Book Review: Perfect Escape by: Jennifer Brown

Rating: 5/5

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: July 10, 2012

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Hardcover

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: 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 eventually, Kendra must stop running and come to terms with herself, her brother, and her past.

With undeniable grace and humor, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown explores OCD, the pressure for perfection, and the emotional highs and lows of a complex sibling relationship.

Review: In “Perfect Escape”, Kendra has felt as if she’s lived in the shadow of her brother’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) her whole life. She’s taken this to a whole new level as she tries to be perfect in everything she does just to get some attention for herself, not as ‘weirdo’ Grayson’s little sister. However, life is never perfect and Kendra has to deal with the consequences of a bad situation she created at school. Instead of facing her mistakes, she takes Grayson on a road trip to California to see her best friend who moved away because of Grayson. At first Kendra seems selfish and immature, but it is so very difficult on the family of a person with a mental disorder. Kendra’s always felt left out and less loved, because Grayson is always the one in need and turmoil. Kendra has tried to deal with Grayson’s OCD in her own way, but now she spirits him away on a lark – hoping to fix him, and maybe herself, along the way.

Sibling relationships are always complicated and ever-changing. I have three siblings and we haven’t always gotten along easily. Ms. Brown shows how even though life is messy, you can grow and mature by learning from your mistakes. I loved the characters and how the sprang from the pages with such depth and feeling. Set during Kendra and Grayson’s road trip, “Perfect Escape” brings each new town and the people they meet to startling life before your eyes. Readers will be able to see pieces of their relationship with their sibling(s) in the exchanges between Kendra and Grayson. A compelling story with flawed yet beautiful characters, Ms. Brown will have you up all night to see how the trip concludes. She also brings OCD to light with a deft hand and sympathy for those who suffer with the disorder. 

Books by this Author: Bitter End, Hate List, Thousand Words


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