Synopsis: Nate Jae-Woo Kim wants to be rich. When one of his classmates offers Nate a ridiculous amount of money to commit grade fraud, he knows that taking the windfall would help support his prideful Korean family, but is compromising his integrity worth it?
Luck comes in the form of Kate Anderson, Nate’s colleague at the zombie-themed escape room where he works. She approaches Nate with a plan: a local tech company is hosting a weekend-long survivalist competition with a huge cash prize. It could solve all of Nate’s problems, and Kate needs the money too.
If the two of them team up, Nate has a true shot at winning the grand prize. But the real challenge? Making through the weekend with his heart intact. (Goodreads)
Publication Date: 7th April, 2020 (SourceBooks Fire)
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Trigger Warnings: parental neglect and mental abuse
The Perfect Escape was exactly what the title describes it as: the perfect escape from reality and a book which will make you forget the world around and just have fun. It was full of adventure, fun and friendship.
The story of The Perfect Escape was fun and honestly adventurous. It follows the story of Nate and Kate. They both meet at Nate’s zombie-themed escape room and become immediate friends. Kate then suggests to take part in a zombie-themed survivalist competition organised by the local tech company. The winner gets a huge cash prize and they both agree to partner up because they both need the money. The first half of the book is light and a little vague in terms of plot while the second half goes straight for the fun and adventurous part. The first part seems more like a filler part before the actual story starts and this being in the start of the book makes it a little boring. The story was easy to follow and the one thing I really liked about it was how it seemed so natural. The course of the story felt proper and not like trying too hard: whether it was the fun parts, the kinda serious parts or the sass and jokes. It was definitely the kind of rom-com you would love to see in the movie form.
The two main characters of the book were Nate and Kate. They were written as really fleshed out and relatable teenagers and that is another plus point about the book. Nate is from a Korean family and they’re not rich but because he is smart he is a scholarship student at an elite school. He is multi talented and a really sweet person. I really liked how awkward and thoughtful he was. He was thoughtful about everyone around him. He was quirky and I really liked how he was his younger sister.
Kate was rich but had a difficult relationship with her father. She loved theater and acting and was a really fun character to read about. She was genuine and mature and dealt with stuff very realistically. She was non-judgmental and supportive of her friends and the kind of character you like to know more about.
Nate and Kate had a great friendship chemistry. It was really adorable to read about them. Although I definitely expected a little more from the relationship aspect. That felt incomplete in a way. There were other supporting characters too who were good to read about.
A lot of the story was engaged in giving the readers the background and perspectives of the two main characters and their lives and difficulties which they face. It gave a lot of depth to the characters individually and that was definitely one of the plus points about the book.
The Writing and Pacing
The writing was simple and easy to follow. It wasn’t overtly complicated at any part nor did the writing obstruct the experience of the book in any way. As I said earlier, it felt natural and not forced at any point in the book. I particularly liked that about the book.
The pacing was okay. It wasn’t too fast or too slow but because of the plot being vague in the starting chapters, it felt a little stretched. Even when the fun parts start, there are sometimes filler parts which seemed kind of unnecessary. Then things started happening much faster and the ending seemed a little rushed. The book hence had a very inconsistent pacing.
Overall, The Perfect Escape was just okay for me and although it was a really good book i wasn’t particularly wowed by it. But if you’re a fan of light, fun and adventurous books and just want to read to escape reality for a while and laugh at the mom jokes and cute friendship, then The Perfect Escape is definitely a book for you.
Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eARC through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
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