Book Review: Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

Exit, Pursued by a BearAuthor: E.K. Johnston

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: March 15, 2016

248 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

I won’t lie – I was first attracted to this book by its title. “Exit, pursued by a bear” is my favorite stage direction EVER, and I was so excited about a book with that title. And then I read it, and WOAH.

EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR is so important. The best part of this book, in my opinion, is that it shows a different way to react to, cope with, and live after a sexual assault. There are a lot of different ways to deal with something like this, and it’s good that we’ve got a book here that shows something other than the girl who is completely consumed by what has happened to her. Those stories are definitely important too, but we need books about ALL the ways to react to this situation.

I LOVE best friend stories, and the best friend in this book – Polly – is the best of the best friends. She’s so supportive but also honest, sometimes brutally so (this was one of the instances where I wasn’t quite so fond of the book).

Hermione Winters (I love the allusions to the play that the title comes from – Hermione is a main character in The Winter’s Tale, hence Hermione Winters – but Johnston also updated it and mentioned her dad’s love of HP) refuses to be a victim. She will not quit, and she doesn’t let what’s happened to her define who she will be in the future. And I really, really appreciate this.

The bottom line: A quick, significant, emotional story about an important topic, a beautiful, supportive friendship, and a fierce, strong MC. It’s worth your time.

Rating: 7 – pretty good


11 thoughts on “Book Review: Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

  1. This sounds like a great read. I never had a chance to make many friends when I was younger because I kept travelling from place to place every year so friendship stories are my favourite. And her name is Hermione, what more could I want.

  2. This book had so many raves about it before its release, and I really wondered if it would/COULD live up to the hype. I find that I usually love the best friends more than the main characters in some of the books I’ve read. I wonder, now, if that would be the case in this one with Polly.

  3. Wow, I didn’t know “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” was a stage direction. The title makes so much more sense now. Haha. I also really liked this book. I agree that it was nice to read another reaction to rape. My book club mates didn’t like it because they found it unrealistic, but they’re both very emotional people. I am not. I am very practical, so I found this book refreshing. And, Polly was amazing!

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