Chasing Jupiter

Chasing Jupiter

Book - 2012
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Scarlett Blaine's life in 1960s Georgia isn't always easy, especially given her parents' financial struggles and the fights surrounding her sister Juli's hippie lifestyle. Then there's her brother, Cliff. While Scarlett loves him more than anything, there's no denying his unique behavior leaves Cliff misunderstood and left out. So when he wishes for a rocket to Jupiter, Scarlett agrees to make it happen, no matter how crazy the idea might be. Raising the rocket money means baking pies, and the farmer's son, Frank, agrees to provide the peaches if Scarlett will help him talk to Juli. The problem is, Scarlett really enjoys her time with Frank, and finds herself wondering if, someday, they could be more than friends. Just as she thinks everything might be going her way, Cliff suffers an accident that not only affects the rocket plans, but shakes Scarlett's view of God. As the summer comes to an end, Scarlett must find a way to regain what she's lost, but also fulfill a promise to launch her brother's dream.
Publisher: Grand Rapids, Michigan : Zondervan, ©2012.
ISBN: 9780310732938
Branch Call Number: COK
Characteristics: 221 p.


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Jan 01, 2019

Chasing Jupiter begins in the summer of 1969. Scarlett Blaine is sixteen, and lives in a small town in Georgia. Scarlett’s younger brother Cliff is often overlooked or misunderstood because of his autism, so when asks for a rocket, she is determined to make his wish come true. She starts baking and selling pies to make money to build his rocket.

Although her summer starts out well, it quickly become busy and turbulent when her Grandpop Barley declines mentally, older sister Juli causes strain in the family, and Scarlett finds herself struggling between childhood and adulthood and struggling with family, love, and what her future should look like.

I first discovered Chasing Jupiter when I was doing research on young authors that got a reputable publisher. Rachel Coker wrote her first book, Interrupted, when she was 14, and it was published by Zondervan about a year later. Chasing Jupiter followed in 2012. It’s always fun to read books by talented young authors, and Chasing Jupiter did not disappoint.

I thought that Rachel Coker did a wonderful job providing emotional depth to the story. Although the plotting leaves something to be desired, the characters are well-developed and likeable. Overall, my favorite aspect of the story was how real it felt. It faced the fact that life isn’t perfect, and not every ending is happily-ever-after while achieving a satisfying yet plausible ending.

If you like character-driven books with happy endings or books like Anne of Green Gables, Ella Enchanted, or American Street, you might enjoy Chasing Jupiter.

-Grace @

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