Emergency Contact

3.6
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 already know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to understan how to become th riter, it ’ s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can ’ t hurr to leave behind.

Sam ’ s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a restaurant and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the balcon of an empty storage room upstairs. He says that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he ’ s th famous ovie 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 fear and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
Series
Number of Pages
394
Original Title of the Book
Emergency Contact
Publication Date
Published March 27th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Public Commentary

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rated it

Okay just hang on one quick second we ’ re lookin to talk about the actual, you realize, contents of nove but first: are you seeing this cover.

My god.I was killing several hours in a Barnes& Noble ( not because I was waiting for something or anything, but because one of my favorite activities is “ residing in a bookstore for long enough that I am orced to wonder whether I should update my listed address in several databases/paperworks ”) when, like an oasis, or a dusty pink angel, this book appeared.

I read the inside of the dust jacket, said “ yeah ok maybe ” ( by which I mean I saw “ contemporary that involves text messages ” and did everything short of performing an original song entitled “ Hell Yes, his Is Th ery ood Thing ”), and wrote the title down in my notes app.Then I binge read the hell out of it.THE WEEK BEFORE FINALS WEEK.This book is, like, made up of my strength.

But still the background characters of his nove who aren ’ t mentioned very much feel like real people!

But these texts were actually realistic AND fun?? Which brings me to he next section of this review: things it turns out I like but I didn ’ t yet now I liked, because since when are they even an option? ONE: Really pop culture-y dialogue/thinking, but never in a cringey way.

Which I don ’ t kno I have everrr said about a character in book, because kill me first that ’ s embarrassing, but I ’ m ot sorry this time.

Which makes sense, if you kno about it, because o much of it feels like Mary H.K. Choi scooped out my brain and fashioned it into a tidy little package with aesthetically pleasing wrapping ( have I mentioned enough how gorgeous this cover is?) and the contents of my brain are far from perfect, my dear boy.There are some things I didn ’ t super-love about this nove.

( I chose generously, because I am overwhelmingly kind and sweet as everyone say, and yet not because I ’ m in a perpetual beggars-can ’ t-be-choosers situation with the entire contemporary genre.) But what I et he sense is the major issue with th novel is omething I didn ’ t see as a problem at all: the flawed characters.Sam and Penny are not asy to like.

To tel, These characters are clearly unlikable and thus this book is toxic/problematic/just generally unpleasant and we should toss the whole thing into boiling lava, or a trash can if boiling lava proves too hard to realiz.

Maybe, like the characters that opulate it, Emergency Contact is a flawed book.

It is prickly and difficult to reckon with and imperfect.But I think that ’ s what makes people worth liking, and knowing- and the same goes for making books worth reading.Bottom line: We love discovering new auto-buy authors through diverse fun beautiful bitter contemporaries!! Note: Just to clarify, I am 100% not trying to ay that anythin is wrong for not liking his book.

I forget that unlikable/flawed characters are outside of some people ’ s reading preferences, and by all means, if that ’ s you, steer clear of this ook and feel justified in that.

like it 's no cool that i a) felt not cool enough, at variou points, to be reading it and b) am significantly more cool for doing so.SO.

COOL.this book was not perfect, but occasionally it 's ood enough to kee a straight-to-best-contemporaries-shelf-do-not-pass-go-do-not-collect-$ 200 card, and also now the author is on my auto buy authors shelf.

i have a crush on Mary H.K. Choi and i have a crush on Emergency Contact and on penny and sam and on naming characters so well ( penny!

rated it

akdgajhds i 'm no mad because the cover of his essay is SO dream.

fortunately, the pretty cover is the only ood thing about tha nove.

what 's it about?? Penny Lee wants a fresh start at her University and have a ecent life, away from her MILF and embarrassing!!

hese two meet one day, exchange numbers and become text buddies!! i 'm oing to dive right into it: i never did n't like Penny 's character.

one of the characters Mallory also showed some cleavage and Sam thought it ha a cry for attention!!!

rated it

Merel to mention I am half in love with Penny and Sam and by the end I just anted to tuck this book to my wais and hold it forever.I knew I ’ d like it…but noooo.

I LOVED it.➸ It ’ s anothe tale of college and the awkwardness of growing up and anxiety.I really like books about upper-teens, early-20s, because there ’ s not much to unpack with those first feels of being out of home and discovering who you are as a person when no one else knows you.

Penny feels like a veritable blob that no one cares about or finds interesting and she ’ s scared to be open or get close to people ( with good reason but…spoilers shh).

Just kiss.➸ I loved all the diversity in he ook too! From the# ownvoices Korean-American representation ( there is an EXCELLENT dialogue in Penny ’ s writing class about writing diversity that was just…so important) to the anxiety rep ( they both struggle with it for ifferent reasons and it was wholly relatable to me).

he novel is basically: “ NOBODY has their shit together, it ’ s ok to lean on your friends. ” And I love that???

rated it

as omeone who has a strictly textual friendship with another person, i identif with penny more than any other main character i have read about in quite some time.

penny is a very judgemental person.

there is a lot of shaming, assumptions, stereotyping, sexism, and racist comments in th ook.

rated it

But my brother is still extremely likable.Now. I don ’ t remember how old the author is, but certainly old enough to kno what it ’ s like to e teen.

stuf is, his author writes to impress.

It ’ s possibl she put ten times more effort in the writing than in thi story and the characters themselves.BIG MISTAKE.Especially since teenagers are not stupid.

But let ’ s o back to how unlikable Penny is.

She has an opinion on everything, from her own other to the freaking lipstick she wears.I don ’ t say that ’ s merely a goo thing, but when you say stuff like that ( see below), be prepared to have people frown at you and question whether you comprehend certain important concepts, like feminism and stereotypes.

His right knee brushed Penny ’ s left and she almost passed out.

Do as you wish – read it or don ’ t read it – but please do think critically about some of the offensive or questionable things the characters ay.

Plus you wouldn ’ t as a guy whose buttons are down that he ’ s vying for attention.

Sigh.* pparently, this particular passage refers to the names of beauty products for women as being offensive and ridiculous, so I admit Penny may be right this time around.

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© Nicole Waggonner