The Perfect Escape
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…

The Perfect Escape Details

TitleThe Perfect Escape
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 7th, 2020
PublisherSourcebooks Fire
ISBN-139781728209395
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Young Adult

The Perfect Escape Review

  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    This was so much fun! I do wish it had a little more to do with the actual escape room that they worked at since that was what really pulled me into it in the first place, but I still had a blast reading this and I really enjoyed the obvious chemistry between the main characters. One side-note I do want to give is that I read this via a mix of physical reading and audiobook listening, and I VASTLY preferred physically reading it. I was not a fan of the male narrator and it kept pulling me out of This was so much fun! I do wish it had a little more to do with the actual escape room that they worked at since that was what really pulled me into it in the first place, but I still had a blast reading this and I really enjoyed the obvious chemistry between the main characters. One side-note I do want to give is that I read this via a mix of physical reading and audiobook listening, and I VASTLY preferred physically reading it. I was not a fan of the male narrator and it kept pulling me out of the story so I definitely recommend reading this one physically over via audio if you are able!
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  • Helen Hoang
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! Suzanne Park is effortlessly hilarious, and her characters are super lovable. My favorite is Nate, he's swoony but so relatable as an Asian American lead. His family members are also written with great care and humor, and his little sister is the cutest thing. Kate's struggles with her dad really spoke to me, so if anyone has daddy troubles, this book might be for you...I hope this is the YA romcom of 2020. It was sweet, funny, and yeah, it warmed my broken heart. I can't wait I loved this book! Suzanne Park is effortlessly hilarious, and her characters are super lovable. My favorite is Nate, he's swoony but so relatable as an Asian American lead. His family members are also written with great care and humor, and his little sister is the cutest thing. Kate's struggles with her dad really spoke to me, so if anyone has daddy troubles, this book might be for you...I hope this is the YA romcom of 2020. It was sweet, funny, and yeah, it warmed my broken heart. I can't wait to add a finished copy to my bookshelf.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Hmm I think this amazing cover and the interesting plot giving you lovely rom-com vibes fooled me so hard! Was I waiting for another Hungry Games competition and MCs falling in love with each other during their now and never kind of struggling survival situation? Okay, maybe I expected something like that, jusssttt a little. But here we go: I found a lot of creative, enjoyable, unique things about this book starting with characters different kind of dysfunctional family relationships. I enjoyed Hmm… I think this amazing cover and the interesting plot giving you lovely rom-com vibes fooled me so hard! Was I waiting for another Hungry Games competition and MCs falling in love with each other during their now and never kind of struggling survival situation? Okay, maybe I expected something like that, jusssttt a little. But here we go: I found a lot of creative, enjoyable, unique things about this book starting with characters’ different kind of dysfunctional family relationships. I enjoyed Nate’s family: sweetest little sister, parents keeping so many secrets about their own family and financial situation but acting like everything is normal. Dear Nate is smart, teasing by his friends as skid (that’s what they called to the students get scholarship), bribing to cheat at his exams for enough money to pay his loans, buying a good car for his family.And Kate is financially polar opposite of Nate, daughter of tech geek, a rich, genius, workaholic but also over controlling father who follows every move of her and he doesn’t let his daughter chase her dreams to become actress. Kate needs a plan to get rid of father’s pressures and go to NYC to start over. She meets Nate during her zombie escape room gig that she plays zombie hid in the closet (Yes, didn’t I tell you the author has unique sense of humor?) She finds out there’s a weekend-long-survivalist competition with a grand prize can solve her all financial problems and help her earn her own freedom. But she needs partner and she knows Nate is also zombie geek like her. So she offers him to be her partner and of course he says okay because his family is broke and he needs a way out, too.I thought that book was about the survival contest but it takes only small part of the book. We’re meandering around back stories, family dramas of the characters. What I really enjoy about the book is: Nate and his Korean family’s dynamics, Nate’s quirky but also interesting perspective about the outer world, life, relations with his quirky friends. I also loved Kate, her naturalness, genuineness and maturity about dealing with her father’s nonsense over protective manners.But what I didn’t like about the book: Plot is vague, it starts like entertaining YA but then at the end it takes a sudden sharp dramatic turn which is unexpected. And the beginning of the story before the survival competition is too long and some chapters need to be omitted and edited. And lack of romance when you expect something more from the beautiful cover and intriguing blurb disappoints you.There are so many original, inventive, moving things about the book but the plot’s vagueness confuses you and you start to scream at yourself: “WTH I’m just reading! I got lost!” So I prefer to meet in the middle and give three solid stars. Special thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for sharing this ARC in exchange my honest review.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to be brutally honest here, I really was excited about reading this. I mean a rom-com with zombies, what's not to love right?I did like this and it was, at times, a pretty cute story with a few funny moments but overall, the romance was..well, not really a romance with very little spark between the main couple. There were friends (sort of first) and even by the end, still (sort of friends). The relationship felt stilted at times and not at all what I would have expected from a book I'm going to be brutally honest here, I really was excited about reading this. I mean a rom-com with zombies, what's not to love right?I did like this and it was, at times, a pretty cute story with a few funny moments but overall, the romance was..well, not really a romance with very little spark between the main couple. There were friends (sort of first) and even by the end, still (sort of friends). The relationship felt stilted at times and not at all what I would have expected from a book claiming to be a rom-com.The actual retreat/competition happened in the very last little percent of the story and again, while creepy at times, was also...a let down.Kate's dad was not only downright creepy at times but had zero redeeming qualities.I realize there will be a second book, so maybe that was why it ended like it did? Without anything really resolved and so much left up in the air (?).Either way, I was a bit disappointed in this and was not at all what I had been expecting and hoping for. Not a bad read but maybe, go into this one with no expectations or pre-conceived notions, and you will enjoy it more. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • Corina
    January 1, 1970
    Im honest here, the blurb and the cover drew me in, but unfortunately the plot didnt deliver.This debut novel, needed some polishing and some more editing. Marketed as a rom-com, I was missing the fun aspect of it. The writing wasnt funny, the dialogues werent funny and the overall plot wasnt funny either.On top of it, the romance felt lackluster, since the couple had no real chemistry. The plot had holes, and the sub plots were rather unbelievable. Additionally the plot was actually a bit I’m honest here, the blurb and the cover drew me in, but unfortunately the plot didn’t deliver.This debut novel, needed some polishing and some more editing. Marketed as a rom-com, I was missing the fun aspect of it. The writing wasn’t funny, the dialogues weren’t funny and the overall plot wasn’t funny either.On top of it, the romance felt lackluster, since the couple had no real chemistry. The plot had holes, and the sub plots were rather unbelievable. Additionally the plot was actually a bit creepy at times.Also, which was a bit unfortunate, but the blurb was misleading, since the main attraction, the weekend-long survivalist competition ended up only being a very small part of the actual story and happened towards the end of the book. The rest, besides the zombie-themed escape room, felt unrealistic and didn’t really add to the overall enjoyment of the novel.I had incredibly high hopes, since the story sounded realistic, trendy, and authentic. Unfortunately it didn’t end up being either. ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Suzanne Park
    January 1, 1970
    I highly recommend this book.
  • Lisa (Remarkablylisa)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. I'm always going to be supportive of asian authors because god knows we need more asian representation in all genres. I was super excited for Suzanne to debut this year with not only one book but two books in two genres that I adore and love. I was super excited walking into The Perfect Escape but after hearing thoughts of this one from friends who read it before me...I was hesitant. This book is definitely not as I received an ARC from Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review. I'm always going to be supportive of asian authors because god knows we need more asian representation in all genres. I was super excited for Suzanne to debut this year with not only one book but two books in two genres that I adore and love. I was super excited walking into The Perfect Escape but after hearing thoughts of this one from friends who read it before me...I was hesitant. This book is definitely not as romantic/cute as what it's marketed to be. About 60% of the book focuses on developing the two characters and their drastically different backgrounds. Our hero comes from a poor background known as a skid (scholarship kid) who attends an elite private school. He's Korean-American and wants his family to live a comfortable life, without fearing about budgets and spending money to fix the house. He's expected to achieve good grades, get into a good university, and get a good career. He's fine with this because he enjoys it so this is not the story about him whining about parent expectations. He just wants to earn money to help his family. Our heroine has recently lost her mom but she might as well lost her dad too. Their relationship is very troubled. He basically is her jail keeper and it's weird to read because how can a father be so cold towards their child? Our heroine wants to preform on stage but her father wants her to be an intern at their very impressive robotics tech company. When they both cannot stand it any longer, they partner up for a survivalist program to win the prize money and split it half-half. She plans to run away. He plans to use it to help his family. Somewhere along the line of this plot, our hero is also asked to lower his marks so the rich kids can rank higher than him and get into their ivey league colleges. This book was an okay book for me. Often, the voices were too childish for me and felt forced. I also had issues with remaining focused on the book itself? It was hard to get in and stay in but it could have just been a me thing as I was told it would be a rom-com and then I receive a hunger games style novel towards the end. Seriously. They're in a forest, wet, cold, and afraid and running for their lives. Also, the ending with our heroine was very disappointing and confusing. I wanted more daughter father relationship. I would still recommend this book if you prefer to not have that much romance in a book.
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  • Fanna
    January 1, 1970
    April 25, 2020: This was one of the cutest rom-coms I've ever read! It not only made me crave some genuine romance in my life but also made my cry for not having a big brother though I understand that romance & brother in the same sentence is super fucking weird. Now all I need to do is refocus my energy into finding a Ravenclaw like Nate for the Slytherin like Kate in me.April 10, 2020: Not reading my eARCs on time has become my personality but I can never forgive myself for not picking up April 25, 2020: This was one of the cutest rom-coms I've ever read! It not only made me crave some genuine romance in my life but also made my cry for not having a big brother though I understand that romance & brother in the same sentence is super fucking weird. Now all I need to do is refocus my energy into finding a Ravenclaw like Nate for the Slytherin like Kate in me.April 10, 2020: Not reading my eARCs on time has become my personality but I can never forgive myself for not picking up this one earlier despite having an advanced copy BECAUSE it is being loved so much OMG. Excited to finally read it during Reading Rush for the prompt: read a book that will make you smile.March 6, 2020: With so many amazing contemporary authors praising this one, I definitely had to say yes to reading this. Thank you so much, Elle at Books Forward for the digital review copy via Netgalley!
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  • Sarah Henning
    January 1, 1970
    Suzanne Parks THE PERFECT ESCAPE is the hilarious tale of two snarky teens hoping  to fund their wildest dreams in the most convenient way available: via windfall from a good, old-fashioned zombie-whooping competition. Tech-brainiac Nate and wannabe-actress Kate will win your hearts (and maybe each others) as they conquer the undead, their well-meaning but clueless parents, and their disagreement over the virtues of mayo-based products. THE PERFECT ESCAPE is indeed the perfect escape from, well, Suzanne Park’s THE PERFECT ESCAPE is the hilarious tale of two snarky teens hoping  to fund their wildest dreams in the most convenient way available: via windfall from a good, old-fashioned zombie-whooping competition. Tech-brainiac Nate and wannabe-actress Kate will win your hearts (and maybe each other’s) as they conquer the undead, their well-meaning but clueless parents, and their disagreement over the virtues of mayo-based products. THE PERFECT ESCAPE is indeed the perfect escape from, well, pretty much everything.
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  • Nursebookie
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my goodness guys, The Perfect Escape was the best read that I needed - it is a hysterical read, has a zombie apocalypse themed survival game, and a romance that will make your heart swoon!Nate Jae-Woo Kim is a scholarship student in one of the top exclusive high schools in Seattle, where students end up in Ivy League. With big dreams, Nate spent a lifetime planning in becoming the perfect college applicant - high GPA, AP classes, sports, and even a part-time job on the side to save some Oh my goodness guys, The Perfect Escape was the best read that I needed - it is a hysterical read, has a zombie apocalypse themed survival game, and a romance that will make your heart swoon!Nate Jae-Woo Kim is a scholarship student in one of the top exclusive high schools in Seattle, where students end up in Ivy League. With big dreams, Nate spent a lifetime planning in becoming the perfect college applicant - high GPA, AP classes, sports, and even a part-time job on the side to save some money. With struggling Korean Immigrant parents and a father recently laid off, saving their home is top priority. Kate Anderson also has big dreams the size of New York City! Her father, the CEO of a large tech and robotics company has other dreams for Kate and that is to follow his footsteps and have her fast tracked to business school. With a dad too busy to parent, he becomes a virtual helicopter dad by monitoring everything Kate does literally. Nate and Kate meet each other from their part -time job at the Zombie Escape room and partner together to join in on a weekend zombie survivalist game sponsored by a local tech company. This comes with a 50K grand prize that would help Kate with her Broadway dreams and Nate help his struggling family. The writing is truly refreshing and with the story told in two point of views, you will fall in love with these lovable characters that are completely relatable. It’s a great romcom you won’t be able to put down! Action packed and also full of heart this is an amazing story.This book was truly the perfect escape I needed. Make sure to pick this up - the book is releasing 4/7/20.
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    Did this have the potential to be something incredible? Yes. Did it reach that potential? Sadly not for me but despite this, combining a zombie apocalypse survival competition with a rom-com was always going to be my jam. Yes, the plot and pacing were admittedly a little all over the place (we had robots, zombies, wilderness survival and The Hunger Games type sabotage all in a contemporary setting. Yet, the zombie escape room barely featured and the competition kind of came and went in a flash) Did this have the potential to be something incredible? Yes. Did it reach that potential? Sadly not for me but despite this, combining a zombie apocalypse survival competition with a rom-com was always going to be my jam. Yes, the plot and pacing were admittedly a little all over the place (we had robots, zombies, wilderness survival and The Hunger Games type sabotage all in a contemporary setting. Yet, the zombie escape room barely featured and the competition kind of came and went in a flash) but honestly? I didn't mind all too much because it was super entertaining.Although I do wish we got to know them on a deeper level, I really liked the characters and their individual relationships. I loved that they both had their own passions and hardships and whilst I felt the romance aspect could have been stronger, Kate and Nate's relationship was really enjoyable to follow. I particularly enjoyed Nate's family dynamics, especially his relationship with his little sister who was the absolute cutest.All in all, despite being a little far fetched, this book was funny, easy to read, incredibly entertaining and basically answers the age old question 'what if we made The Hunger Games a rom-com'.
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  • Samantha (WLABB)
    January 1, 1970
    Both Nate and Kate were looking to escape. Nate was weighed down by his economic circumstances. While Kate, needed to break free from the prison her emotionally unavailable and controlling father had created for her. A zombie survival competition might have been just the solution they were looking for. Pro: Nate was a character, who was easy to root for. I admired his drive and ambition, and though at first, he seemed obsessed with money, I learned that he had good intentions as more was Both Nate and Kate were looking to escape. Nate was weighed down by his economic circumstances. While Kate, needed to break free from the prison her emotionally unavailable and controlling father had created for her. A zombie survival competition might have been just the solution they were looking for.• Pro: Nate was a character, who was easy to root for. I admired his drive and ambition, and though at first, he seemed obsessed with money, I learned that he had good intentions as more was revealed. • Pro: Nate's family was struggling, but they had a lot of love, and were there for each other. Whereas, Kate's situation was heartbreaking. Still grieving her mother's death, she was left on her own for long periods of time, and longed for normal human contact. I thought this was a great way to show that money could not replace human connection. • Pro: Nate and Kate were adorable together. They came from vastly different backgrounds, but were able to connect despite that. There was a push and pull thing going on for a while, but I had no trouble shipping them. • Pro: Park's humor worked well for me. I found myself laughing out loud and often. I loved the mom jokes and all the snarky banter, as well as many of the situations Nate and Kate encountered. • Con: I wanted more of the romance. I really did adore these two together, but the romance felt secondary for most of the book. The ending, however, held a promise of things to come, which placated me a bit. • Pro: Zombies, zombies, everywhere! As if the escape room didn't provide enough amusement, Park brought us to a weekend zombie survival competition. The action really ramped up there, and it was a great way to drive the plot forward. Overall: A fun, funny, and touching story of two teens trying to take control of their destinies, while falling in love and fighting off zombies.*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS
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  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    DNF on page 65I had heard so many great things about this book and several authors have been praising it and I was just so excited to settle into what sounded like the most adorable rom-com ever. Sadly, the few pages I read were a struggle. I couldnt settle into either POV because they sounded similar, even though the MCs were so different.I skimmed a bit here and there and then dove into the already posted reviews and from what Im seeing there {parental abuse, no actual romance, the zombie DNF on page 65I had heard so many great things about this book and several authors have been praising it and I was just so excited to settle into what sounded like the most adorable rom-com ever. Sadly, the few pages I read were a struggle. I couldn’t settle into either POV because they sounded similar, even though the MCs were so different.I skimmed a bit here and there and then dove into the already posted reviews and from what I’m seeing there {parental abuse, no actual romance, the zombie competition at the end, and the fact that it’s not a standalone}, it’s just not for me. I’m not leaving a rating because I know I am not the demographic and perhaps I would have enjoyed it. I may give it a try later down the road. **Huge thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for providing the arc free of charge**
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  • Madison Mary
    January 1, 1970
    "This was a lot of money on the table. It was shady. It was wrong. But it was tempting."A fun debut about two teens trying to escape their own problems and falling in love in the process. SUMMARY When Nate Kim is propositioned by his classmates to botch his GPA to help them get into college for a substantial sum, he considers it. The money would be a big help to his family, but would it be worth the risk?Kate Anderson is the daughter of a rich tech mogul, who is overly controlling and tracks "This was a lot of money on the table. It was shady. It was wrong. But it was tempting."A fun debut about two teens trying to escape their own problems and falling in love in the process. SUMMARY When Nate Kim is propositioned by his classmates to botch his GPA to help them get into college for a substantial sum, he considers it. The money would be a big help to his family, but would it be worth the risk?Kate Anderson is the daughter of a rich tech mogul, who is overly controlling and tracks everything down to her how long her phone calls last. Suffocated by her dad and his desire to have her take over the company, Kate yearns to escape to New York City and pursue her passion of theater .. but she needs untraceable cash.When a nearby tech company announces a weekend-long survival competition with a cash prize for the winning team, Kate reaches out to her escape-room colleague, Nate, to team-up. Together they stand a real chance at winning, but will their hearts get in the way? REVIEW The concept of this novel was pretty cool. I personally adore escape rooms and the explanation of how the zombie themed escape room Nate and Kate worked in was cool (and super creepy). However, the synopsis makes this book seem a lot more fun than it actually is. While it was enjoyable, it was just that. There was nothing standout that I loved, and I was never truly invested in the characters and their relationship. Even though Nate was threatened by boys at his school to botch his GPA, it never felt serious enough to me as a reader. Nate fell flat for me as a character, and all his interactions with characters other than Kate felt sub par. I did enjoy the Korean-American representation and the way that Nate's family interacts, that was the biggest plus to his character. Kate on the other hand shone. I loved her personality and the hidden kickass nature she harboured. She was the most fun to follow and her emotions felt real. While her desire to run-away to New York seemed a little extreme and unbelievable, I did understand this motivation after meeting her father (who is obscenely over-controlling and has serious micro-management issues). The synopsis of this novel mentions Kate and Nate participating in a survival competition, but this competition only takes up the third-quarter of this novel. Which severely disappointed me. I loved that part of the novel and had a bunch of fun reading it, which made me even more sad at the end that it was not longer. Up until the survival competition, the plot dragged on and became less tangible. I had begun to lose intertest, and if it wasn't for the fact that I loved the survival aspect, this book could've easily been 2 stars or below.Overall, this novel shows potential for Park as an author and hasn't deterred me from watching out for future releases.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Even after sleeping on The Perfect Escape, I'm still not really sure what to make of this one. The blurb describes it as a rom-com but this felt more like a contemporary YA + Black Mirror mashup. I was also a little irked that the survival competition mentioned in the description is such a small part of the actual story. Nate and Kate were both...fine... as main characters. They each had interesting backstories (that wildly fluctuated in believability) but seemed like they were missing something Even after sleeping on The Perfect Escape, I'm still not really sure what to make of this one. The blurb describes it as a rom-com but this felt more like a contemporary YA + Black Mirror mashup. I was also a little irked that the survival competition mentioned in the description is such a small part of the actual story. Nate and Kate were both...fine... as main characters. They each had interesting backstories (that wildly fluctuated in believability) but seemed like they were missing something that would make them feel more like actual people. There was also a sizable degree of insta-love here, which was disappointing. I probably would've liked The Perfect Escape more if the blurb had more accurately reflected the book's plot. I received an eARC from the publisher, Edelweiss, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review -- thank you.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    In these super weird times Im finding comfort in a variety of genres and reading YA romance again is reminding me of just how fun it can be. Theres something soothing to me about reading a somewhat predictable rom com right now, its helping me keep my mind occupied and providing me with an entertaining escape and this one surely did that for me!The thing I loved the most about this one was that while it was adorable it was also quirky and awkward which is quite a great combination in my opinion. In these super weird times I’m finding comfort in a variety of genres and reading YA romance again is reminding me of just how fun it can be. There’s something soothing to me about reading a somewhat predictable rom com right now, it’s helping me keep my mind occupied and providing me with an entertaining escape and this one surely did that for me!The thing I loved the most about this one was that while it was adorable it was also quirky and awkward which is quite a great combination in my opinion. Nate and Kate are both lovable nerds and I found them both to be super endearing. The romance here is very low key and this focuses much more on the family dynamics of both Nate and Kate which was fine with me, I never expect too much romance from a YA rom com anyway and I found Nate’s family to be so sweet, I especially loved his little sister Lucy and Kate’s relationship with her father was heartbreaking and just made me like her even more. Overall an enjoyable read that made me want to read more from the author.
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  • Fabian
    January 1, 1970
    DNF on page 135. It's not bad but boring af and reading about straight teens awkwardly falling for each other is just not my scene anymore.
  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    Fun, entertaining and deeply endearing, The Perfect Escape made me smile a whole damn lot and I definitely recommend it! :)Full review coming soon!Thank you to the publisher & NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influenced my thoughts and rating. My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - Bloglovin'
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  • ♠ TABI ♠
    January 1, 1970
    please rec me all the Korean/Korean-American YA books y'all know of PLEASE
  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    I'm usually not one for YA contemporaries, but this sounds ~ adorable.
  • Darla
    January 1, 1970
    Is it just me, or did the rest of you have that song by the Cranberries "in your head" after reading this new YA rom-com? The narrative is split into two POVs: one for Nate and one for Kate. They meet while working part-time jobs at a zombie escape room, which to me sounds too stressful to be fun. Both feel trapped by some aspect of their lives and decide that the prize from an upcoming survivalist event will provide the cash they need to achieve their goals. Their budding romance is sweet and Is it just me, or did the rest of you have that song by the Cranberries "in your head" after reading this new YA rom-com? The narrative is split into two POVs: one for Nate and one for Kate. They meet while working part-time jobs at a zombie escape room, which to me sounds too stressful to be fun. Both feel trapped by some aspect of their lives and decide that the prize from an upcoming survivalist event will provide the cash they need to achieve their goals. Their budding romance is sweet and comical at times. Nate's family is endearing while Kate's family situation is appalling. I would have liked to see more attention given to their preparation for the big competition. It also seemed like the event itself was at times strangely drawn out and at other times rushed. I did get some "Hunger Games" vibes and would also recommend to fans of "Frankly In Love." I am invested enough to look for the sequel.Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and Edelweiss for a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Karen (idleutopia_reads)
    January 1, 1970
    I read YA as a nod to my teenage self. I love that these types of books exist now, and I want to indulge my past selfs reading desires. The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park introduces us to Nate Jae-Woo Kim, a child of Korean immigrants, called a skid (scholarship kid) at his prestigious school,  working at a zombie-themed escape room as a guide and Kate Anderson, the daughter of a tech CEO. Kates father basically left his parenting duties after his wifes death to a robot named Jeeves. She is now I read YA as a nod to my teenage self. I love that these types of books exist now, and I want to indulge my past self’s reading desires. The Perfect Escape by Suzanne Park introduces us to Nate Jae-Woo Kim, a child of Korean immigrants, called a skid (scholarship kid) at his prestigious school,  working at a zombie-themed escape room as a guide and Kate Anderson, the daughter of a tech CEO. Kate’s father basically left his parenting duties after his wife’s death to a robot named Jeeves. She is now working at this same escape room as a zombie in hopes to save money to leave her home behind, escape to New York and become an actress. Yeah, reality must be suspended a bit here, but it proves to be a rewarding experience. Nate is approached by mean kid, Peter Haskill the Fourth, to mess his GPA in his upcoming semester to give the rest of the poor little rich kids a fighting chance with college applications in exchange for a hefty amount of money. Money that could help Nate’s family now that his father has lost his job. Meanwhile, Kate is looking for a way out of her prisoner home where overprotectiveness turns into a 1984 themed house were no detail escapes her father’s notice. He is used to treating everything as a business negotiation he knows he’ll win. Friendship (and possibly love) start blooming the more that Kate and Nate spend time together. Kate decides to recruit Nate to team up to participate in a weekend-long zombie survivalist competition where they could win a huge cash prize. With both their skills they have a fighting chance to win and they could spend more time together. Each chapter is dedicated to Nate and Kate’s thoughts respectively which I love. We get to see into their minds and their struggles. Yes, Kate’s dad is uber evil and he goes borderline dictator and I wish that could be explored more but this is the first part in a series of this book. Nate’s struggles as a child of immigrants, wishing he had more money so he could help his family and finally start up his own startup company made you want to root for him and his success. He’s a good friend, a great son, and tries his hardest to be a good older brother to little baby sister, Lucy. Kate is ambitious and she’s willing to leave everything behind to follow her dream. She’s used to people underestimating her but she won’t let that stop her. laughed a lot while reading this, I rooted for both Kate and Nate, I was impressed by how Parker drew out the survivalist competition and was at the edge of my seat waiting to see how it would turn out. Overall, this is YA so go in with those expectations and I believe that this will prove to be a fun read. I can’t wait for more of Suzanne Parker. In these times it feels nice into a world that lets you escape for a little bit so the name is very apt.Update: went to a 3 star because I do wish the characters had more depth but it’s also YA so maybe it’s more of me not being the target audience.
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  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    this is a cute story and i think the idea of the plot is uniquely fun and adventurously flirty, but i am not quite sure this story reaches its full potential.i would consider this a good starting point for a debut novel. the writing isnt terrible, the story has good pacing, and the characters are relatable. i just think there is a lot of room for SP to grow as an author when it comes to finalising details and the overall polishing of the story. for example, if you pitch your story as a rom-com, this is a cute story and i think the idea of the plot is uniquely fun and adventurously flirty, but i am not quite sure this story reaches its full potential.i would consider this a good starting point for a debut novel. the writing isnt terrible, the story has good pacing, and the characters are relatable. i just think there is a lot of room for SP to grow as an author when it comes to finalising details and the overall polishing of the story. for example, if you pitch your story as a rom-com, there should be generous amounts of both romance and comedy. i found this story to be lacking in both areas. and i dont feel as if ‘kates super rich father with his all-powerful, ever-reaching company’ serves as a realistic opposition. her dad as a villain just seems way too one dimensional and gimmicky. i think this is one of those cases where i like the idea of the story more than the actual execution. but i do think its a promising start for SPs writing career! thank you so much to sourcebooks fire for the ARC!↠ 3.5 stars
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  • Whitney Schneider
    January 1, 1970
    Puts the COM in rom-com!This book is hilarious! Nate and Kate are such likable characters as they get to know each other (and themselves) while prepping for a zombie survivalist competition. Nates relationship with his family and adorable little sister is heartwarming and realistic. Its a perfect contrast to Kates broken relationship with her father and his over-the-top, but understandable, concerns for her safety. Suzanne Park did an amazing job of getting me to root for each character, while Puts the COM in rom-com!This book is hilarious! Nate and Kate are such likable characters as they get to know each other (and themselves) while prepping for a zombie survivalist competition. Nate’s relationship with his family and adorable little sister is heartwarming and realistic. It’s a perfect contrast to Kate’s broken relationship with her father and his over-the-top, but understandable, concerns for her safety. Suzanne Park did an amazing job of getting me to root for each character, while keeping me laughing from start to finish. If you want to crack up while watching two characters fall in love, this is the book for you! A must-read of 2020!
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  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* Okay, if this isn't the cutest, quirkiest premise for a rom-com ever, then I don't know what is. Nate and Kate (yep, gets even cuter) meet in an escape room they both work at, and then decide to enter a contest for a zombie survival weekend, both of them desperately needing the money for their own personal reasons. But also, they clearly like each other. So let's break down what I You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* Okay, if this isn't the cutest, quirkiest premise for a rom-com ever, then I don't know what is. Nate and Kate (yep, gets even cuter) meet in an escape room they both work at, and then decide to enter a contest for a zombie survival weekend, both of them desperately needing the money for their own personal reasons. But also, they clearly like each other. So let's break down what I enjoyed and what I didn't!The Stuff I Liked: • Such a fun and fresh premise! I mean, come on. Zombie survival weekend!? Yes please! I know that some readers didn't love the survival part of it, but I did. Because I am a sucker for that sort of thing. • Huge focus on family dynamics. Okay, Kate's family dynamics were not positive, but I didn't say positive. Because look, some families are toxic, and Kate's dad is toxic, full stop. But there's at least very solid commentary about that! And Nate's family was far more loving and functional. I loved all the Korean cultural bits too. I especially liked how money is so not a factor in happiness in this book, as Kate's family has tons, and Nate's doesn't, but it's very clear whose is healthier. • Both main characters had strong friendships outside of their relationship with each other. While we don't get to know the friends well, we do at least know that both characters had great support from their friends. Frankly, I want to see more of that. Lots more. • The relationship was definitely adorable! Granted, I'd probably have liked to see a bit more of it, but what we did get was very sweet, and I enjoyed them together. They just worked well. The Stuff I Didn't: • Lack of Communication trope. Ugh, I just don't like this one! Like had they just been honest with each other, huge chunks of trouble could have been avoided. This, however, is a "me" thing. • A few bits toward the end were a bit... absurd. Had to suspend some disbelief at a few parts during the Zombie Survival thing (and no, I am not talking about the zombies, hah) and I am kind of crap at suspension of disbelief. But I mean, it wasn't a dealbreaker, it just was kind of farfetched. • I wanted more from the ending. Apparently, this is going to be a series? I am not sure if the subsequent book will be a direct sequel or a companion, but I really wish that I new a bit more about the end. I assume we will know more about how the story shakes out regardless, but at the time I read it, I didn't know this and was a bit bummed. Bottom Line: Super cute and full of zombie adventure, I could have used with a little more info and believability , but it was certainly worth reading.
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  • Anna (The Bursting Bookshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    The Perfect Escape originally caught my attention because of the original concept (a romance framed around a zombie survival contest) and the fact it was blurbed by one of my favorite romance authors, Helen Hoang. I was also drawn to this book because Im always looking for new voices in my favorite genre. Getting down to the nitty-gritty - I really, really wanted to love this book it sounded original and Im a sucker for a good contemporary romance. While I didnt love it as much as I had hoped, The Perfect Escape originally caught my attention because of the original concept (a romance framed around a zombie survival contest) and the fact it was blurbed by one of my favorite romance authors, Helen Hoang. I was also drawn to this book because I’m always looking for new voices in my favorite genre. Getting down to the nitty-gritty - I really, really wanted to love this book – it sounded original and I’m a sucker for a good contemporary romance. While I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped, The Perfect Escape was still a fun contemporary story with a great plot and good leading characters.The plot was the strongest part of this book – it was well paced and had a surprising amount of action and adventure. The beginning of the book set the tone well, and really raised the stakes for the best part of the story: the zombie survival contest. I didn’t put the book down once during the zombie survival scenes – they were tense and action-packed, chockfull of personal growth and a healthy dose of martial arts. From a writing standpoint, I really like the author’s use of alternating points of view (between the two main characters). Having these multiple points of view helped demonstrate the difference between Kate and Nate’s home lives, as well as the differences in their motivations and dreams.While most of the characters were realistic, the biggest sticking point with this book was the side characters. Too many of them were wholly based on tropes and didn’t bring anything original to the table. Kate’s father was the worst offender - he was a caricature of an overprotective, controlling Dad. He might as well have been twirling his mustache and holding Kate hostage in a castle while thunder cracked overhead like an old movie. His character had no nuance and his total lack of redeeming qualities really made him unbelievable. For example, he’s set up as a savvy VP of a major tech company, but he drugs a kid at one point. This would have been more forgivable in a dystopian, but it felt wildly over the top in a contemporary romance. Even worse, every time he made an appearance in the story, I found it hard to continue reading. Kate and Nate, on the other hand, were great characters. They each had their own complex motivations for entering the survival competition. Kate had every advantage at her fingertips, with the exception of a caring and supportive family and true freedom. Her father was trying to force her to go into the family business despite her repeated rejections of his plans for her. I loved how tough and resilient she was – she didn’t let her father steamroll her with his plans; she stood up to him at every turn. Nate, on the other hand, wanted to climb the social ladder and become a business tycoon / inventor – and was wholly driven by money and the need to provide for his family. As they got to know each other better, they taught each other that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and really helped each other grow and develop as characters. They were a great study in opposites attract – they had completely opposing motivations and backgrounds, but they still somehow worked together – but not as a romantic couple. Kate and Nate didn’t really fit as a romantic couple, they really only had friendship vibes, not any romantic chemistry.In the end, this book really didn’t feel like a romance to me – it felt more like a story of friendship and following one’s dreams. The book was weighed down by the inorganic romantic relationship between the two leads and the trope-ish side characters. The story overall was a fun ride, with a good balance of personal growth and adventure. If you’re looking for more contemporary romance, be sure to check out Tweet Cute by Emma Lord and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. 3/5
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  • Isabel (The Reader & The Chef)
    January 1, 1970
    LOVED IT!!!!...Full review coming tomorrow!
  • Charvi
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 stars 😍The Perfect Escape is a fluffy and light-hearted read exploring the relationship between Nate and Kate who meet at a zombie escape room. The romance between the two is cute but this book isn't entirely focused on the romance, something that I personally found refreshing. We explore family relationships like absent and busy fathers, strict Asian families, financial family constraints and what not. It was all done very beautifully and the characters were well developed and so very 4.5/5 stars 😍The Perfect Escape is a fluffy and light-hearted read exploring the relationship between Nate and Kate who meet at a zombie escape room. The romance between the two is cute but this book isn't entirely focused on the romance, something that I personally found refreshing. We explore family relationships like absent and busy fathers, strict Asian families, financial family constraints and what not. It was all done very beautifully and the characters were well developed and so very lovable! But my favourite part of the whole book is the escape room and the Zombie survival game Kate and Nate enter into. It has a nerdy aspect that I find endearing and I myself am a huge fan of escape rooms and survival games so every but of it was like a dream. The writing is so engaging and the book is so easy to read, I finished it in a single sitting.Would definitely recommend to someone looking for a fun read!Thank you so much to Sourcebooks with providing me an ARC copy. My opinions remain unbiased and my own.
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    THE PERFECT ESCAPE is a witty rom-com, with a unique, zombie-filled twist! Nate and Kate meet at the zombie-themed escape room where they both work. On the surface, a love of zombies might appear to be the only thing they have in common. At home, Nate feels the pressures of earning money for college, of making his family proud, and buying his loving parents new things. Kate, on the other hand, lives in a ritzy smart home (like a very, very smart home), decked to the nines with all the amenities THE PERFECT ESCAPE is a witty rom-com, with a unique, zombie-filled twist! Nate and Kate meet at the zombie-themed escape room where they both work. On the surface, a love of zombies might appear to be the only thing they have in common. At home, Nate feels the pressures of earning money for college, of making his family proud, and buying his loving parents new things. Kate, on the other hand, lives in a ritzy smart home (like a very, very smart home), decked to the nines with all the amenities a person could want… But fancy things can't make up for everything. Kate deeply grieves the death of her mom. Her dad is emotionally MIA and almost never home, though he keeps tabs on her through his electronics. While Nate and Kate don't have much in common in their school and home lives, they are kindred spirits. Both lovable and hilarious, this pair longs to follow their dreams, feel the acceptance of their families…and maybe even embark on a fun and flirty romance!When they team up to enter a zombie escape competition that comes with a huge cash prize, both imagine how their lives could forever change.This book made my heart squeeze at the same time that I was laughing out loud. Suzanne Park breathes life into characters who are easy to root for. She also balances fun, fast-paced storytelling with meaningful messages about relationships. All the tech and money in the world can't replace a real human connection.
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  • Chelsea Ichaso
    January 1, 1970
    THE PERFECT ESCAPE made me laugh out loud countless times. Nate and Kate, the lovable protagonists, are each hilarious in their own ways, yet not without depth. The survivalist competition is such a fun and unique arena for the rom and the com as this duo battles zombies and other teams in attempt to win the money that will fund their dreams. Nate and Kate both need to win the money, but up against so many obstacles, will they be able to win each other's hearts? I found myself tearing through THE PERFECT ESCAPE made me laugh out loud countless times. Nate and Kate, the lovable protagonists, are each hilarious in their own ways, yet not without depth. The survivalist competition is such a fun and unique arena for the rom and the com as this duo battles zombies and other teams in attempt to win the money that will fund their dreams. Nate and Kate both need to win the money, but up against so many obstacles, will they be able to win each other's hearts? I found myself tearing through the pages to find out.
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