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Emergency Contact | book review

So, it’s been a minute since I’ve done a review! June was kind of a weird month for me in that I wasn’t able to read as many books as I would’ve liked. There’s still a few days left so hopefully I’ll be able to get a few more in before the end of the month but regardless, I wasn’t able to really post any reviews. Of course, that is totally okay and I’m still happy with my reading 💞 Anyways, I just finished reading Emergency Contact today and wanted to share my thoughts!

If there was ever a book that just felt “okay”, then this would be the one. I didn’t love it or hate it, the characters were interesting but not too much, and the plot was entertaining at some times but otherwise felt a little forced. All that being said, I personally would not recommend it, but I know a lot of people who actually did love it so I would say give it a try if it sounds like something you’d enjoy!

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 Contact
Author: Mary H.K. Choi
Publisher / Published: March 27th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: New Adult Romance
Trigger Warnings: You can find here

Goodreads | Amazon US | Book Depository | Indigo

OKAY, there’s a lot to get into, so let’s start with something I did like: the relatability of the characters. Penny, the main character, is 18 years old, very cynical, snarky, judgemental and totally radiates ‘i’m not like other girls’ energy. And you know what? Like it or not, that is completely realistic. We’ve all been there, and even though it’s hard to admit now, I used to be that person too. Based off the writing of her character, it is pretty obvious that these characteristics of Penny are meant to be intentional and shows the complexity of teenagers. Penny’s roommate, Jude, and her other friend, Mallory, are both really different from Penny in that they like to go to parties, are a lot louder and more outspoken, etc. Based off Penny’s inner thoughts she makes it clear that she doesn’t want to spend time with Jude or Mallory, despite both girls making an effort to include her in their plans. But, as the story goes on, they all become better friends. I loved this friendship, and Jude was probably my favorite character (she should also totally get her own spin-off book pls and thank u). SO ALL THAT BEING SAID, Penny may not be the most likable character but she’s young and represented what I think was an accurate representation of what goes on inside the heads of so many people.

Then we have Sam, a 21 year old baker and aspiring filmmaker. He was similar to Penny in that he was cynical and glum at times. I honestly wish we could have gotten to know Sam more as a person outside of his relationship with other people. Like, we knew about his ex-girlfriend Lorraine, and how he interacted with her. We also saw snippets of him with his mom (it’s complicated) and of course his relationship with Penny. But as a character, I just felt very meh about him and wish he would’ve had more personality.

Penny thought of this Korean saying for when you really, really liked something. You’d say it ‘fit your heart exactly.’ Sam fit her heart exactly.

Mary H.K. Choi, Emergency Contact

As far as romantic relationships go, Sam and Penny were not my favorite. Everything they had was based on texts and they didn’t have many in person encounters. I really doubted the plausibility of them together and think they would have worked better as platonic friends. It also felt like we saw more of Sam’s relationship with his ex than him and Penny sooooo,,,that did not help their case 🙃 I liked Penny and Sam’s characters individually, but together it just didn’t make much sense. I mean their strictly online relationship was good in the sense that yes, when things are online it’s a lot easier to be yourself without feeling like you have to change. Also, though, moving from an online to in-person relationship is not without its challenges especially when things are romantic (I would assume) and I wish we could have explored their struggles a little more as well.

I did really appreciate the diversity in this book, with Penny being Korean-American and the anxiety rep. What I did not love, though, was the writing style. It honestly just felt a little awkward and like they were trying too hard for the dialogue if that makes sense.

Although Emergency Contact did have redeeming qualities, such as the characters personalities and representation, it fell flat with the writing and plot.

Alright, and there is my first review in a month! I hope you found this helpful and I hope you are all enjoying your current read 😊

Have you read Emergency Contact? Is it on your TBR?


Author: Aarushi @ aarushireads

Hi friends! My name is Aarushi (she/her) and welcome to my blog 💖 I’m a 19 year old reader and decided to start this so I’d have a place where I could write down all my bookish rambles and thoughts! In addition to reading, I love to write in my free time and am currently working on my YA Fantasy WIP. Found family, rivals to lovers, and a historical backdrop are just a few tropes I've added in. I love interacting with other readers and writers so be sure to leave your comments so we can chat! Thanks for being here <33 All my socials are aarushireads :) *profile pic created by prequel

16 thoughts on “Emergency Contact | book review”

  1. ahh like sofii and saima up there i’ve heard mixed reviews about emergency contact, eeks i don’t think i’ll pick it up as i’m not a big fan of “not like other girls” vibes, sorry that this one didn’t work out for you! thank you for the lovely review and all the best on catching up with your reading!! great post as always aarushi ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i was hoping i would fall on the side of people who liked this book but it just wasn’t for me 😔oof yeah, i agree that ‘not like other girls’ trope is so annoying and needs to go! thank you so much for the lovely comment, Cherelle ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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