Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Perfect Escape - Jennifer Brown

Where I got it: Arc from publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars  
Cover Rating: 5 stars (Totally love it. The characters look great.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 368 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Kendra has always lived in the shadow of her older brother Grayson. His OCD and other anxieties cause him to always be the main concern while Kendra is pushed to the side. Kendra knows she has to be perfect, to make up for all the ways that Grayson isn't. Being perfect is a lot of work though, and Kendra can't do it all. When she can't quite cut it in Calculus, she does something risky, to make sure that everything still looks perfect. When Kendra's world starts to crumble though, she seeks comfort in the rock quarry where her brother always goes. When she finds him there she comes up with some semblance of a plan and takes him on a road trip he won't soon forget. Kendra decides that a road trip is all they need, it will make her problems disappear and cure Grayson. Things aren't always that simple though but this may still be just the thing they need.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Kendra and Grayson. It wasn't perfect, but they did seem close like siblings. Grayson has OCD and it drives everyone a little crazy, including Grayson himself. It's not something he wants to do, but he can't seem to kick some of his habits. He's been in and out of treatment centers, but nothing seems to fix him. Kendra is the other child, not sick so not a concern. She tries not to stir the water that way her parents have the time and energy to deal with Grayson's problems. She usually never does anything to disturb the peace. Then she kidnaps her brother.

He falls asleep when she is supposed to be driving them home from the rocky quarry, and Kendra decides she doesn't want to face the music so soon. She knows things are going to get bad quick, and she just isn't ready. She figures she can bring Grayson along too and maybe it will help him, maybe it's just the exposure therapy he needs. They meet someone interesting along the way at one of the places they stop to rest at. She's a quirky character with a hard life. I really liked when her and Grayson were telling riddles. Riddles are always fun :)

This was a great novel about finding who you are and knowing that not being perfect is okay. Nobody is perfect and there are varying degrees of imperfection. Grayson has a lot of problems, but he's still a good person. He's still smart and friendly, he just counts a lot and goes a little crazy sometimes. Kendra made a big mistake in her quest for perfection, that made her a bit imperfect, but she's also not a bad person. This book also shows the relationships between brother and sister, when both sides feel like the other side gets way more attention. It was good to see them love each other and get all the ugly off their chest. This was another fantastic read from Jennifer Brown, if you haven't checked her out yet you should.

First Line:
"I was six the first time we found Grayson at the quarry."

Favorite Lines:
"When the cops had rolled into the parking lot, we knew we were in deep trouble."

"We landed on the other side, my brother's legs still shaking, but a brightness to his face that I hadn't seen in a very long time."

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