cover image Perfect Escape

Perfect Escape

Jennifer Brown. Little, Brown, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-18557-8

The bond between a brother and sister is stretched to the breaking point in this well-crafted road-trip drama born out of intense family pressures and questionable decisions. Seventeen-year-old Kendra defines herself by two things: her drive for academic and personal perfection, and her older brother Grayson’s severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. She has lived her life around keeping Grayson under control and out of trouble, even as his condition drives away her best friend, Zoe. When a cheating scandal threatens to destroy Kendra’s academic standing, she snaps, dragging Grayson on a cross-country trip from Missouri to California in an ill-defined attempt to “fix” both their lives. Instead, they find an endless series of seedy motels, pick up a hitchhiker who has her own problems, and have some cathartic heart-to-hearts. Brown (Bitter End) skillfully navigates the emotional complexities and psychological minefields of her characters and their relationship, treating OCD with delicacy without losing sight of the big picture. There is no neat solution to the problems Kendra and Grayson face, but the journey is well worth it. Ages 12–up. Agent: Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency. (July)