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Chasing Brooklyn - Lisa Schroeder It’s the year anniversary of the death of Lucca, boyfriend of Brooklyn, brother of Nico. The lone survivor of the car crash that killed Lucca, his friend Gabe, has just died of a drug overdose and just like that, all the grief comes rushing back to the surface for Brooklyn and Nico. This time though, Lucca has decided to haunt his brother, leaving him messages that urge him to help Brooklyn. When Gabe starts sinisterly showing up in Brooklyn’s dreams, it seems like she could desperately use the assistance. Can Nico and Brooklyn work through this together? Ah, verse novels. They give with one hand and take with the other. In the pro column: Lisa Schroeder pulls off some pretty impressive characterization within the spare confines of verse. I thought the dual narrative was a success and had two distinct voices and personalities. There are several lovely passages and more than a few emotional gut punches as Nico and Brooklyn go through the healing process together. In the con column: as the ending of the novel grew near, I felt it deteriorated into endless, simplistic metaphors, practically written in a list. With regular prose the metaphors may not have been so obvious, but in verse the repetitiveness yanked me right out of the story. And that's not even mentioning Brooklyn’s dreams. First of all, isn't it funny how people in fiction dream extremely relevant meaningful things? The last meaningful dream I had was about getting pissed at Ryan Gosling in a Barnes and Noble when I thought he was just teasing me when he asked if I wanted to make out. I still can't believe the last words I ever said to him were "shut up."Tragic.But back to Brooklyn's dreams--they were not only all, "here's a metaphor!" but "here's a metaphor with directions and a map!" At one point she had to choose between the literal light path and dark path, you guys. The figurative language got so heavy-handed I felt like Schroeder was telling me how to feel instead of trusting me to react naturally to characters I was already emotionally invested in. Rather than build on that investment, the ending only served to emotionally distance me from the outcome of the story.Despite my disappointment in the execution of the ending there were definite bright spots along the way and I'd still recommend checking it out if you are interested in verse novels or intrigued by the blurb. Some random notes: I absolutely loved when Nico wrote the "dude, be specific" note to Lucca after all of his vague ghostly messages. Being haunted equivocally would be such a pain in the ass. Also, if I were Brooklyn I'd have tried to float "I keep having horrible dreams of Gabe, do you have any thoughts on that?" in the first lull in conversation. But that's just me and I guess if ghosts (and teens) were good communicators I wouldn't even be writing this review, huh?Bonus points: Italian boys. Always relevant to my interests.This review originally appeared on Young Adult Anonymous