Perfect Escape

Paperback | April 16, 2013

byJennifer Brown

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Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. To Kendra, the only way she 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.

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Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. To Kendra, the only way she 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...

Jennifer Brown writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri, area with her husband and three children. She is the author ofThousand Words;Perfect Escape;Bitter End, which received two starred reviews and was named an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults title; andHate List, which received three starred reviews and was selected as an ALA ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:April 16, 2013Publisher:Little, Brown Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316185582

ISBN - 13:9780316185585

Customer Reviews of Perfect Escape

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Runaway Roadtrip This is my third book by Jennifer Brown, which I enjoyed, but not to the degree of the other two. This book is much more laid back that the others with no major crisis or climax that the story is propelling towards. Of course, things happen, an event starts the two siblings running away together in the first place. 16yo Jennifer is in major trouble at school, perfect Jennifer, and she reacts in haste by grabbing her severely OCD incapacitated older (19yo) brother and running away on a road trip across the country, hoping to meet up with an old friend they haven't seen in three years. This is a character driven novel and the particular type of writing I like the best. However here we don't ever really get to know the characters all that well. Jennifer is the narrator and she is unreliable as she goes through many stresses and delusions until she straightens herself out by the end. But there are two key themes that kept my interest and investment in these characters, especially Grayson the psychologically challenged brother. I, myself have a diagnosis of OCD but not to anywhere near the degree of Grayson's but being a member of the mental health community I related to a lot of what was going on in this family's life. Grayson has become the centre of the family's attention, any slight "normal" achievement is applauded and practically televised. The mother's whole life has become nothing but caring for Grayson, worrying about him, praising his little "normal" accomplishments but at the same time just waiting for the moment when that one "god-awful-no-return-horrible) thing will happen. As the mother of an autistic child myself, this mother rubbed me the wrong way with everything she did as my parenting style is sooo different (ie treating the special needs child just the same as the other children in the house, not using the illness/diagnosis as a crutch for why they can't do things, focusing on the positives they can do and running forward with them, 'nough said). Anyway, younger sister Jennifer is really just running away from her own problems, including possible expulsion, but she's decided to use this "exposure therapy" Grayson's therapists' have talked about that her mother just can't agree to and while they are on the road trip she doesn't coddle Grayson, exposes him to things he doesn't like and leaves him to his own resources, whether he has really changed by the end of the book is debatable; it may be that Jennifer's outlook towards Grayson is the thing that changed. But one thing we do notice is that both these young adults have got to know each other so much better and formed a bond that will last the rest of their lives; they have also got to know their own selves much more and that they are capable of so much more than they had thought. When they do get home, they are going to have a set of completely shocked parents who are going to have to do their own soul-searching and make some personal changes. Ms. Brown is a wonderful writer and I did like this book, it is a heartfelt relationship/sibling story, but doesn't have quite the excitement of the previous two I've read so far. Looking forward to exploring the author's other books.
Date published: 2014-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart-Clenching Moving Book. Jennifer Brown, I won't forgive you for this. Okay, I'm obviously kidding (but I bet you didn't know I was) but this book seriously was gorgeous and was such a special read and something powerful and unique. I recommend this to any lover of Sarah Dessen, or just to someone looking for a heart-clenching contemporary-fiction book. Summary: Kendra is hiding something, and is waiting to not be caught. She cheated on an exam, and did much more than you could think of. She's living a difficult life- having to deal with her older brother who has OCD is a tough job. Her parents strongly rely on her to help them keep her brother safe and try to get the OCD away. But as we all know it, that's nearly impossible to accomplish. One day, Kendra, with her sleeping brother in the passenger seat, drive out- out of the state and keep on driving. Kendra knows that she's risking a lot, but it's worth taking the risk to hide away from everything that troubles her. Her plan is to get to California and find her best friend who moved away because of her brother and her family. Here is an addicting road trip novel that sure will leave you wanting more from Jennifer Brown. The Hate List was the first book that I've ever read by Jennifer Brown, and it's the book that encouraged me to get the rest of her books. This is the one that I really wanted to read, so voila! From the beginning, I was absolutely captivated. The idea is so unique and unimaginable. Where did this brilliant author get this idea from? Who knows, but that's the magic of authors' heads. :') This was such a thrill ride. Suspense left me shocked after every single page. This idea has never been done before, and I am absolutely thrilled that I first encountered it with this book. Best idea I've read about in a while. Characters: Let's begin with the protagonist, Kendra. She was the reason I deducted a .5 from the 5/5 rating. I seriously would have given this book a 5/5 if Kendra had more sense in her. She was stupid. There I said it. I didn't like her. She took her poor brother with her, for goodness' sake. I understand that she wanted him to see Zoe and be better, but seriously when he counts rocks and is terrified of overpasses? You really have to be dumb to do that. A normal person would a) Go alone, (b) Confront her parents and ask them for her brother's medicine and don't say where they'll go, or (c) Go with her friends. There, done, ideas that make actual sense and have less risk. I seriously loved Grayson. He was so adorable and at times I felt so bad for him, but I ended up really adoring him as a character and fighter. Jennifer Brown really does create amazing characters. <3 Rena and Bo were great side characters who made me laugh and who added some action into the book, not that there wasn't any already. For once here is a book that is contemporary that doesn't focus on romance. I find that there's too many of those out there! This is a contemporary novel that has a strong message and strong characters that relate to many people out there. This was a beautiful adventurous road-trip book that will stun and keep on stunning many people out there. I'd seriously go pick this up, now, tomorrow, or next year. x)
Date published: 2014-05-04

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Editorial Reviews

"Kendra's struggle to face her mistakes will resonate with many young adult readers...intelligent and compassionate."-Library Media Connection