Author: Jennifer Brown
Release Date: July 2012
Published By: Little, Brown
Goodreads Rating: 3.73 stars
Review: 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 -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation. 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.
As one might hope to expect from a novel with "perfect" in the title, PERFECT ESCAPE does a perfect job of drawing emotions from the reader. There were several places throughout the novel where the story was so moving that it even drew tears from me, which is difficult for a book to do, and I found myself relating so much to the protagonist and her brother even though I don't deal with similar issues in my own life.
Speaking of the protagonist, I loved how realistic she was portrayed. Sometimes authors will depict siblings of kids with issues as super-human beings with incredibly empathy who never have ill will towards their challenged brothers or sisters, but that wasn't the case here. While Kendra definitely loved her brother, she experienced immense frustration with him, and that made her seem like such an honest character.
My only complaint about this book is that I really wanted more out of the ending. I didn't feel like everything was wrapped up as well as it could have been, and while I guess I can understand why, stylistically, the author chose to end where she did, I really wanted more in the way of resolution, such as the characters' relationship with their parents. It left me wanting to know more, which is definitely not what a stand-alone novel should do.
All in all, I really enjoyed PERFECT ESCAPE, from the emotion it inspired in me to how honest and real the protagonist felt. It's true that the ending definitely could have been improved, but I still loved it and would freely recommend it to anyone, especially those who are fans of contemporary "issue" books. This is a fantastic depiction of mental illness - OCD, in this case - and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy.