Perfect Escape by: Jennifer Brown

Discussion
Mar 9, 2013

This week I read 296 pages of "Perfect Escape" by Jennifer Brown.
Kendra's older brother Grayson suffers from severe OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). His condition has caused him to leave school by his junior year, enter treatment facilities numerous times, and totally change the dynamics of family life for Kendra and her parents. For as long as Kendra can remember, Grayson has gotten all her parents' attention and interfered with family activities. Kendra has learned to stay focused on trying to be the perfect child. Her goal is to do all the things Grayson can't and make her parents proud.

In her effort to maintain her perfection, Kendra finds herself deeply involved in a cheating ring near the end of her senior year. When it appears her involvement might be discovered, Kendra panics. She heads to the nearby quarry that has frequently offered sanctuary for her brother, and she climbs the fence hoping to forget her troubles. Instead, Kendra discovers her brother, newly released from a treatment program, obsessively counting rocks. Something snaps in Kendra. She coaxes her brother into the car and starts driving. The farther they get from home and all their problems, the more Kendra realizes that distance might just be the answer.

Without sharing her plans with Grayson, Kendra decides to drive from Missouri to California to seek help from their best friend Zoe. Zoe and her parents had once been their neighbors, but Grayson's condition caused an irreparable rift between the families, and they packed up and move away. Now Kendra is convinced that seeing and talking to Zoe again will solve her problems and spending time with her brother will allow her to cure his OCD. Thus begins their adventure.