There are no spoilers in this review.
The Perfect Escape, Suzanne Park
Publishing on April 7th, 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire.
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…
☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.
fear of heights, blackmail, death of a parent from pneumonia (prior to the story’s events), grief, emotionally abusive parent.
☂️ DIVERSITY: Korean-American main character.
- The Perfect Escape is one of these books I will definitely recommend for those looking for a fun, heartwarming, endearing contemporary read.
- Told with two POV, we get to know Nate, a Korean-American teenager with big dreams of wealth to support his family, as well as Kate, living with her very wealthy father but feeling more alone than ever.
- I loved the two characters so, very much. They each had dreams and goals, from getting more money to support their family to doing theater and wanting to follow their dreams, no matter how far away they are from family’s expectations. Each character had their own struggles and I quickly grew fond of them both.
- I really liked the originality of the setting! It is, for almost half of the book, set at a zombie survival competition somewhere remote in the woods and, if this was definitely more fun than full Hunger Games terrifying, I still really liked this setting…. so much I almost wanted more of it.
- Something I loved about The Perfect Escape is how it wasn’t entirely romance-focused. Don’t get me wrong: the romantic feelings developing between the two characters is there, it’s deliciously slow-burning and I liked it, a lot. Yet, I also loved how this book dealt with both teenagers just trying to go through life every day with their own issues, from money problems to dealing with grief and unsupporting parents.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- I feel like The Perfect Escape could have been marketed a bit differently: from the blurb and everything I’d heard previously, I expected a little more romance than there was. I appreciated it the way it was, but for people really looking for romance all along, you might be a bit disappointed.
- I also felt like some elements of the story could have been explored a little more deeply… like Kate’s father and his behaviour during the entire book. Kate’s father is kind of abusive, to be honest and his behaviour wasn’t properly explored, nor justified during the entire story. I missed some… closure, maybe, on this aspect of the story.
If you’re looking for a funny and heartwarming read, I’d definitely recommend The Perfect Escape. Despite its flaws, mostly it being not as much rom than it was com, I still had a lot of fun getting to know the characters and fell for them all thorough the story. It’s a book I’d recommend to contemporary fans overall!
Final rating: 3,5 drops!
A million thanks to Sourcebooks Fire & NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Did you read The Perfect Escape? Do you want to?
What’s the latest contemporary you’ve read? Let me know in comments!