ARC Review: The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park

Title: The Perfect Escape
Author: Suzanne Park
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Paperback, 336 Pages
Published April 2020

Summary: 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…

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, since I knew I was going to be interviewing Suzanne as part of our 2020 debut project. Needless to say, I was super excited to get this book in my hands, because it seemed like it blended two things I loved so much -- the rom-com genre with a survivalist, Hunger-games type feel. I guess the best (although kinda the weirdest) way I can describe this book is like a....contemporary Hunger Games? That is slightly less serious and a whole lot funnier? Anyway, I'm starting to ramble, so this is as good of a time as any to launch into all of the reasons that I like this book. So without any further ado, here's my review!

As the summary explains, Nate works at a zombie escape room, trying to save up money for college, when he runs into Kate, who is also working there under similar circumstances. Eventually, him and Kate come up with the plan to enter a zombie survivalist competition as a team and split the money...but they run into more obstacles than the course itself, and more secrets than either of them could've expected.

I really enjoyed reading this book! It felt so good to sink into a rom-com during all of this chaos, and the book is only about 300 pages long, so I tore through it super quickly. I finished the whole thing in about two days, clocking in over 150 pages in a single sitting just because I thought the story was so fascinating and both of the characters were so hilarious, so I just kept wanting more. This book definitely flew by in a breeze for me, and it felt good to get back into reading regularly again! I think this book definitely brought my mojo back after I'd been feeling really unproductive and blah lately. So I'm glad a great story like this one was able to pull me out of that! 

My favorite character in this book was definitely Nate. I liked Kate and all, but Nate was just so hopelessly awkward in such a charming, endearing way. He's definitely the kind of character I'd love to be friends with, and I'd love to see more of him in future books!

(Minor spoilers here, so skip to the next paragraph to avoid them!) I can certainly say I wasn't expecting that plot twist with Kate's father (which I will not explicitly talk about here just in case someone doesn't heed my warning about spoilers being here). But the one thing that kind of felt a little bit rushed to me was the ending, where things between Kate and her father go from a literal LOCKDOWN to him...coming to visit her in New York? And it's just kind of brushed over and mentioned but we don't really get to experience it as readers. It just felt a little bit rushed to me. But that's just my personal opinion, and I loved everything else about the book! 

Overall, I really enjoyed reading THE PERFECT ESCAPE. If you're looking for a hilarious rom-com that shakes up the plot with a zombie escape, lots of funny jokes, and is a super quick read that will grip you from start to finish, I definitely recommend checking this one out!

And if you're interested in checking out my interview with Suzanne Park about being a 2020 debut author, click here!


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