A heartbreaking story, narrated by twelve-year-old Jack, whose family is caring for fourteen-year-old Joseph. Joseph is misunderstood. He was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher. Or so the rumours say. But Jack and his family see something others in town don’t want to.
What’s more, Joseph has a daughter he’s never seen. The two boys go on a journey through the bitter Maine winter to help Joseph find his baby – no matter the cost.
I received a free ARC ebook copy from Penguin Random House UK via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I was so happy to find this NetGalley even though it was published over a year ago, as it’s been on my TBR for quite some time now. I had wanted to read this book because I kept seeing reviews that talked about how it made them ugly cry and it intrigued me.
I WAS STILL NOT PREPARED.
In Orbiting Jupiter, we follow the narrator Jack and his new foster brother Joseph who hyperventilates when he’s touched and won’t let anyone walk behind him. Joseph is 14 and was incarcerated for trying to kill a teacher, supposedly. Joseph also has a daughter he’s never seen, named Jupiter. All he wants is to see her and for her to know he loves her, but he’s not allowed to see her. Cue my heart breaking for this poor kid.
I would say it’s lands somewhere in the gray area between middle grade and young adult. The narrator is twelve, the writing style leans towards the younger side (in a good way), but the themes are quite heavy and it’s definitely not a childish book. If I had to put an age on it I’d recommend it from age 11 and up.
I thought the writing style was quite stunning, even in its simplicity. I think the simplicity is what made it beautiful to me actually. That, and the repetitions, like how it was repeated how cows moo and “shake their rump” at you to tell you they love you. Ugh. I melted every time, especially when the cows did it to Joseph because THAT KID NEEDS SOMEONE TO LOVE HIM SO BADLY.
This is a beautiful little book and it sure packs a heavy punch with its 150 or so pages. To all the people who ugly cried, I get you. I so get you and I’m right there with you. However, towards the end I did feel like it got a little “tragedy for the sake of the shock factor”-y but the very final chapter made up for it a little. I mean, that was beautiful.
If you feel like a short but emotional read I would definitely recommend this one. I can almost guarantee you’ll learn to love these characters despite the fact that you don’t get to spend a lot of time with them.