Sixteen-year-old Scarlett Blaine discovers growing up on a farm, and caring for her autistic brother amidst family tensions, is far from peachy. When a tragic accident and financial difficulties place more pressures on Scarlett's shoulders, she has to find a hope to cling to before it's too late.
Average Customer Rating:
(10 Reviews) 10
Rating Snapshot(10 reviews)
10 out of 10100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Chasing Jupiter is fantastic. I had a hard time putting it down. Author Rachel Coker is way too young to be turning out fiction of this caliber! The setting is beautiful, I felt like I’d stepped back in time to rural Georgia in the 60′s setting. My only complaint is that the writing is so beautiful it’s almost heart-wrenching. I don’t usually do very well with heart-wrenching, but the thread of hope that runs throughout this story made it worthwhile.
A thoughtful and evocative read, that takes you into Scarlett's world.
I fell in love with Ms. Coker's contemplative, easy flowing writing style, and the quirky characters that she brought to life.
The characters were all so different, and unique, yet each had a quality that I was captured by. Scarlett was a strong heroine, molded by the chaos around her, yet she and her brother, Cliff had a special bond, and I liked how much she cared for her brother and protected him.
In Chasing Jupiter I really did feel like I was inside Scarlett's head, asnd she saw things in a simple sort of way, with a certain weariness, yet love for her brother, and confusion with her sister, while Frank was pleasant surprise.
In conclusion, this book reminded me alot of the books I read when I was 10 (when my mom considered me too young to read Christian romance--even Janette Oke!) I always loved the depth of such books, balanced with quirky characters. I haven't seen a many new books like this in a while, because in my mind, Chasing Jupiter certainly has a special timeless quality about it, paired with a an inspiring message of finding God while everything seems to be falling down all around. A book that I would happily recommend! And I will definitely be reading Rachel Coker's future novels :)
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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Review 3 for Chasing Jupiter
Date:March 11, 2013
Nicely done Rachel! Although it was shorter than Interrupted, Chasing Jupiter was just as lovely and enjoyable as Rachel's first book. In my opinion this was a sweet book that really touched me. It's a story about a girl who will do anything to help her younger "misunderstood" (and at that time undiagnosed autistic) brother Cliff. Both of Rachel's book were well written for someone her age, which I don't mean in any negative way, really. She is young and in several parts slight flaws can be found, but really she is a great writer who is only getting better! The main flaw that I found in this book was that the epilogue was a bit rushed and felt it.
But moving past the slightly not so great to the great. I really enjoyed this book. You get a warm, yes Georgia southern feel to this book that my friend mentioned reminded her of the movie/book "The Help" Some scenes, like Scarlett visiting Ms. Greene did have a "Help" feel to them. One of my favorite scenes was with Ms.Greene...the hilarious chicken scene :D Another scene that was simply tragic, beautiful and poignant is when Scarlett and Frank finish the rocket and show Cliff. I was crying in that scene. Not only is this a wonderful story about family, it is also a love story, a southern story and one with a lighthearted character who is trying to figure out where she belongs and how she can make everything turn out right. Maybe it's the size of the book or the fact that it is set in the south, but I also got a Joan Bauer feel from this book (I've only read 3 of Ms.Bauer's books however). I would recommend to girls 12+ who are looking for a sweet southern story that might just make you cry. Characters~I really liked Cliff he was sweet and cute. The things he said made me smile :) Scarlett was maybe a bit of everybody in her search for finding the right way. The one way she could make everything come together. I really liked how she came through for her family but still was shown crying and asking for help because of how she felt they were being torn apart. Frank was a good character, even though he should have realized some thing sooner...
When the world around you falls apart, dreams are all you have....
It's 1969 and the moon missions are all the rage and 16 year old Scarlett Blaine's life seems to be falling apart. Her parents are fighting about money and Juli's antics. Her older sister Juli, a hippie, is withdrawing from the family. Grandpop Barley is having problems with dementia. And her little brother Cliff is just not normal. Can life get any more difficult?
But when Cliff and Scarlett watch footage of the moon missions on television, Cliff decides he wants to be the first person to Jupiter. Scarlett determines that Cliff will get his dream and promises to build the rocket to Jupiter. But dreams take money and that is the one thing they don't have.
With the help of Frank Leggett they start making money selling peach pies. Frank's father owns a peach orchard and agrees to supply Scarlett with peaches which she bakes into pies. Frank, with help from Cliff, builds the stand that Scarlett and Cliff use to sell their pies on Saturdays.
On Fridays, after being volunteered by her mother, Scarlett is helping Mrs. Greene cook meals. But in the process she makes a friend who is willing to help her navigate some of the questions that life is throwing at her. The biggest question in Scarlett's life is how to have peace in her life. But Mrs. Greene's answer isn't exactly what Scarlett is looking for.
As Scarlett, Cliff and Frank spend time together they become friends. Scarlett and Frank learn that they are both more than they have appeared to others over the years. Frank is smart and caring and Scarlett is humorous and dedicated to her brother. Frank has a crush on Juli, which hurts Scarlett because she knows that Juli doesn't even know who Frank is and she has developed feelings for this young man who become her friend over the summer.
But when a series of events changes her family forever Scarlett is left to deal with the new reality and her feelings of guilt. Could she have done something different so that tragedy could have been averted? Will the promised rocket to Jupiter ever be built? With her life in turmoil Scarlett finds herself seeking the peace that Mrs. Greene told her about, the peace that will change her from the inside out.
I enjoyed Chasing Jupiter, but when I read the line "Call 911" I had to take a pause. I didn't know the 911 system was in use in 1969. So I had an interesting time doing research on the history of the 911 emergency call system because of this book.
But back to Chasing Jupiter the characters make you care about them. You identify with their hurts and joys. You feel the guilt that they feel when an accident that could have been prevented wasn't. Don't miss out on this offering from Rachel Coker.
I received a copy of this title from the publisher Zovndervan for the purpose of this review, a favorable review was not a requirement.
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Review 5 for Chasing Jupiter
Author has a gift for creating endearing character
Scarlett's family is a little out-of-the-ordinary. Her dad is obsessed with politics, her mom is always working, her older sister is becoming a hippie, and both her little brother and her grandfather have special needs. Scarlett is the one trying to hold it all together. The summer starts out with her little brother Cliff's wish to build a rocket so that he can be the first astronaut to travel to Jupiter. So Scarlett and the cute neighbor boy, Frank, make a peach pie stand and start selling pies to make money for the rocket. But things don't always go as planned in life, and when Scarlett's life starts to crumble around her, she has to find her own way.
This was a sweet book. It takes place in 1960s Georgia. I fell in love with the characters from the start. Rachel Coker has a gift for creating the most endearing people to read about: Scarlett with her big heart, Cliff with his big dreams, and Grandpop Barley with his red necktie and addiction to peanut butter. The story sucked me in from the start. I loved Scarlett and wanted to see her and Cliff make that rocket! I also thought it was great fun to see Scarlet and Cliff watching the first men on the moon.
A few things distanced me from the action. Several important events were told after they happened. Once, a side character died, and it was mentioned after the fact, like it was no big deal. But someone like Scarlett would have made sure to be there for her loved one--to make sure he got to attend the funeral. And later, the fact that Frank had come to the hospital and the fact that he'd chosen a college and moved away ... these things were mentioned after they happened, nonchalantly, which felt like mistakes in the story. These scenes would have been so much more powerful told in the action of the story.
Don't get me wrong. I still liked the story very much, and I cried! My heart broke for Scarlett and her family. This is an entertaining and powerful book. Rachel has a gift for telling good stories. I know we'll see many more of them in the future. If you haven't read Rachel's books before, be sure and check them out!
*I received this book free for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Review 6 for Chasing Jupiter
Heart-wrenching and Beautiful
Date:March 10, 2013
Location:Little Town, South
I loved Scarlett.
(It was because I was pleased to find the resemblance to Scarlett O'Hara was nonexistent after the name-connection.)
Right away, her spunky inner voice, her awareness of her own awkwardness, and her selfless (but not saintly-perfect) attitude with her family drew me in. She can make fun of herself and laugh without ever visibly cracking a grin, which endeared me as a reader. She could analyze her own actions, especially when it came to her interactions with Frank and others outside her immediate family, and roll her eyes at how weird she seems.
Most importantly, she loves her family, as "dysfunctional" as it can be. She doesn't bat an eye at her brother Cliff's daring birthday list. She just jumps right in to making his dreams come true.
The first handful of chapters came slowly for me, but I kept reading because Scarlett seems like someone I would choose for a friend, someone kind and loyal and a little bit quirky.
What I Didn't Like As Much
Though I took a few days to read the beginning, I raced through the latter two-thirds of this beautiful book. Only one scene made me wince, when an older woman Scarlett (and I) had grown to respect seemed to give her advice on "telling the young man how you feel" or something like that. That struck me as slightly non-traditional, but that sort of suits the time period, doesn't it? =)
(Speaking of time period, what a fun one! Especially since Scarlett can be retro and listen to Bing Crosby, my favorite!)
And, anyway, Scarlett never really does that. But I won't spoil the ending for you.
Why I Recommend This Book
The ending is so sweet, it doesn't deserve to be spoiled. Really, this book had me sighing and smiling sadly so often. Scarlett's story is lovely, even as punctured with sorrow as it is. In fact, it's the puncture-holes that allow the light of God's love to come shining through.
"I never said God wouldn't help you at all. I just said he wouldn't help you in the way you want. The beauty of salvation and God's grace isn't in him solving all of our problems instantly, like a magic genie. Its beauty comes in the assurance that he has a great plan for you." Mrs. Greene to Scarlett, page 103
I had tears in my eyes as I read the ending. I heartily recommend this book if you love a story that is both heart-wrenching and tugs on the heart strings.
Several things first caught me about this book. One was the author – she’s a teen, in highschool, and homeschooled. Impressive, right? This is already her second book to be published! Then the time-period interested me too. The 1960s…they’re almost modern, but not quite. Recent enough that relics still hang around (and no, this isn’t a derogatory term for people…I’m talking about things like bar stools and records and such). But Chasing Jupiter lived up to my hopes for it, and one that truly took me back to that by-gone era! The main characters are a girl, aged 16, and her younger brother of about 10 who’s mentally challenged. Rachel described both of these characters in a completely ‘gettable’ way, and I was especially impressed with how she handled the brother and his disability – very realistic, from my point of view. You’ll be emotionally involved in this story by page 150, I guarantee it! And just when you think everything is going along smoothly and predictably and peachily (no pun intended), something stunning and unexpected occurs. And no, I won’t tell you what it is. You’ll have to read CJ for yourself! All in all, the writing was great, and if you get a chance – grab this one up and give it a try!
**Zondervan supplied me with this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to post a positive review, nor was I paid in any way other than the book.**
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Review 8 for Chasing Jupiter
Date:February 27, 2013
My first thought after turning the last page was “Wait….a 17-year old really wrote this?!”
Rachel Coker is definitely a legit author in my book.
Chasing Jupiter was a well written novel that I not only enjoyed, but would gladly recommend! Coker definitely has a gift for telling story. Don’t let her age fool you into thinking the story lacks. Not the case! Her characters and story quickly grow on you, have depth and written with a maturity beyond her years. I can only imagine what the future holds for this young writer.
The story itself is a compelling coming of age for a young girl in the South during the 60s. Check out more about the story:
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 think this is a great book to share with teens (and even one adults will enjoy). It’s refreshing and encouraging for young readers. Something that is hard to find these days! I was taken back to those high school summer days long ago :) . booksandbeverages.wordpress.com
Rachel Coker, seventeen year-old author, has written a emotionally stirring tale about a sixteen year old girl who holds the world on her shoulders. As we journey with Scarlett and her hilariously somewhat dysfunctional family, we learn with her that God is in control not us. Through him we can face life's challenges with peace and security knowing that He has it all in control.
I beyond enjoyed this book. I was so sad to have to part with it as I finished the last page. The main character Scarlett was such a 3 dimensional character. You felt her burdens, you rejoiced in her happiness, and immediately befriended her. I even cried as the Lord began working in her heart.
The pace of the story was nice and enjoyable. I was able to relax after a long day and pick up Chasing Jupiter and be lulled into a state of relaxation. I enjoyed the rich detail the author portrayed throughout the book. From the peach scented orchards, to the sticky counters, the oily cream smeared surfaces, and we can't forget the yummy peanut butter:)
The plot was filled with fun times, sad times, romantic times, and even deep spiritual moments. I enjoyed how the author was able to appropriately mix each one in without overdoing. The clean romance (no kissing, and just friendly hugs) was a refreshing aspect. The interaction between boy and girl were innocent friendly and so real life.
Being that Rachel is seventeen, I thought she was going to have a very humorous silly kind of story plot, but was I surprised! Both her books Interrupted and Chasing Jupiter are written from a maturity and wisdom that seem to be beyond one so young. She is a very talented author and I look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for her!
I'd most definitely recommend Chasing Jupiter and give it a 5 out of 5. I received Chasing Jupiter for free from Zondervan in exchange for this independent and unbiased review.
Rachel Coker returns to the fictional scene equipped with an emotion-packed novel that had me glued to the pages!
Chasing Jupiter is her second novel, and I found it to be just as great, if not better than her debut novel, Interrupted: A Life Beyond Words. This time, our setting is in Georgia, 1969 and the central members of our new cast are, Scarlett Blaine, Cliff Blaine, and Frank Leggett.
Scarlett is special, in my opinion. She is able to communicate with Cliff and understand his quirks unlike their parents and the people in their area. She doesn't know why he's the way he is, but she still loves him. She holds so much of the house chores on her shoulders, in this way I can relate to her a bit. I've had a lot of house responsibility on my shoulders before, though not as long as she's had it. At one point, someone asks her why she does so much and she responds with, "Someone has to."
I liked the theme of peaches (peach pie, more peach pie, peach trees, ;D). I don't know why, but I did. I also thoroughly enjoyed the banter between Scarlett and Cliff and occasionally Scarlett and Frank. Rachel does a great job of tossing in enough romance to satisfy her readers, yet keep it to a minimum (no kissing, no dates). That's something I appreciate.
Chasing Jupiter took me off guard more than once with a few twists I hadn't anticipated. I love it when I can't see surprises coming! If you liked her previous work, then you'll surely love this one too.
I received this book from DJC Communications in return for an honest review of my opinions. Thank you!