Friday, April 25, 2014

Chasing Jupiter Book Review

Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker, is about Scarlett Blaine's life in 1969 in Georgia (see the peach on the cover?).  Scarlett is 16 years old at the beginning of this book.  This book is a good cry book.  I could just cry thinking about this story, or even looking at the book.  I will try to contain myself for this review.

Scarlett lives with her Mom, Dad, Grandfather (Grandpop... when I first saw his name, I thought for just a second that it said Grandpoop!), older sister, Juli (who sometimes lives with them, and sometimes doesn't), and little brother, Cliff.

Scarlett pretty much has to take care of her whole family, she has to be very mature and responsible.  Both of her parents work.  Her Dad works on a Peach Farm.  Her Mom works at a Plantation Home turned Bed and Breakfast.  Scarlett's sister is 18, she is a hippie, and has a boyfriend.  Their parents don't agree with Juli's hippie lifestyle.  Grandpop fought in WWII, he lives in their storage room.  Cliff is turning 10 in the beginning of the book.  Cliff doesn't like to be touched, is obsessed with things like the Spanish Civil War, has to be on a schedule (even if it means having sour milk with his cereal); I deduced from these, and other things, that Cliff is autistic.  He is the sweetest, funniest, lovable character.  Cliff is the biggest part of Scarlett taking care of her family. She is responsible for taking care of Cliff after school and cooking for the whole family (and making sure Grandpop has his peanut butter).

Other noteable characters:
Mrs. Ima Nice is a neighbor who has chickens, and an old friend of Scarlett's Grandfather.
The Pastor's Wife, Mrs. Greene, takes cooking lessons from Scarlett, and turns out to be a good friend.  Mrs. Greene is with Scarlett when Scarlett becomes a Christian.
Frank Leggett is the love interest (though this is not a romancy book at all), he is also the son of the Peach Farmer that Scarlett's Dad works for.

I could very clearly see all the characters in my mind, because they were so well described, but without being overly descriptive.  I feel like Rachel Coker squeezed a lot into the 216 pages of the actual book.  I loved the historical references, and many surprises in the story.  I especially enjoyed that Scarlett was reading Peter and Wendy (Peter Pan) to her Brother and Grandfather.  Scarlett loves to cook and bakes delicious peach pies.  Scarlett felt like a real girl that I could meet.  She was not super girly, or super boyish; just like a regular girl I might know.

You may not want to read the whole synopsis on the book cover.  I consider the second half to be major spoilers to the story.  If this sounds interesting to you, pick up the book and read it.  Be warned!: This book might make you cry.

The author is a homeschooler, which is quite cool.  She was 17 when this book was published.  According to the back of the book, she lives in Virginia with her family, including two sisters.  She has one other book published.

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