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December 27, 2012

Review: Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker

Title: Chasing Jupiter
Author: Rachel Coker
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: December 26th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Historical Fiction)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 224
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.
I loved this book! I thought it was really good. 16 year old Scarlett Blaine is the glue that holds her (somewhat dysfunctional) family  together. Her mother and father barely make enough to put bread on the table, her older sister, Juli, is a hippie, her little brother, Cliff, has a mental issue, and her grandfather also has a mental illness and an obsession with peanutbutter. When Scarlett makes a promise to Cliff that she will build him a rocket to Jupiter, Scarlett meets the (possible) love-of-her-life and finds out how much her family means to her.

This book is a favorite of mine. I started reading and devoured it until the very last page. I loved the reader-writer connection. I also adored the innocent air around Cliff. The first person narrating was excellent and I felt like I was actually Scarlett. Trying to choose a favorite character is impossible. Each character has a piece of me. Franks love for animals, Scarlett's passion for cooking, Juli's stubbornness. I guess I like Scarlett the most, she is a good role model.

The pace of the story was really good. It didn't go by too fast or too slow. It went slow enough for me to want to keep reading but fast enough to keep me interested. As the plot unraveled, my interest for the story grew and now I don't think I could love this story more. It really was wonderfully good. Overall, this was a great read. Recommended to 6-10 graders, this book is a true success. Wonderful job,Rachel, and keep reading fellow bookworms!!
Other books by Rachel Coker:


  1. This one looks like a really great read! Great review I can't wait to get my hands on it.
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  2. Wow, this sounds so neat! I'm a firm believer that there are too few YA Historical books these days, and this one seems to be set in a time where most books aren't typically set in. I'm interested to see what role the setting plays in the book! All the characters seem so lovable in this one, and I love how they grew on you so easily. Relatable characters are always important for me.

    Fantastic review! <3 I'll definitely have to keep my eye out for this one.

  3. I love the sound of this one! I've never heard of it before, but since you love it so much I think I'm definitely going to have to check it out. Great review :)

  4. I haven't seen this book before...but oh my...does it sound interesting :) I like going back in time so 1960s sound good. Great review and thanks for sharing :) I hope I'll catch some time to read this one :)

  5. This sounds like a fantastic book. I love books that really focus on family and I love the time period it's set in. Great review!!

  6. I really, really like the cover and it does have a 60s feel to it what with the font and the colors.

    I love reading books relating that are about the functioning of a dysfunctional family and how the main character is a good role model and the character growth that occurs. This book seems to have it all!

    Great review, Danna!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

  7. Glad to learn that you felt as though you were Scarlett when you read the book! It's awesome that this book is one of your favorites :)

  8. Just stopping by to thank you for signing up for the 2013 Standalone Reading Challenge (again ;)! Best of luck to you :)

    I LOVE your blog design - super cute.

    Happy New Year,

  9. I haven't heard much about this one but it sounds really good.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  10. This sounds really good! The cover, while simple, is very eye -catching to me.