Sunday, September 16, 2012

PERFECT ESCAPE by Jennifer Brown

I often hear people say something triggers their OCD tendencies.  It usually involves organizing something or a superstition about some upcoming event or activity.  The person mentioning this is most likely referring to a minor quirky behavior that makes them feel a bit self-conscious or has been commented on by a friend.  To truly understand the serious effects of OCD, I suggest you read Jennifer Brown's new book titled PERFECT ESCAPE.

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.

Author Jennifer Brown once again explores serious issues using relatable characters in a story teens won't be able to put down.  PERFECT ESCAPE will not disappoint her many fans.

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