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Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Chasing Jupiter, by Rachel Coker, is a historical fiction story rotating around a girl named Scarlett Blaine, her brother Cliff, and Scarlett’s romantic interest, Frank, in Georgia during the 1960s. Scarlett is a sixteen year old girl whose main companion is Cliff, her autistic younger brother. For his birthday, Cliff wants a rocket ship that he is determined to fly to Jupiter and to help aid his dreams, Scarlett bakes peach pies all summer to come up with enough money to build one. However, Scarlett’s summer turns for the worse as one event after another tears both Scarlett and her beloved family apart at the seams.
The story is a sweet one, filled with love, compassion, and coming of age. However I struggled with the ages of the characters. While all of them were relatable and sweet both Scarlett and Frank didn’t quite act their age. Their actions were more immature then most sixteen and eighteen year olds I know and it appeared that they’d be better aged as preteens. I also struggled with the fact that for the first half of the book the story eased along, slowly and gently until it hit a point where everything in Scarlett’s life went incredibly wrong, all within a few pages. It was like the reader was waiting and waiting for the real story to begin, but everything happened so quickly it was a mind boggling change.
The story, however, was well written and I applaud the author, especially for only being seventeen, with her writing skills. The story was entertaining and while it took me awhile to get through it the story stuck with me and every so often my mind drifts back to Scarlett and her struggles. It’s a story that resonates and although it is not a perfect one, it’s worth the read.



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