Book Review: Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker

Title: Chasing Jupiter

Author: Rachel Coker

Publisher: Zondervan


Chasing Jupiter begins in the summer of 1969. Scarlett Blaine is sixteen, and lives in a small town in Georgia. Scarlett’s younger brother Cliff is often overlooked or misunderstood because of his autism, so when asks for a rocket, she is determined  to make his wish come true. She starts baking and selling pies to make money to build his rocket.

Although her summer starts out well, it quickly become busy and turbulent when her Grandpop Barley declines mentally, older sister Juli causes strain in the family, and Scarlett finds herself struggling between childhood and adulthood and struggling with family, love, and what her future should look like.


I first discovered Chasing Jupiter when I was doing research on young authors that got a reputable publisher. Rachel Coker wrote her first book, Interrupted, when she was 14, and it was published by Zondervan about a year later. Chasing Jupiter followed in 2012. It’s always fun to read books by talented young authors, and Chasing Jupiter did not disappoint.

I thought that Rachel Coker did a wonderful job providing emotional depth to the story. Although the plotting leaves something to be desired, the characters are well-developed and likeable. Overall, my favorite aspect of the story was how real it felt. It faced the fact that life isn’t perfect, and not every ending is happily-ever-after while achieving a satisfying yet plausible ending.

If You Like

If you like character-driven books with happy endings or books like Anne of Green Gables, Ella Enchanted, or American Street, you might enjoy Chasing Jupiter. 

Let’s Chat!

Have you read Chasing Jupiter? Have you come across other interesting books by young authors?