What better time to fall in love than while you’re fighting off zombies?
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 revolves around our main characters, Nate and Kate, who meet while working at a zombie escape room. The synopsis of this book pulled me in to read it. A YA romcom with zombies? Sign me up! But unfortunately I was a tiny bit disappointed once the story strayed from the zombie escape room and focused more on their lives inside of high school only.
Both Nate and Kate are interesting characters. They’re quirky and hilarious which made their interactions a lot of fun. Nate is an intelligent kid who has big dreams of being rich. This goal stems from his wishes of wanting to provide for his family. I found Nate’s family to be the most interesting part of his story because it was so heartwarming.
Kate’s story is a little different from Nate’s. Kate is more independent and whereas Nate dreams of being rich, Kate’s family already is. Of course there is more to unfold behind the smart house she lives in and there’s a lot of heartbreak to be found. I actually enjoyed Kate’s story much more because it was emotional yet relatable.
The two of them have set goals for themselves but they are both desperate for money to achieve them. Thanks to their job at the zombie escape room, Kate knows Nate is just as obsessed with zombies as she is. So she suggests that they enter a zombie survivalists competition. This competition could possibly change both of their lives thanks to the huge cash prize.
I expected the competition to be a large portion of the story but sadly it was only a small part. As a debut author I enjoyed Suzanne Park’s writing and I’m definitely looking forward to her future books. I just wish that this story had more depth to it than what we got. I wanted more adventure like the synopsis promised.
Overall, The Perfect Escape is an enjoyable read. It’s a cute romcom that’s great for when you need a light, fluffy book on a weekend. It has all of the components that makes the perfect YA contemporary. There’s fun characters, family and friendship dynamics, and a light, easy plot. Just add in some occasional zombies!