Author: Jennifer Brown
Genre: Young Adult
Review: I received Perfect Escape as a Christmas gift and read it in one sitting on the Boxing Day morning. On one hand it's clearly engaging enough for me to finish it in one sitting, on the other hand I have a hard time putting a finger on what exactly I enjoyed about the book.
The two main characters in the book are 17 year old Kendra and her 20 year old brother Grayson. Kendra is a model child, being perfect is her way of getting attention which she feels always goes to her brother. Grayson scores sky-high on his IQ tests, but is severely handicapped by an OCD, which causes him to hide out at a local quarry counting stones, panic about germs, and be deadly afraid of highway overpasses.
Kendra's perfection is threatened when she becomes involved in a cheating scandal and rather than deal she grabs her brother and drives off on a whim, heading from Missouri to California, where her best friend from childhood now lives. The trip is entirely unplanned, short on money, and keeps being justified by Kendra as exposure therapy for her brother.
The appeal of the book is in how Jennifer Brown captures the feel of the road trip. The highs and lows of being stuck together for long time and the exploration of the relationship between Kendra and Grayson. The journey is more about accepting each other than about the destination.
Right there, by the car, I realized that sometimes you don't have to say you love someone for it to be true. Sometimes you just have to hang out in that person's shadow and be okay with it.I guess it goes without saying that there is angst, and misunderstanding, and Kendra blowing things out of proportion at times. But it's human, visceral, and I hung onto the story for every minute of it. This is definitely an author I'd love to read more of.