summers, and every other part of the year, sharing all the wonderful things Oregon has to offer with her husband and two sons. She is the author of four novels for young adults published by Simon Pulse – I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, FAR FROM YOU, CHASING BROOKLYN and THE DAY BEFORE. She is also the author of two middle-grade novels published by Aladdin – IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES and SPRINKLES AND SECRETS.Read More »