Fiction was fine, but real life was the true freak show.
My synopsis: Passive-aggressive Penny is ready to move on to college. Through Jude, her roommate, she meets Sam – the baker, the intellectual, the aspiring filmmaker, the hottie. Their paths cross again during a not too ideal situation and decide to be each other’s “emergency contacts.” When they share their deepest selves to one another, they can’t deny the attraction between them, but will they risk their perfect friendship for a chance of romance?
Published March 27, 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
e-ARC provided by Simon & Schuster through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review
Genre: YA Contemporary, YA Romance
Themes: friendship, parenting, mother-daughter relationship, poverty, rape, film, writing, baking, college, soulmates, love, trusting people, hiding from people, texting, digital communication, relationships, dating, sex
Amazon* / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
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I got approved for the ARC of this just a few days before release date – and I finally read it especially after reading Sumaya’s review!
Mary H.K. Choi’s Emergency Contact is a lighthearted YA contemporary romance read that’s sure to make you fall in love with its characters – it’s a heartwarming story of friendships, of passions, and of love.
I have to say, at first, I didn’t think I was into the writing because of the first scene – but then the more I read, the more I was able to relate to Penny – I’m so glad I gave it a chance!! I also really liked that the text alternated between the POVs of Penny and Sam, and how the two voices are represented very well.
You’ve always spoken fluent me.
It was so much fun to read how Sam and Penny’s relationship develops. There’s that hint of romance all throughout because they are so special to each other, but I loved that it was less focused on the romantic parts of a relationship, but rather in the elements that truly make relationships last: healthy conversations, trust, dependability, openness, sincerity. What Penny and Sam had, it was something really special.
“Even so,” she said. “You’re the best person I’ve ever met. And my favorite.” “And you’re mine,” he said.
There were so many important themes in this novel – and I really liked this one point the novel makes about parenting:
But sometimes it’s so incidental that these people are the parents. Beyond the biology of it. It’s not as if they had to pass a test or unlock achievements to be the ones making the decisions. Sometimes they’re actually stupid. Certifiably dumber than you, but as their kid you’d never think to know that.
Another element of the plot that I really enjoyed is how it explored the passions of the characters. Sam’s baking and filmmaking, as well as Penny’s writing. Unlike in most novels, they weren’t just mentioned in passing, instead several scenes were dedicated to them going through the process of how they chased their passions.
you know how you can make a sound on a piano. Anyone with fingers can do it intuitively. You hit keys they make noise. Writing and reading then rewriting and then editing is how you make a melody. It’s the same for everyone. It’s not about raw talent or having such a big ego that you think what you have to say is so important. Or who your parents are and what they do. It’s the practice of it. Doing it until you’re good.
I loved that we got to see several snippets of what Penny was writing. Her story about the Anima was such an interesting concept, and it reminded me a lot of this K-Drama I watched called W: Two Worlds. I wanted to read the entire thing (I want it to be real, just like how Carry On! was later published after Fangirl).
I fell in love not only with the main characters, but also some of the other characters. Jude, I realized, is the most likeable female non-MC ever – she’s just so kind and generous, but in a genuine way! I found myself looking forward to reading scenes with her in it!
When Penny left a banana on her desk as an offering, Jude rejected it. She refused it by putting it on Penny’s work chair, so when Penny went to write, she sat on it. As tiny passive aggressive revenges went, it was adorable, and it killed Penny that they couldn’t laugh about it.
Later on, I also appreciated Mallory’s character. The friendship between Penny, Mallory, and Jude is just so #SQUADGOALS.
I know what you mean though. God, can you imagine? She’d probably die trying to save a bus full of orphans.
As you probably could tell, I enjoyed Emergency Contact immensely – and I’d totally recommend it if you’re looking for your next contemporary read. I expect it to be on the list of my top contemporary reads for the year ❤ It’s perfect for fans of Fangirl and Everything, Everything, and I’m sure that it will be most appreciated by aspiring writers!
Thanks for stopping by! Also, check out my #SwoonySaturdate with Sam Becker!
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Have you read Emergency Contact, and what did you think??
Who’s your emergency contact? Are they a family member or a friend or a SO?
Do you believe in the idea of soulmates?
3 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi”
Great review! I’ve heard good reviews about this one.
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Thank you! Yeah, it’s a solid YA romance read 😀
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Those are my favorite!
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