review // chasing jupiter // by rachel coker

August 11, 2017

As I promised, here is a review of one of my new favorite novels - Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker! I bought a used copy from Thriftbooks for only $4.00 plus $3.00 shipping - and haha - it was signed by the author! What luck!

I devoured the thing in one day. Yup. Same day it arrived. I can't remember loving a book that much in a long time. It's 215 pager historical fiction and let me just give you the synopsis to get you started.

Image result for chasing jupiter

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.

Well, well. This was one of those beauties I really don't want to take apart by analyzing it in a review and pick it by the seams to evaluate the people or the storyline or the setting. I just want to leave it sitting on my desk intact in all its wonderfulness. But I feel like I need to do this for you just in case you haven't yet experienced this story for yourself; I kind of feel like I need to do this for the author and for the amazing story it was.

Five stars for this one. The title is everything. This is a story about family and dreams and heartbreak and loss. It's a story about peaches and pies and peanut butter and Peter Pan and promises and peace. It's a story about cooking and baking and Spanish and summer and friends and love. It's a story about music and the moon and space and hippies and rockets and the kitchen and animals and odd people who do wonderful things. 
I smiled and I lauged through it and my heart cried a bit too (my eyes almost did - almost). And I think in the end it was fun and adorable and sad and just plain amazing.
Some things worth mentioning -
- The people were poor and the family struggled and fought at times and yet they were just a beautiful family. It just felt so real. I knew they loved each other, and yet they went through difficulties like people do in reality;
- This girl worked - and she did it well. I think it was an inspirational, encouraging sort of thing;
- This girl was a bit of a loner whose best friend was her ten-year-old brother - and if that isn't fabulous, what is? I relate so much.
- There was a lot of kitchen time;
- She met Frank when she was talking to herself, and I relate so much xD
- They were chasing an impossible dream, or a dream that seemed impossible, and don't they all feel like that sometimes?
- The characters were all so real and peculiar in a endearing way - those oddities and the humor really drew me to them xD
- The historical feel was almost tangible. It was just so there in a natural kind of way (I'm sorry if I don't make much sense);
- It had a beautiful theme or themes;
- And the symbolism was amazing.

I don't want to say too much. All I want to say it made me feel. This is a perfectly clean book by a young author and I recommend this to everyone without hesitation. I am sure you will love it. 

Tell me about it in the comments. Inquire or fangirl or rant. You know it. Looking forward to your thoughts!

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  1. I'm interested. I gotta admit, the book looks interesting. And you mentioned peaches which happen to my favorite fruit, scent, flavor, and color.
    Was this book a self-pub?

    The cover is pretty sweet, too. Great job on the review. :D

    1. Good! Yes, it has a lot about peaches :D I think you'll love that part! I know you aren't a big fan of hi-fi, but you can always give it a try!

      No this is not a self-pub. It was published with Zondervan in 2012 when the author was a teen :) It's her second book actually.

      Yes the cover is nice. Thanks Ivie! You always comment like within half an hour of my posting (it's nice) xD How do you run here so fast?

    2. p.s. I like your profile pic! Did you see the drawing of mine in the background of this post's header image (the first one) xD?

    3. Oh my goodness, both of the pictures are beautiful! *swoons over Toothless*
      Yeah, I decided to change it in honor of the new episodes coming out on the 25th. Plus, who can resist the Toothless smile?

      I just got back home when I went to check and see if I had any comments. I saw you had posted and wanted to check it out because book reviews are awesome! I didn't even notice that you had just posted, lol.

      I always have the luck of being on around the time people post. Don't know why. *shrugs*

      You're really amazing at drawing. I love that you drew Po, too. They both look so real.

      I made a Toothless tail bookmark out of paper and paint. Mine looks beat up now, but I was thinking about showing pictures of bookmarks I made. I like to make them for family. My siblings want me to make them one with a different color tail fin like Race to the Edge has.

      I don't even know why I like peaches, lol. I just recently started having an obsession. When we go to Sonic for slushies, I get peach All. The. Time.

      Anyway, enough of my random ramblings, lol. Those drawings are just so amazing I'm starting to fangirl. :D

    4. Hahaha Thank you xD Ooh those bookmarks sound awesome. My sis makes httyd dragon magnets :) She's even better than me at drawing them - she can do them all straight from her memory but I had to look at a picture in a comic book to draw that Toothless!

      Peaches ARE awesome! xD And you are very lucky - always replying so fast!

    5. Ooh, magnets sound awesome. Your drawing is still amazing. I can't even draw Toothless. Maybe I should practice. Sorry, this reply wasn't as fast, lol. We had a busy day.

  2. I AM SO INTERESTED, now I really want to read it! Ack why doesn't my library have great books like this!? ;(

    1. Same! My library is cool, but the book selection is not the best. :d

    2. Great! I guess libraries usually stock up on secular and bestselling novels and don't hear about books like these. We always have to recommend them to them!

    3. I'm getting ready to do that ;) I'm building up a list and a case.

  3. THIS BOOOOOOOOOK. It's one of my top TOP favorites! *hugs it* And your review just took me through all the feels yet again. <3

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this book! It's the perfect summer read. (And I maaaaay be a little jealous of the fact that you lucked into a signed copy. XD)

    By the way, love the quote graphics in this post! *thumbs up*

    1. YESH. Ooh glad you liked the review even though you read the book! IT IS THE PERFECT SUMMER READ. It was on my tbr because Jonathan Trout was saying that this was such a summer-y book and a must-read xD I'm glad I got it! Well thanks. I could have made more quote graphics but you know what happens? I find all these awesome quotes while I'm reading but don't write them down, and then at the end when I need them I can't find them anywhere!!!

      *high fives* <3 <3 <3 Thanks Mary ^.^

  4. Well! Great review! I've seen this book at the bookstore. I'm going to check our library ` I'd like to read this book. :)

    1. Wow. I'm impressed and happy your bookstore has it! Good luck with the library. I supporting your interest here *claps*

  5. I love books that are historical fiction where it's so immersive that the historical aspect doesn't take you out for a loop. Honestly? This sounds like something I really want to read. Putting this on my TBR pile now!

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

    1. Yes you said it! Me too!

      I think you'll love it :D happy to be adding something to your piles xD

  6. Oh. My. Goodness. This whole post is just gorgeous!! <33 I reeallyyy gotta read this book. I have a copy from Thriftbooks too (but mine isn't signed and I'm slightly jealous of that, just sayin' xD), and it's legit sitting on my desk rn because I want to read it soon. Lovely review! :D

    1. Aww thank you Faith <3
      *high fives for Thriftbooks* *pushes you towards it* go read it asap while summer is still here!
      Bcos summer is the perfect time to read this :D

  7. Replies
    1. *nods vigorously* can't wait for you to try it out yourself <3

  8. Someone recommended this book to me, and after reading your review, I WANT TO READ IT NOW. It sounds so goooooodddddd :D

    1. *agrees with "someone"* YOU SHOULD TRY TO GET IT ASAP! IT'S TERRIFIC! Great that my review was convincing. I though it was a bit ... random xD