Perfect Escape: After Mentioning Her So Many Times, I’m Finally Reviewing A Jennifer Brown Book!

Note: Since I haven’t been able to read and write reviews as much, I have decided to switch from updating twice a week to updating once a week. Until further notice, I will be updating my blog on Tuesdays only. Also, I have a very long list of Victorian/classic literature to read, so I think that I will incorporate some of that into my blog. I read Victorian lit. at a much slower rate than YA books, so it will be spaced out in between my regular YA reviews. If my reading time speeds up, I may do a YA review on Tuesday and a Victorian/classic review on Friday. We’ll see. For now, I’m updating on Tuesdays only and it will continue to be YA with an occasional Victorian novel thrown in there for fun. Expect the next Series Week to be sometime in November. That’s all I have to say for now, so enjoy the review!

Perfect Escape is written by Jennifer Brown (I’m finally reviewing a Jennifer Brown novel!). It was published in 2012 by Little, Brown and Company. Brown’s website can be found here.

Genre: Tough Read, Realistic

Summary/Blurb:

“Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art—until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.

Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all—with enough distance, maybe she’ll be able to figure everything out. But even in the midst of the road trip’s flat tires, gas-station food stops, and detours to quirky roadside attractions, eventually Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.”

~Inside Flap

Passages/Quotes:

“For a minute, it was if nothing existed in this world but those three people and the slap, slap, slap of my books and notebooks on the tile. Everything else just sort of faded away—the squeak of the west entrance door, the chatter of people on their cell phones, the metallic rattle of lockers shutting, and the shuffle of feet going up and down the stairways.

My arms hung slack at my sides, and my mouth opened as I tried to catch my breath. Someone had sold me out. Chub, probably .Or maybe Bryn. Could’ve been anyone, really. I knew they wouldn’t find anything—I wasn’t that stupid—but the fact that they were even looking meant I had reason to worry. Okay, to panic.”

~Brown 37-38

“I had nothing to say. I turned back to the girl at the counter, my mouth hanging open. Grayson had no wallet. Which meant Grayson had no money. And which also meant we couldn’t stay in any hotel anywhere, because I was too young and he couldn’t prove that he wasn’t.

And we’d be stranded here in…wherever were were…with no money, no gas, no sleep, and no Zoe.

And Mom and Dad would get here and find Grayson stepping on and off a curb over and over, which he hadn’t done in a year, by the way, so don’t think I hadn’t noticed he was actually getting worse instead of better, and they’d be so pissed.”

~Oliver 102

Cover Art

Warnings: Swearing

Recommended Age Range: 14+

Rating: 5/5

What I Liked:

So, I’ve mentioned before how much I love Jennifer Brown, and I really loved this book. It was enjoyable, it was funny, it was sad, it was heartwarming, it was heartbreaking…all in all, it was wonderful.

I thought Brown portrayed Grayson and his OCD brilliantly, as well as Lena’s response and feelings towards her brother and his illness. Although, the only thing I know about OCD is what I’ve seen in Monk, so maybeI’m not the best judge.

Sorry for the bad quality (this doesn’t seem illegal at all…). This is, however, very close to what Grayson does in the book while in the car.

Here’s another for fun:

“You can taste the symmetry!”.

Back to the point on hand…I loved the sibling relationship and how it was portrayed.

I loved the plot regarding Zoe. Very realistic, as well as sad (and a moment for character growth!).

What I Didn’t Like:

The writing isn’t quite as beautiful as some I’ve read before (a bit too many incomplete sentences and sentences starting with “and,” although I tend to use these a lot when I’m writing), so it took me a little bit to get into the book. Once I did, though, I didn’t notice it.

Overall Review:

Perfect Escape has great character relationships and development and is also quite an amusing book to boot. Once again, Brown takes a subject and handles it beautifully, really getting her message across in a glorious way. Jennifer Brown remains one of my favorite YA authors.

Coming Up Next: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

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