Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape
by Jennifer Brown
Published July 2012
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads: 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.

I don't know about you all, but I am always a fan of a road trip novel. Actual road trips? I probably couldn't handle it. But I could read about them forever. Perfect Escape is unlike most road trip books for a couple reasons: 1) The main characters are brother and sister (instead of love interests/BFFs) and 2) The brother, Grayson, has pretty severe OCD. To say that a road trip is outside of his comfort zone is an understatement.

This is my first Jennifer Brown book, and I was definitely not disappointed. From what I understand she's not afraid to write about the tough topics. Her other novels have focused on school shootings and abusive relationships, while her most recent novel is about sexting. Though the OCD focus of Perfect Escape may not be as heavy or hard hitting as her other novels, it gave me more of an understanding of the disease and opened my mind to the effects it has on others.

Road trip books aren't exactly formulaic, but what you do know is that they always serve the same purpose: major character development. Perfect Escape is no exception. Kendra runs away, dragging Grayson with her, because she's afraid of the fallout of her cheating in school. She justifies bringing Grayson with her because she thinks taking him out of his comfort zone will help him overcome his OCD. By the end of the novel Kendra and Grayson both show great development and have bonded in a completely new way.

I was occasionally bored or frustrated with what Kendra did or said. The control freak/perfectionist inside of me was wrankled by a few of the decisions Kendra made, and it was difficult to get over it a few times. But overall I really enjoyed this book and will be reading more Jennifer Brown in the future!


  1. I bought this book at a used bookstore in November and I haven't read it yet. I have heard a ton of positive things, and I know a lot of people who like Jennifer Brown. That cover is just so pretty. I can see how it could catch people's eye at the bookstore.

    Great review! Thanks for pointing out that you were frustrated with the character's decisions sometimes. I think this is a sign of good writing for sure... that you are invested enough to feel this way.

  2. I haven't read one of her books yet, but I have at least two. Unfortunately this is not one of them. I LOVE road trip books though so it's going on my wishlist immediately! I don't think I even knew what this was about until now and it sounds very intriguing!

  3. I really want to read the book about sexting that she wrote, but this sounds pretty good, too. I hadn't heard of this before so thank you for your great review! :)

  4. I love road trip books and will have to try this. The description of this reminds me a little of Rainman-- doesn't Tom Cruise have to drive Dustin Hoffman cross-country? Maybe I'm misremembering the movie…
    Great review! Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  5. I was dying to read this one but I totally forgot about it until just now seeing it on your blog! Like you I love road trip books. Amy and Rogers Epic Detour pretty much won me over and now I am a huge fan of road trip anything in books. It makes for such a good story! Great review! :)

  6. Oh, this one sounds great! I've had it on my wishlist for a while but just haven't been able to get around to reading it. I DO love road trip books! Love your reviews. I'll be back!


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