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REVIEW: Emergency Contact, by Mary H. K. Choi

February 28, 2018
REVIEW: Emergency Contact, by Mary H. K. ChoiEmergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
on March 27th 2018
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Amazon // The Book Depository

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.

first of all, can i just say how much i’m LOVING the rise of asian visibility in ya? or books in general? + written by an asian author (!!!), Emergency Contact featured korean-american penny lee but there wasn’t much mention about race in there (some, but not a lot) which was also cool. i don’t love x 29310985 this book because of the asian visibility, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. 

so why did i love this novel? i just love great ya novels (or any great novels) that are set in college. sometimes i love high school so much that it makes me sad to think about leaving one day, but reading books like Emergency Contact make it waaay better. everything from penny’s move-in day to struggling with projects to meeting new friends just made me really get a feel for the setting and atmosphere and it just felt so right. 

and speaking of the friendships! at first i rolled my eyes a bit because i thought mallory was going to be your typical rich-bitch-mean-girl antagonist and i’m just so tired of that trope with petty girl vs. quirky nerd but YAY! things didn’t turn out that way. over the course of the novel, mallory and penny built a simple yet complex level of friendship and i was just living for it so!! much!! and of course, her friendship with her roomate jude was just adorable and relatable in so many ways.

ok and the romance aspect. wow. oh my god. I LOVE SAM AND PENNY. i haven’t been this invested in a ship in a while now but i just looooved allll the sexual tension and the slowburn buildup and just omfg they are so adorable i love them so much i wish i could follow them and their story forever (read that in a non-creepy way). i feel like romantic ya is kinda hit or miss for me but this one. was just. wow definitely hit the spot i loved it.

and that was just how i felt about the book overall! from penny’s mom to her writing course, i was completely in love with this novel and i can’t wait for it to come out in stores so that i can buy a physical copy!! i recommend that EVERYONE read this book — tell your friends! tell your parents! tell the passive-aggressive lady who looks you funny on the bus! — because i just have soo many feelings about Emergency Contact and i need someone to share it with. <3 

and p.s. can people stop comparing this to eleanor and park? nope. no. pls stop.

Rating Report
Overall: 4.9

special thanks to netgalley for providing a copy of Emergency Contact in exchange for an honest review. 🙂 PLEASE GO READ EMERGENCY CONTACT WHEN IT’S RELEASED ON MARCH 27, 2018! you won’t regret it, i promise. 


Haley Chung

haley is a sixteen-year-old slytherin who loves musical theatre, 80's shorts, and dreamy walks in the suburbs with her baby kitten avignon. find/follow/stalk her on twitter @haleyium.