Exit, Pursued by a Bear

Title: Exit, Pursued by a Bear

Author: E.K Johnston

Published: March 15th, 2016

Pages: 248

Genre: Young Adult & Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Listened to on Overdrive


Wreath(13)-BlackGoodreads Description: 

Veronica Mars meets William Shakespeare in E.K. Johnston’s latest brave and unforgettable heroine.

Hermione 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.


Things I enjoyed about this book: 

Exit, Pursued by a Bear took a different approach on a common topic. It was a breath of fresh air to see a new plot line. I admired the protagonist’s, Hermonie, bravery and depth. I  believe that this is a topic that needs to be talked about and so I enjoyed this book. The cover art is what initially drew me in, I like it!

The Things I Didn’t Enjoy: 

There were many times throughout Exit, Pursued by a Bear that read more like a textbook than a novel. I think including the information is vital, but I think it could have been more cohesive. I also had a hard time that this novel played so well into what “society” wants us to achieve politically. I am all for throwing in politics about life and sexual orientation. In this case it felt so forced and added in for attention.



E.K. Johnston deserves 3 bird feathers for his novel, Exit, Pursued by a Bear. When I got the the last chapter, I knew I had enjoyed this book. However, I couldn’t get over some of the over-the-top political add ins. Some of my views even align with the authors, but it felt so pushed. When I read, I want form opinions and let my brain wander, I didn’t experience that in this book. I think it covers an important topic, sexual assault, and it definitely had a fresh take, which I appreciated. Overall, I’d read it but it doesn’t need to be at the top of the list.

Parent’s Guide:

Exit, Pursued by a Bear is centered on a sexual assault, pregnancy, planned parenthood, swearing, date rape drug, and same sex attraction. I would recommend co- reading with your teen and/or discussing it.


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