Read-Through Thursday: Chasing Brooklyn

This is a series wherein I will discuss whatever book I’m reading or have just finished. Feel free to post in the comments what you’re reading or your own thoughts about the books I discuss.

I just want to clarify that this is not a review. I may recommend the book, but my real point is that I love to talk about books and this is my blog so I get to do whatever I want. And I want to talk about books!

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

I won the bid for this novel-in-verse during WriteHope (thanks to Catherine Johnson for donating the book to be auctioned off!), and I read it in 3 nights. Almost the first half in the first night. A novel-in-verse goes much faster because there are fewer words to a page, but I just couldn’t stop turning the pages. And this was completely unexpected because I don’t read novels-in-verse.

One of my critique partners loves verse and is currently working on her own novel-in-verse and I always feel so completely inadequate to offer her any constructive criticism. She reads lots of verse novels and is always recommending some to me, and I always say, Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t read novels-in-verse.

I can’t say I will continue this practice, but this one in particular – Chasing Brooklyn – was amazing. Like I said, I couldn’t stop turning pages.

Written in alternating “chapters” by Brooklyn who lost her boyfriend, Lucca, a year ago, and Lucca’s brother Nico, this is a story about love and loss and hope. It is absolutely beautiful. Each has given up on living in her or his own way, and each is being haunted by someone they care about. Until they can open up to each other, they will continue to be ruled by fear rather than love.

Don’t worry, Gail, I’m holding it for you.

Have you ever read a book you weren’t sure you wanted to read, and then loved it?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Read-Through Thursday: Chasing Brooklyn

  1. I have YET to read my first novel written in verse (though I have some on my tbr pile on goodreads). So because you liked it so much I’m going to push it up my pile so I could get to it quicker.
    I agree with you on this “… I always feel so completely inadequate to offer her any constructive criticism.”
    I ran into a lovely lady in this virtual world. She was seeking a CP. I loved what she shared with me, which was my first ever contact with something written in verse. As much as I wanted her to stick with me I had to be honest and say that I have never read a book in verse before and therefore I may not be a good match for a CP.
    So if you come across books written in verse remember me. I could use some referrals and learn. 🙂

  2. I’ve never read a book in verse, sounds interesting though!

  3. I never really considered myself a verse novel reader either, but I picked up a a gritty novel-in-verse by Ellen Hopkins and ended up loving it. Like you, I just couldn’t stop turning pages!

  4. I would never have considered reading a novel in verse until reading this post. You made it sound beautiful and I can’t believe it was also a page-turner! I’ll give it a try. (And the Ellen Hopkins one. Thanks to Jess above.) I just picked up Across the Universe at the bookstore a few hours ago. And finished I Am Number Four the other day. I’m into Sci Fi right now. Another genre I never thought I’d read (or write). :0) christy

  5. Catherine Johnson

    So glad you like it Vicki. I am new to reading novels in verse but getting addicted. I’d love some more recommendations on good ones.

    Chris from The Kelworth Files just emailed putting us together as beta readers/critique partners but I hope you don’t mind mine is in rhyming verse. After your comments above, you might not like reading it lol. Feel free to say no if it’s not your thing, my email address is: catherine_mrsj[at]hotmail.com

  6. Gail

    Yay, Vicki! Yay everyone else for wanting to read verse or already having read it. I’m Vicki’s critque partner, Gail who is trying to write in verse. I loved Lisa Schroeder’s Chasing Brooklyn! I aslo enjoyed Lisa’s I Heart You, You Haunt Me and Far From You. They are all page turners! Vick, I have Far From You so you can read that one.

    Jess mentioned Ellen Hopkins ,who is in my opinion is a master of verse. I read Impulse, which was more that a page turner, if there is such a thing. Impulse is written in three teen voices who have all attempted suicide and who are now placed in a rehab. The poems are raw, instense and emotional! I came to love those three characters and cried for all of them.

    Another excellent book written in verse is Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy. Yellow Star won about fourteen awards! It’s a true story about Jennifer’s aunt who was one of 12 children to survive a ghetto in Poland during WWII. A great choice for 8th gr. teachers and students to read. Make sure you have a box of tissues.

    Patricia McCormick wrote Sold which is a novel “written in spare and evocative vignettes.” Vignettes are a little longer than poems. This is a powerful novel of a 13 yr. old being sold into prostitution to pay her family’s debt!

    Two new verse novels are Exposed by Kimberly Marcus and Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams. Exposed is very good and Glimpse is chilling. I needed tissues for Glimpse. All of these verse novels are page turners and books I never wanted to put down or have end.

    Of course, I have to mention Out of the Dust by Karen Hess and Witness. I think Out of the Dust won the Newberry Medal and pretty much paved the path for verse novels!

    • Vicki Tremper

      Thanks for all those recommendations, Gail! I should have known you’d already read Chasing Brooklyn. Cool. Now I get to keep it!

  7. This is an interesting topic. I enjoyed all the comments too, and the suggestions are great. I will be looking some of those up. Thanks! Sounds like some fun reads.

    • Gail

      Your welcome, Vicki. And, thank you. I’m so excited you have stirred up energy for verse novels! Reaching For the Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is a very good verse novel for tweens and reluctant readers. Josie is a 7th grader, who has cerebral palsy and a mother that doesn’t spend enough time with her. Fortunately, Josie and her grandmother have a great relationship and share a passion for gardening and plants. Zimmer’s poems are full of imagery and weave the theme of plants in them. I loved this one! Enjoy everyone!

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