Kendra Bolten knows what it's like to be overshadowed by a sibling. Her older brother, Grayson, is a genius, but his OCD forces him to live life through a series of carefully coordinated routines. It seems as if he can't survive without counting, symmetry, constantly washing his hands -- and the whole family revolving around him.
Kendra feels that the only way she can shine in the presence of her brother is to be perfect -- something she has down to an art. She's a straight-A student, has plenty of extracurricular activities, and always makes the right decisions. But when Kendra finds herself the ringleader of a cheating scandal in her Calc class, her mistake could jeopardize the perfection she's worked so hard to attain. For once she knows exactly how Grayson feels when he expresses his wish to just run away from his OCD.
Behind the wheel of her hand-me-down car, with Grayson asleep in the passenger seat, Kendra makes a decision. Together, they'll drive away from it all -- get some distance, find help for Grayson, prove that she's still the perfect girl-in-control -- and maybe her colossal mistake will look a little more forgivable. Eventually though, no matter how far they go, there is nothing for Kendra to do but to face what she's been running from.
* "Brown skillfully navigates the emotional complexities and psychological minefields of her characters and their relationship, treating OCD with delicacy without losing sight of the big picture."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Brown paints an unflinching, nuanced portrait of siblings in a family overwhelmed by serious illness....Readers will enjoy the trip."
Jennifer Brown writes and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri, area with her family. She is the author of Hate List, Torn Away, Thousand Words, Perfect Escape, and Bitter End.