Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1010
Perfect Escape
(Updated: March 27, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Road trip novels, especially in the YA age-range, have become a sort of bookish sub-culture. There are funny ones, gloomy ones, in-between ones. There’s a lot you can do with a group of kids driving across America in a car. I’m not enthralled with the typical road-trip plot, but I enjoy a road trip novel from time to time.

Jennifer Brown’s Perfect Escape runs with the idea that Kendra, who has always strived to be perfect in the wake of her brother’s OCD-related screw ups, finally loses it and runs away with her brother, Grayson, in a misguided attempt to “fix” him and solve her own issues. Naturally, over the course of a few days, and with the help of a hitchhiker they pick up, they come to understand each other in new and different ways.

It’s a good story, though it wasn’t surprising or earth-shattering. I think it was pretty obvious from the moment Kendra hit the gas pedal what was going to happen in the end. That is one thing that bothers me about road trip books: they’re very formulaic.

When all was said and done, I do think I would have enjoyed this book a bit more if there had been closure for Kendra and Grayson at the end. Brown kind of left things up in the air, and while I understand why she wrote the end that way, I would have liked maybe more understanding of what was what and how things would play out for Kendra and Grayson in the future.

Verdict: Perfect Escape is a traditional road trip novel meets “issues” book, and for the most part, I think it worked. The story, as it unfolded, was engaging, and I think Brown accurately portrayed Kendra’s emotions and relationships.
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