Perfect Escape Jennifer Brown Book Review

When I think about YA road trip books, the usual words that come to mind are: light, romantic and fun. Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown is a road trip read, but of the more heavy variety. While Perfect Escape did not blow me away by any means, I am still looking forward to checking out and reading other books by Jennifer Brown.

Perfect Escape Jennifer Brown Book Cover

Perfect Escape

Kendra has always felt intense pressure to be the perfect kid, because her brother Grayson suffers from very severe OCD. Kendra eventually cracks and is implicated in a huge cheating scandal. Uncertain on what to do, she basically kidnaps her older brother and starts driving, deciding to visit old neighbor Zoe, whom she has had very little contact with lately. Kendra is convinced that Zoe can fixe Gray. Obviously, as a reader, I knew it could not end very well with Zoe.

I really liked Jennifer Brown’s plotting and characterization in Perfect Escape. The book moves at a nice clip, with only a few parts dragging. Some of the teaser snippets, basically the parts where Kendra hints at her scandal and also what happened between Grayson and Zoe, felt a bit contrived for drama/excitement factor. I really wanted to just find out what the big deal was without the hinting.

As for Kendra, she is easy to relate to, especially if you have a sibling who is differently abled. I do and I can verify that yes, it sucks when that sibling gets all of the focus and attention. Yes, sometimes you have to blow off steam about them to your friends, but god help the person who hurts that sibling. Jennifer Brown really paints that dynamic realistically, at least from my own personal point of view and it’s definitely not a challenge to see why Kendra feels so pressured or where she’s coming from on this, even if her decisions are questionable.

However, I could have done without a lot of Kendra’s inner monologuing. She tells her revelations and feelings instead of showing them. I think that really hinders the book. I was not into all the introspection and would rather see Kendra learn the big reveals by actions, rather than her telling me what she learned.

In all, Perfect Escape isn’t a bad book by any means, and is rather easy to escape into the pages. For me, a few things really detracted from my enjoyment, but I would not hesitate to recommend this book if you enjoy issues-based books and books with a lot of introspection.

Disclosure: Received for review via Netgalley.

Other reviews of Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown:

Xpresso Reads – “a beautiful story that has the perfect blend of happy and sad

Reading Nook – “a great novel about finding who you are and knowing that not being perfect is okay

Fiction Folio – “a very emotional read

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. With so many books to read, I’m afraid this one just doesn’t catch my interest, but still an interesting and helpful review, as always, April!

    • That’s fine. It’s definitely not the book for everyone, I think. But, I did like it overall, just some things were super annoying.

      Thanks, Meghan. Expect some comments from me soon, ha ha.

  2. I started this one on vacation and I had to put it aside for a bit. While I do think I’ll read it eventually, I was just hoping for the light & fluffy kind of roat trip book. I am fascinated by how she incorporated OCD (in the small bit I read). I’ll be prepared for the hinting to drive me a little crazy, too. Great review, lady!

    • Right, I was hoping for light and fluffy too. Or like, if it was going to be heavy that the heavy would be presented in a similar way to Amy And Roger’s Epic Detour, where there’s a lot of light, fun, swoony moments too.

  3. I have not read a Jennifer Brown book yet although I want to. I couldn’t fit one into my month of contemporary and certainly plan to, hopefully sooner rather than later. My understanding is that most or all of her books are issue-heavy.

    I really like the cover for this one. And I didn’t know what it was about, although I was aware that it is out there. I hate that it didn’t click with you in a major way, but sometimes that happens, right? I don’t tend to *love* the very emotional books, but I have learned to read them sometimes and I will eventually get to this one. Hooray for being a well-rounded reader!

    • She definitely does right a lot of issue heavy books. I think her last one dealt with domestic abuse and the one before that with school shootings.

      It always sucks to not click with and connect with a book, but at least it’s to the point where I am not like ‘I will never try this author again!’ it’s more okay, this book wasn’t the best so I am going to be optimistic about the next one cuz maybe I will like it more.

  4. Oh gee. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a character tells you everything. I was just talking about that today. I wonder if that is just a tendency of the author or something missed by an editor? Ya know? Still, I’m glad you found some joy in this title. I just love that cover.


    • I think that for some authors it’s just a part of the writing style. And I mean, I get that first person you are privy to the main character’s thoughts, but blah, I don’t need all the big reveals in the form of an epiphany, ya know?

  5. Okay just kidding. It was the mobile site for some reason? All is well! haha

  6. I really am a little put off by the fact that it’s a lot of introspection on Kendra’s part, but I am intrigued to see how her relationship with her brother is depicted in the book. It still does sound like an interesting book, and I do love road trips 😉

  7. I loved Brown’s earlier two books, so even though this one didn’t quite work for you I will probably still pick it up. I think she does a good job with these heavy “issue” type novels.


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