Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. ChoiEmergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

Emergency Contact

byMary H. K. Choi

Paperback | March 27, 2018

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“Smart and funny, with characters so real and vulnerable, you want to send them care packages. I loved this book.” —Rainbow Rowell

From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
Title:Emergency ContactFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.3 inPublished:March 27, 2018Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books for Young ReadersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1534429271

ISBN - 13:9781534429277


Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh... Ugh. Need I say more? I read 20% of this book (which is under my normal guideline to read at least 30% of any book). I didn't need to read anymore of it to know that I was never going to be interested. Things that drove me crazy in Emergency Contact: 1) She covets her phone like it's sacred. It's an important device, I get that but it doesn't need to be worshipped or be anyone's "precious". 2) I know lots of young girls say these things, but I don't care how authentic it is. It's never okay to greet friends as "hey bitch" or "hi whore". Desensitizing ourselves to these words helps no one. 3) Typical cliche characters. Neither our gal or guy were anymore than a stereotypical teenage kid. I like my characters to have personalities thanks. 4) The writing is really poor. I'm sorry to say but it felt stilted and boring. I never once felt like I got an impression in my mind of the characters or what was happening. It was like reading random words on a page that I was desperate to make mean something. 5) Did I mention the phone thing? I honestly don't have much more to say about this book as I didn't read it all. But I will say that given how many trustworthy reviews I've seen give it a poor rating I'm glad I could DNF it early on and move to better novels. Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.
Date published: 2018-09-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from 2.5 stars = 2 stars for SAM BECKER + 0.5 star for the gorgeous cover I was going to rate this 3 stars, but that felt too generous for a book I didn't enjoy. This was an alternating 3rd person POV about a Korean girl named Penny in her freshman year in college. I honestly had high expectations and thought it'd be relateable like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I mean, Penny's a college freshman who wants to become a writer and being too socially awkward that you rather communicate by texts...I thought it'd be a cute and fluffy read. IT WAS NOT. There were a lot of dark themes such as depression, racism, sexual assault, anxiety, etc that were mentioned briefly but never thoroughly explained in depth. The pink cover is a lie. -_- The first chapter was already a bit bizarre where Penny's mom was basically a teenage girl in an adult body. Despite not being a great role model, I liked Celeste a lot more than Penny. Penny absolutely shunned her mom the moment she left for college. There was no point in Penny's high school boyfriend Mark nor Andy who was the only other Asian in her class. I even liked Mallory more than Penny and Mallory came off as annoying. In fact, Penny seemed to hate every girl in the book or she just thought they were bimbos. There was no depiction of a healthy female friendship. I could go on ranting how much Penny irritated me but nope. Onto Sam…Sam gah I just wanted to hug him. He dropped out of college and wanted to be a film director. But at the moment, he works in a bakery and loves to bake sweets depending on his mood. He also has a lot of tattoos, although not many are explained besides a horse and hamsas. When Lorraine, his ex cheats on him and returns saying that she's pregnant, part of him wanted to be with her even though their relationship was toxic. Reading from Sam's POV was a lot better. The romance between the 2 via texts were okay. I guess it made sense how they came to depend on each other when both of them were extremely lonely and in a bad place.
Date published: 2018-09-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from SO GOOD! Although this book took me a little while to get into, I truly did enjoy it when I did. The characters are beautiful and I totally wish I had a Sam in real life.
Date published: 2018-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cute Read If you were a fan of Fangirl you might enjoy reading this.
Date published: 2018-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from in love with this I really admire guys who can cook...how i wish sam is a real person
Date published: 2018-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from cute loved this book. hoping to see another book where their relationship can develop more together
Date published: 2018-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cute dorks inlove I like how each chapter switches back and forth between the two main characters, no particular number, just their names. The texting part was new and easy to follow with every character change. I can really relate to their personalities and their lame jokes (love a good pun). Loved every bit of it! Penny was worth more than a dime :D!!!! (haha get it?) she seems like an awesome girl to just hang out with. Sam, what can I saw about Sam, HANDSOME! the cute barista you always wanna make conversations with but always make it super awkward AND yet saves you from the awkwardness. Read this if you enjoy corky relationship.
Date published: 2018-07-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cute but confusing The texting portions of the book is confusing. I don't know who is talking first and get mixed up with the conversations. The romance was cute though
Date published: 2018-07-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Couldn't Get Into It I was excited to read this but didn't ever feel invested in the story.
Date published: 2018-06-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So cute ! I thought this was adorable ! Can we talk about Sam, a tattooed badboy that also bakes. *drool* Trigger Warning: Rape
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Hilarious all the way through, great character development and an easy read. Always wanted more!
Date published: 2018-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Wonderful Really sweet. Great character development. A bit like Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl and Eleanor and Park. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i loved this highly recommended, was able to finish it in one day
Date published: 2018-05-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Refreshing Reading Experience Four stars for the reading experience rather than the content itself. While I was reading Emergency Contact I was transported back to my teenage years when I devoured YA without overthinking it. Lately, I've found myself struggling to push through YA/New Adult. EC felt fresh and I looked forward to coming back to it between reading sessions. In terms of the book itself, I didn't find the writing style nor the storyline to be anything remarkable. At times, the narrative was cheesy and the characters problematic and I wasn't able to overlook these factors completely.
Date published: 2018-05-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Eh.. I think rating this 2 stars is too mean, but rating it 3 stars is too nice. I'd rate it at 2.5 if I could. I was excited to start this book because I LOVED books like To All The Boys I've Loved Before and Eleanor and Park. I was told that if I loved those books, I would love this one, but I honestly found this book a chore to read. The story was bland and so were the characters, you can tell that the author tried to include plot twists and tried to give the characters a thick backstory, but it felt very forced. I didn't like any of the characters and found them extremely annoying. I did like the asian representation but other than that, I would not recommend this book.
Date published: 2018-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from endearing in all its awkwardness I loved everything about this book. It's told from the two main characters' perspectives and each is lovable in its own way. Penny is very socially awkward and bottles up her emotions and doesn't quite know how to express her indignation and anger in the right way and at the right time. And she is hilarious! She also obviously has a shockingly low opinion of herself when she really shouldn't. Sam is the super-hot-could've-been-popular-and-gotten-all-the-girls guy who was born in unfortunate conditions, in an unfortunate family, and never really had someone on his side. He was also in an incredibly toxic relationship for a long time and has sort of lost his way because of it. So these two people have suffered a lot and think they're irreparably damaged. But obviously they meet and dot dot dot. EXCEPT this book is so much more than a love story. It's about the true meaning of friendship, and what it means to be a parent, and how people need other people. It's heartbreaking and heartwarming!
Date published: 2018-05-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not my favourite This is a character driven novel. It’s not my favourite kind of story. I prefer a strong plot. But others will probably enjoy it more than me. I liked the quirky characters. Penny was funny, and I loved how she was always so prepared. Sam was a tragic character. They both grew up in single parent households and faced some struggles. Jude and Mallory were the opposites of them, because they seemed like they had everything together. These contrasting characters were great. It took a long time for the story to start moving forward. For the first hundred pages or so, the characters kept reflecting on things that happened to them in the past. I kept wondering where the story was going. For me, that was too long to start the main storyline. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me, but I’m sure many other readers will enjoy this style. I received a copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley.
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Pleasant Surprise I didn't really know what to expect going into this book. I enjoyed the character development and found myself relating to Penny in ways I didn't expect. I love the storyline and the friendship created between Penny and Sam. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending though.
Date published: 2018-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from super cute and i relate so much this book is amazing and i relate to the social awkwardness so much. the only reason i am not giving it 5 stars because I felt like something was missing... but I can't quite put my finger on it. OVERALL, IT WAS A GREAT BOOK!!!
Date published: 2018-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing and Relatable When I first read this book I had no idea what I was getting myself into. this book was absolutely amazing read. I related to much to the character Penny where she is awkward and doesn't know where she fits in the world, as well as with others around her. Sam was also amazing my heart ached with what he was going through with his ex and his mother. But the relationship that Penny and Sam develop throughout the book was absolutely beautiful and the had such an amazing chemistry. They were able to support one another and comfort each other through they difficult times that each on had without placing judgement on each other and they dealt with in their pass this was true a great story one that everyone should take the time to read it really deals with real issues that people can relate too. I definitely recommend this book
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing, Relatable When I first read this book I had no idea what I was getting myself into. this book was absolutely amazing read. I related to much to the character Penny where she is awkward and doesn't know where she fits in the world, as well as with others around her. Sam was also amazing my heart ached with what he was going through with his ex and his mother. But the relationship that Penny and Sam develop throughout the book was absolutely beautiful and the had such an amazing chemistry. They were able to support one another and comfort each other through they difficult times that each on had without placing judgement on each other and they dealt with in their pass this was true a great story one that everyone should take the time to read it really deals with real issues that people can relate too. I definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A refreshing contemporary This is the type of book that you sit and think about after reading it. It's not particularly thought-provoking but it's the kind of story you don't know what to make of. It's the story of two broken people who learn to be broken together and that being broken isn't bad. The novel addresses diversity in a way that isn't pandering. The author, Choi, delivers on this in every aspect by having diverse characters interwoven into the story. This is the type of melancholic book I love most; where there isn't a clean wrap up in the end where everyone gets together holds hands, the bad people get justice or repent, and everyone sings kumbaya. Somehow still, it seems to be missing something for me. I feel as if there was no great climax or great fall of the characters, the tone seemed to be constant and I live for a book that breaks my heart. That being said, this book was *Willie* good (wink) and left me eager to read more by Choi. I love her voice and style. I found her way of challenging convention to be so fresh and beautiful. Penny is weird but in a REAL way, not like the cliche MTV weird teen way. And her mom says screw you to stupid tiger mom stereotypes. I would like to put a content warning for hinted sexual assault here before I discuss how the circumstances of said event shape Penny's relationship with others. It's amazing. I think this book will help a lot of girls forgive themselves. Although this book wasn't quite a bullseye, I think it's a story many would love to read. I know I'll be reading it again.
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Amazing - This stole my whole heart. I had absolutely no idea what to expect going into this story - and it completely stole my heart. Penny Lee has never fit in anywhere in her life, and she cannot wait to get to college, far away from all the things she is dying to leave behind. Sam is a local barista whose life seems stuck in a holding pattern that he can't break out of, trapping him and holding him back from being the adult he thinks he should be. When their paths cross in completely unexpected ways, they find themselves connecting beyond anything they ever thought possible. This story has two of the most awkward, strange, flawed and completely lovable lead characters I have ever read. I became so quickly invested in both Penny and Sam's lives, that it felt like having them as friends of my own. That being said, I can genuinely say that every main character was remarkably likable, even when they were doing unlikable things. Mary H.K. Choi writes such humanity in her characters, making the reader intimately connect with each one time and time again. I fell so deeply in love with this story, rooting along for Penny and Sam and the absolute magnificent awkwardness of their quietly budding friendship. I would happily read volumes of stories about these two and where life takes each of them. Mary H.K. Choi has written something truly magical with this tale of the perfect imperfection that is life and growing up. This is an incredible debut, and should without question, be on your to-read list this spring.
Date published: 2018-03-21