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

I received this book for free from publisher unsolicited in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’ by E.K. JohnstonExit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
Published by Dutton Books for Young Readers on March 15th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: publisher unsolicited
Hermione Winters has been a flyer. She’s been captain of her cheerleading team. The envied girlfriend and the undisputed queen of her school. Now it’s her last year and those days and those labels are fading fast. In a few months she’ll be a different person. She thinks she’s ready for whatever comes next.

But then someone puts something in her drink at a party, and in an instant she finds herself wearing new labels, ones she never imagined:

Victim. Survivor. That raped girl.

Even though this was never the future she imagined, one essential thing remains unchanged: Hermione can still call herself Polly Olivier’s best friend, and that may be the truest label of all.

Heartbreaking and empowering, Exit, Pursued by a Bear is the story of transcendent friendship in the face of trauma.

Chapters/IndigoThe Book DepositoryAmazon CanadaGood Reads



I heard about this one from a couple of bloggers. They were raving about it. And then when I attended Indigo’s Summer Preview event, one of the hosts raved about how much they enjoyed it too. It’s not a fluff book at all because it deals with rape. The one thing I remember her saying was how much she liked how the teenage girl handled it. And after finishing it, I completely agreed.


I know this is a highly unrealistic portrayal of one’s version with rape. Having everyone around her and rallying with her just felt like it was from some TV movie. Because of it were real life, she would feel alone and be alone. And even though it was highly unrealistic, I still liked it. Granted, she had no memory of what happened so it was easier for her to bounce back into her life, but again not all situations are like this. It was still good to read about. She handled herself like an adult and that’s something that should be noted. She was responsible, and healthy. Went to therapy, talked to her parents, talked to her friends. They were all there for her. I loved it! Nothing like this happens so easily in real life, it was refreshing to finally have a book where everything goes swimmingly for the character.


Having the setting in a location I’m familiar with was easy to imagine because I would know where they would be driving, because they did mention the airport once and I know that area too. The other thing about this book is that there’s a lot about cheer-leading. It’s a shame that it’s not recognized as a sport, but they are still athletes. Tumbling and doing stunts isn’t easy if you read about it through Hermione’s eyes.


An empowering and liberating read, Exit, Pursued by a Bear will have you cheering on the sidelines for Hermione Winters!


I’m not going to quit. (75)
Maybe this would be easier if I acted like I am broken. Then they’ll be able to fix me. You can’t fix something that doesn’t know it’s broken. (81)
If you think I’m going to apologize for being drugged and raped, you have another thing coming. (105)
I know it wasn’t my fault. And no one has ever suggested that it was, but that’s what everyone thinks. (195)

reading progress






  1. Alexa Pereira

    May 3, 2016 at 10:43 AM

    I’m really excited about it this book. There was an author appearance on May 3 and at the end of May promoting this book, I’m planning on going but it’s a little bit of a drive. Are you planning on attending?
    Alexa Pereira recently posted…Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys | Book ReviewMy Profile

  2. Ashley

    April 24, 2016 at 11:15 PM

    Okay, I’ve seen this book everywhere and I was vastly wrong about it’s subject matter. I can’t wait to read now, I think it’ll be one of those books that stays with you long term.

    • giselle

      April 25, 2016 at 6:44 PM

      I’m so you’re going to try it out! I just loved it and it definitely was memorable

  3. Kara Lauren

    April 6, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    I have seen this book reviewed everywhere, and with good reviews. I hope I get to read it soon.
    Kara Lauren recently posted…Review: A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie CopletonMy Profile

  4. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    March 28, 2016 at 6:04 PM

    Love your pictures— as always!! I’ve heard nothing but good about this book, so I’m definitely going to read it!
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…This Is Where it Ends by Marieke NijkampMy Profile

  5. Sophia Rose

    March 27, 2016 at 9:10 AM

    I love it when a heroine makes me cheer her on. Thanks! I was curious about this book.

    Happy Easter, Giselle!

    • giselle

      March 27, 2016 at 10:37 PM

      Me too! I was definitely cheering her on. Happy Easter Sophia!

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