Rating: YA 15+
Genre: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Family (Siblings)
Perfect Escape is touching, heartwarming, and poignant... I LOVED Jennifer Brown’s latest novel! It actually brought tears to my eyes... but in the best way possible. After reading this, I felt sad, happy and really grateful that I was privileged enough to read this amazing novel before it is released. Thank you, Jennifer! <3
It’s a story about siblings, and family -the best kind!- and how no matter what happens, they are always going to be there for you. It made me feel oh so thankful and happy to have my family here and present... there were times when I felt like running up to my mom and giving her a big hug for no reason!! Perfect Escape really makes you appreciate everything - from being able to go to sleep without worrying about cockroages, to just having your brother or sister safe and happy with you!! :’)
I really enjoyed getting to know all of the characters as well! They were all really relatable and so different and complex. Especially Kendra, who I personally found to be very relatable. She makes mistakes, and in the beginning she was always trying to please everyone, and she was running away from all of her missteps and failures, but towards the end she started to realize that sometimes, you just have to face your mistakes, and also, that sometimes, the person you have been looking for has been there all along... right by your side. She’s a bit of an overachiever, which I TOTALLY get, and she’s always trying to make up for her brother, which definitely adds to the stress and kind of pushes her over the edge. Her character definitely hit home, for me. I guess everyone makes mistakes, and finds it hard to own up to them, and at times it seems like it's the end of the world, just like Kendra, so I think (and hope!) that everyone will love her just as much as I did and will feel a strong connection with her.
And Grayson. Oh, Grayson. He kind of scared me at times! And, I really pitied Kendra at times for having to live with him, even though I know that’s mean. I mean, imagine living and spending your whole childhood with a perfectly normal, capable, sweet and smart brother, but then having to watch his OCD change him into a completely different and scary person?? The flashbacks that Brown put into the book of when Grayson was ‘normal’ completely broke my heart!! I wanted that little boy back... not only for Kendra, but for myself!! Although, I have to admit... Grayson REALLY surprised me in the end! He showed a side of himself that I never really knew was there anymore. But that’s all I can say about the ending, cause I don’t want to give anything away to you guys!!
I got to watch both Kendra and Grayson grow and change in their own ways, and face their own challenges- mental and physical- along the course of the novel, and it really was such a magical thing, getting to know these wonderful characters. The journey was a long one, and I honestly had no clue how it would end. Would they make it to California, or would they turn around and start heading home? Would their parents find them??? But, the wait was definitely worth it, and after it was over I was one sloppy, tearful bundle of happiness. Weird, I know!
Perfect Escape was one very long, messy, and beautiful road trip, full of laughs, tears, and sibling rivalry and love. I loved it, and I can’t wait for all of y’all to read it, because I’m sure that you’ll absolutely love and adore it too!! :’)
5 Muffins - Positively Enticing!
If you like this, try:
Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham
Just As Long As We're Together by Judy Blume
Picture Perfect by D. Anne Love
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman