Chasing Brooklyn is told in verse and it has the distinction of being the first verse-narrative that I have been able to get all the way through. More than that, I ended up really enjoying the story and the characters.
It is the story of a girl called Brooklyn and a boy called Nico, who share dual narrative in the novel. Brooklyn lost her boyfriend Lucca in a car accident a year ago and she is still not over her grief. Lucca was Nico's younger brother and he too is still having a hard time getting over the loss of his brother and best friend.
The novel begins with yet another death, Lucca's friend Gabe, who has died of an overdose but everyone is speculating that it may in fact have been a suicide. Gabe was driving when the accident took place. Brooklyn and Gabe had made a promise to help each other through the aftermath of Lucca's death but somehow that fell by the wayside and Brooklyn is suffused with guilt, wondering if she could have done more to help her friend. Brooklyn has retreated into her own world. She spends the majority of her time either doing things that she used to do with Lucca, like visiting the comic book store, or writing letters to him every day in her journal. The news of Gabe's death makes her retreat even further. Brooklyn soon begins to have vivid nightmares of Gabe, terror-inducing nightmares where he is chasing her. These nightmares soon spill over into reality and she feels his presence at nearly every turn.
Nico is also left reeling at Gabe's death but he deals with things very differently to Brooklyn. He throws himself into activities to dull the pain. He has always felt as though he is a poor substitute for his brother, who was his parents favoured child. When he hears the latest tragic news, he decides to complete in a triathlon to help him deal with the loss. However, Nico soon begins to have ghostly apparitions appear to him, in the form of his brother Lucca who keeps urging him to help Brooklyn.
Nico reaches out to Brooklyn, offering her support, compassion and friendship. The two soon begin to form a bond but is it enough to help them both get over their grief and move on with their lives?
I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I have never really been able to get into books told in verse but had read so many rave reviews of this book that I decided to give it a shot and I am very glad that I did. This was a captivating, heart-breaking but also heart-warming tale. I loved both Brooklyn and Nico (who turned out to be a total sweetheart). I was totally caught up in their story and there was loads of sweet, romantic moments as well as some truly chilling scenes of ghostly encounters.