Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review ~ PERFECT ESCAPE by Jennifer Brown

Perfect Escape
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. ~From GoodReads

Siblings. They're your closest genetic relative. You love them. You hate them. You wish they would "shut the hell up and go away". Yet when someone else hurts them, it's on. But imagine what it's like to have a sibling whose behavior controls your life. You can't take family vacations because of panic-induced freak outs. Your best friend's family moves across the country to get her away from the "crazy" boyfriend who also happens to be your brother. You aim for perfection to ease the worried strain you see on your parents' face. The pressure becomes so much that you will do anything to remain the "perfect child". This is Kendra's life and what pushes Kendra to take Grayson on the perfect escape.

Perfect Escape was simple in it's telling, and gripping in it's realistic look at living with someone with OCD. So many of us joke about being obsessive compulsive. I was very surprised to learn that the disorder is not simply based on the compulsion, but more so on the obsession. I myself spent a lot of years with a compulsive behavior.  [I counted letters, syllables, words, all the time. Even while having conversations I would count how many words in the sentences. Sometimes I just counted to soothe myself.]  This  was nothing in comparison to someone with OCD, and t never truly interfered with my life. I eventually trained myself to stop, though I bet I can automatically tell you the number of letters in any word you throw me. But with the true OCD, the affected has a difficult time functioning because it doesn't allow them to move on until the compulsion is satisfied, no matter how long it takes. This information in itself made Perfect Escape a fascinating read.

You know the phrase "It's not about the destination, but the journey." ? That phrase describes Perfect Escape perfectly. Kendra thinks she's taking Grayson away to cure him, and once she fixes him, she can go home and face her own problems. But what if Grayson can never be truly "fixed"? What if he has his own issues in the shadows of her perfection? The story of the two, each longing to find their own place, was remarkable. I'm sure anyone with siblings can relate, regardless of whether they can specifically identify with Kendra and Grayson.

I loved Perfect Escape. It's a book that taught me about relationships, understanding, and love, but mostly acceptance. It made me feel and it made me think. Perfect Escape is a beautiful book that I fully intend to share with others, to read again and again.

Favorite Quote:

"For three years he'd been scrabbling at the sides of that hole - sometimes coming oh-so-close to getting out - but he always fell back in. It was like watching someone you love be buried alive. (pg 33)

"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." (pg 343)
Published July 10th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

You can purchase PERFECT ESCAPE at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


  1. This sounds like a beautiful book. This is the first review I have read for it. I didn't really know whether I would want to read it or not, but it sounds really great. Thanks for the awesome review!!

  2. I've read some other great reviews of this book. Sounds like a good one! Nice review!

  3. Sounds interesting. There aren't too many stories out there about siblings and I had a friend who's son had OCD.
    You're right - we all joke about having OCD tendencies to some extent but it really is a serious disorder.

  4. I'm really glad you enjoyed this, I think I'd rad it just for the cover but I love that it also is a good contemp, with something to teach us about OCD.

  5. I remember you telling me about this one. Glad you liked it!

  6. Looks really good. These are great stories to help others with the hard relationships in their lives. Glad you enjoyed it.


  7. This one is waiting on my shelf! I think I'm mostly drawn to this book for the brother/sister relationship since I grew up with an older brother and think it would be nice to read a YA book that focuses on that relationship instead of a romantic relationship for once. Great review. :)

    Randi @ Cardigans, Coffee and Bookmarks

  8. Sigh, I just don't know about this one. I've tried to read this author's books before and couldn't bring myself to finish the one. I love that this author always tries to take on big life issues but for me she never hit the mark in her previous book. I'm not sure if I should give her another try to impress me but thanks for your awesome review, I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

  9. I'm glad to hear that this one is good. I've heard many great things about Jennifer's novel Hate List. Maybe I'll have to read both of them. Thanks for the review. :)

  10. I had full intentions of coming here and getting all obnoxious in our comments, but it's a serious book with a serious review. I think I need to read this one. It's awesome that you share a bit of yourself here, it shows you have a much deeper understanding of the book.

    Now for silly story. Since we are on the subject of siblings. Ahhh siblings are great. I used to have so much fun with my brother. he was younger and would often do things I told him. One year, our neighbors across the street got new blinking christmas lights. the large bulbs that light up a whole yard. Well, they would light up our bedrooms and keep us up, so I devised a plan. Every day I talked him into stealing a bulb off the strand. Slowly they would loses a section of lights. lol. Finally they got fed up and confronted our parents. My mom was pissed. she was yelling at us.. "Did you steal the neighbor lights" of course we denied it. Then my mom went into Nicks room and opened the drawer, out flew about a dozen colored bulbs. Funny as hell. it was like slow-mo as they hit the floor. *plink, plink* lol. He looks at her all seroius and says, " geeze, how did these get in here? " I nearly died.

    I know that has nothing to do with this book, but it's monday. Perhaps I'll tell you a funny story about my brother every monday. Gosh knows I have a million. That kid, (now adult) is funny as hell.

    Hope your having a great day. wonderful review love!


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