Book Review

Exit, Pursued By a Bear

Exit, Pursued By a Bear by E. K. Johnston
Release: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers


E. K. Johnston, EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEARHermione Winters is captain of her cheerleading team, and in tiny Palermo Heights, this doesn’t mean what you think it means. At PHHS, the cheerleaders don’t cheer for the sports teams; they are the sports team—the pride and joy of a tiny town. The team’s summer training camp is Hermione’s last and marks the beginning of the end of…she’s not sure what. She does know this season could make her a legend. But during a camp party, someone slips something in her drink. And it all goes black.

In every class, there’s a star cheerleader and a pariah pregnant girl. They’re never supposed to be the same person. Hermione struggles to regain the control she’s always had and faces a wrenching decision about how to move on. The assault wasn’t the beginning of Hermione Winter’s story and she’s not going to let it be the end. She won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.

In Exit, Pursued By a Bear, we see Hermione Winters at cheer camp. She’s the captain of her squad and excited for the year to come. When she shares her goals with the camp, she promises a year without a pregnant girl. It seems doable until she’s raped at the cheer camp and goes home pregnant. She can’t remember the night but she enters her own nightmare.

I really enjoyed this book. I had my own personal thoughts on how I believed the story to go and it went in a different direction but I wasn’t disappointed.

I also have this love for any type of retelling and I was sold when I read this was based on Shakespeare.

What I loved:

  • Hermione wasn’t giving up on herself. There were moments when she just wanted to disappear and she came back strong with a strong will to fight. She didn’t care that people were against her, she knew what she needed to do and she did it.
  • The friendship. In some stories, it sometimes falls upon another man to save the damaged girl and that’s not how this story went. Hermione had her best friend right by her side ready to fight with her.
  • Hermione saved herself. She didn’t need someone else to hold her hand–while she did have people by her side, she was strong enough to use their support and stand on her own.

What I didn’t like as much:

  • Totally character based: Hermione’s boyfriend. He was jealous and unsupportive and I just wanted to smack him.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone. There are slight triggers but they weren’t as difficult as other stories I’ve read.



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