By Mary H.K. Choi
Published March 27th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
I thought Emergency Contact is an adorable read. It took me a little bit to get engrossed in it, but I really enjoyed this book. I just wish that I loved it like everyone else is! It is a super cute book but I just didn’t love it.
I think that this book does deserve all the hype it’s getting. I can see how everyone loves it.
I love the fact that it’s an Own Voices novel. As Penny struggled with writing her characters as white because it’s the most “acceptable” race, I have to think if Mary had the same struggles.
If you haven’t picked this book up, you really should. It enlightens so many worldly issues. Racism, anxiety, unhealthy relationships, etc.
It’s not just a cute read. In a way, it’s almost educational. It’ll also make you laugh quite a few times!
Plot Rating: 4/5 Stars
I am in love with the idea of an “emergency contact”. This would have been so helpful for my anxiety while I was in high school.
Penny finds Sam in an awkward situation. She helps him through it and thus, becomes his emergency contact for when he feels like he may have an anxiety attack. And vice versa. They become quick friends and they get addicted to texting each other.
Penny and Sam are hiding their newfound friendship from her roommate and his ex-niece, Jude. They basically hide it from everyone.
Like I said, this was a cute story. I was really interested in the concept of this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Character Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Penny is amazing. She’s so intelligent and she knows what she wants in her life. She’s a writer. She has social anxiety. She has so much going on in her mind and I feel for her. I really associate myself with her character. We have a lot of similarities. I just wish she was nicer to her mom who obviously is trying really hard to please her daughter.
I love Sam. He treats Penny with utmost respect even though she’s a bit weird sometimes. He’s a man that’s gone through plenty of hard times. He doesn’t let that shape him as a person, though. He’s the sweetest person ever!
I love all the side characters in this book. Especially Penny’s mom. She’s just a woman who’s trying to get by. She’s just trying to be her daughter’s friend and know that she’s okay. Even if that means adding Penny’s ex boyfriend on Facebook. She doesn’t deserve all the crap Penny gives her.
I love Penny’s friends, even though Mallory was a bit bitchy in the beginning. They shaped out to be really good trustworthy friends.
Romance Rating: 3/5 Stars
This is the slowest slow-burn romance you’ll ever read. I wanted them for fall for each other a lot sooner than the end of the book.
Penny and Sam are perfect for each other and I’m mad that we don’t really get to see them as a couple other than one time. But that one time was enough for me to give their romance a rating of 3/5 stars.