ARC Review: The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park

Posted April 3, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review:  The Perfect Escape by Suzanne ParkThe Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park
Series: The Perfect Escape #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on April 7, 2020
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 336
Source: the publisher
Format: ARC
My Rating: five-stars
Buy on AmazonBuy on Barnes & Noble

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…

“Pure fun! A hilarious rom-com that head-fakes you into tumbling headlong into a techno-zombie survival thriller propelled by banter and plenty of heart.”―DAVID YOON, New York Times bestselling author of Frankly in Love

“The Perfect Escape is just that―perfect. Filled with humor and heart, it won’t let you go until you’re smiling.”―Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author of the Dorothy Must Die series and Stealing Snow
“Effortlessly hilarious and super lovable. I hope this is the YA romcom of 2020.”―Helen Hoang, USA Today bestselling author of The Bride Test and The Kiss Quotient

“An adorable, laugh-out-loud YA romcom with a lovable hero and an action-packed zombie-themed escape room―what more could you want?”―Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately

“Debut author Park’s well-written title slyly infuses what seems like a typical teen romantic comedy with thoughtful treatment of diversity, microaggressions, classism and class struggles, immigration, and privilege while capturing the sweetness of two nerds falling for each other… a charming, thoughtful portrayal of complex teen relationships.” ―KIRKUS REVIEWS

My Review:

This book was a lot of fun, and a really perfect read for the way things are in the world today. You could say it was a “perfect escape” from the world of Covid-19 in a way. The teens in the story had their own definite realistic lives, except of course maybe some of the tech that Kate’s dad was working on obviously not something we have yet. There were some twists and turns thrown out in the big zombie survival competition that I did not see coming. Not only that, even the side characters, ones from Nate’s school, Kate’s dad, and even Nate’s family, all had bits to play that made them a bigger part of the story than I imagined as I began reading. I loved the kids going to a roller skating party, it was funny to hear them talk about not knowing how things worked or how to roller skate, when those were things that were a big deal when I was a teen. In a way it showed me how sometimes things in YA books are more slanted towards the author’s experiences, just because that’s how we write, and it might not be something the teens of today actually do/like/or are familiar with.

Nate’s Korean family was very interesting to read, and see how things might be different. His mom was hilarious, should we begin a #momjokes? And Kate’s friends were cool as well, it was hard to see how her father treated her, but awesome that she had a real friend there, waiting for her, patiently, not giving up when Kate gave her the chance to find her way back. There was even one line in the book that I just loved, it was something like: “Noah’s Ark meets Titanic.”

Nate’s other issue, the kids at his school wanting him to either take tests for them or throw his own grades definitely hit close to the recent issues with the celebrities and what they did to get their kids into the colleges they wanted. So I liked that aspect as well. I don’t know how much I liked Nate’s friends, but I guess they were probably realistic teen boys. And I knew from the start that Annie wasn’t really a friend if she was hanging out with boys besides Nate and her old friends.

A fun read, and I sped through it! Guess one bonus of this self-isolation/quarantine time is I actually can sit and basically read a book in a day.

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