Book Reviews, Young Adult

Review: Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

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. –back cover of Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown

Upon starting this book I devoured page after page, but after a couple of chapters I put it down. It took weeks for me to pick it up again and when I did, I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I did the first 50 pages or so.

It wasn’t that this book was atrocious, it just wasn’t as well written as the rest of her books so it was a disappointment. There were some amazing parts about this book, but there were also some weak points.

Her writing style was just as well done as the rest of the books. It always seems like I’m watching a movie in my head when I’m reading her books, which may be her strongest point as a writer.

As I read this it became evident that her marvelous writing was, this time, a fairly boring movie. Throughout most of the book the plot was not engaging, because not much was a surprise or significantly interesting. In my opinion, the best part of the book was within the first 50 pages, but there were just enough entertaining parts after this to keep me reading.

Another downside of this book was that I really didn’t find the characters extremely interesting. They weren’t exactly cliche or boring, they just weren’t very compelling.

Despite these imperfections, there were some amazing parts that may make this book worth reading. I wouldn’t read it again, but I don’t regret reading it.

First of all, Grayson’s OCD is about as realistic as it can get. I was hesitant to read this book when I saw that he had OCD because writers tend to not represent this illness correctly. This book was an exception. If you want to know how OCD works you should read this book.

This book had an overall wonderful message. At the beginning of the book the world was spiraling out of control, but I parted from the book with the notion that the world, as terrifying as it may be, isn’t always as horrible as it may seem. We have the tendency to think up worst case scenarios and oftentimes they don’t come true.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.