Anybody who read Jennifer Brown’s Hate List knows that she’s an excellent writer. So they’ll immediately jump on Perfect Escape, her latest YA novel and they won’t be disappointed. The book jacket gives a perfect synopsis: “Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines.”
But that’s just the story line. Perfect Escape really talks about each sibling’s feelings about themselves in relation to the other. The mechanism for this is a road trip. You know early on that Kendra, a superior student, cheated somehow during her senior year. Always feeling that she has to be the perfect child to compensate for Grayson’s “failings” (my word), she is unable to face the consequences when she is found out. Driving on autopilot, she finds herself at “The Quarry” where Grayson spends hours counting the rocks. Finding him there, she gets him into the car and, instead of heading home, starts driving, thus begins the road trip, one in which she hopes to ‘cure’ Grayson of his foibles.
During the course of the trip, Grayson and Kendra share feelings and frustrations, encounter strangers, and face disappointment. Perfect Escape is written with tenderness and love, you can tell. Readers will love brother and sister, sympathize with each and share their happiness and sadness. So, go along with them on their journey. You might learn something about yourself in the process.