Wednesday, October 07, 2020


Emergency ContactEmergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This is the fifth book in my #atozchallenge! I'm challenging myself to read a book from my shelves that starts with each letter of the alphabet. Let's clear those shelves and delve into that backlist!

Penny Lee is heading to college in Austin, Texas to finally start her life. She's leaving behind her needy Mom, her annoying boyfriend, and everything else. She wants to become a writer and now, she thinks, is when her life will truly begin. For Sam, his life in Austin is at a standstill. He's broken up with his girlfriend and is living above the coffee shop where he works. He has a mattress on the floor, a dying laptop, and a dream of becoming a movie director. When Sam and Penny meet, it's not glamorous or romantic. They know each other, vaguely, via Penny's roommate, Jude. But they soon are texting each other--a lot. Sharing everything about their lives, all the time. But can the two maintain this intimate friendship if they meet again in real life?

I absolutely loved this book. There was just something about it that spoke to me, and I was lost in Sam and Penny's world from practically the first page. I had to laugh, because I read some other reviews that maligned Penny, calling her an unlikable character. However, I felt like Penny was ME--I empathized with her character so much, and found so many good lines in the books that I could relate with. (What that says about me, we won't go into, ha.)

This was such a funny, sweet, and real story. I didn't find Sam and Penny's relationship to be insta-love whatsoever as they bonded over text. As anyone who has met someone and shared things online knows, it can become something so deep and private--offering something about yourself with someone you don't see. I loved the wit and sarcasm in their texts. These are my kind of people--funny, wounded, and just so them.

There's definitely seriousness to this book, and the theme of family runs across the entire novel. Sam and Jude are oddly related in a way I won't unpack here. Sam and Penny both have complicated and difficult relationships with their mothers. Penny's mom is a character unto herself. And we see friendship presented in various ways, including Penny's relationship with Jude, and Jude's best friend, Mallory. I loved all the characters, who are each so individualistic.

Overall, this was just a great book for me. It's funny yet dark at times and the humor was right up my alley. I fell hard for the characters, so everything hit me right in the gut. I can see how it might not be for everyone, but I think it's definitely worth a read. I'm glad my challenge made me finally pick this one up. 4.5 stars.

You can read more about the #atozchallenge here.

Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb

View all my reviews

No comments: