Emergency Contact

Emergency Contact

Book - 2019
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"Smart and funny, with characters so real and vulnerable, you want to send them care packages. I loved this book." --Rainbow Rowell

From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory--perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I've Loved Before .

For Penny Lee, high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she'd somehow landed a boyfriend, they never managed to know much about each other. Now Penny is heading 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, you know, see each other.
Publisher: Canada :, Simon & Schuster Books for Young,, 2019
ISBN: 9781534408975
Branch Call Number: ON ORDER 2019


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May 18, 2019


LoganLib_Kirra Mar 27, 2019

Emergency Contact is the sweetest book that will make you laugh, make you gush and most importantly, make you wish you had your own emergency contact to text! I love books with two narrators like this when they compliment each other so well and it really adds more depth and excitement. I’ll definitely recommend this book for readers that loved To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Fangirl or Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for that same warm-hearted glow.

multcolib_karene Feb 12, 2019

Smart characters and realistic fiction about young adults trying to figure out how to be in the adult world. I always like getting into the heads of more than one character in a book so enjoyed the alternating narration of two of the characters.

SurreyLibrarian Feb 01, 2019

-Reviewed by Sharleen - Penny is angry with her mom, Celeste. She’s going away to college to be a writer. Sam is stuck. He is in a low paying job as a baker/barista, his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, he has no money, and he wants to be a film director. Their paths collide in the centre of town and they become each other’s Emergency Contact. Great writing from 2 points of view, believable scenarios.

Jan 12, 2019

I think this a YA novel, but I'm an adult who enjoyed it! Also, her middle initials are H.K. and she grew up in Hong Kong.

Dec 05, 2018

Fangirl, but edgy--what happens when a quiet girl escapes to college in Austin, TX and reluctantly realizes she doesn't need to go it alone. --Rachel (For more of Rachel's picks, follow WoodneathRachel in the catalog.)

Oct 30, 2018

This was compulsively readable story - someone described it to me as "Fangirl but edgier," and that fits it to a "T." I enjoyed the overall awkwardness of the two main characters, and the idea of finding someone who "gets" your particular brand of weird made me happy. #TriggerWarning, there is a description of sexual assualt, as well as frank discussions of addiction.

JCLHebahA Jun 20, 2018

Reminded me of a more modern Eleanor and Park but with a slower burn and slightly older characters who took longer for me to fully warm up to.

samcmar May 22, 2018

I'll be honest: I kind of ignored the hype surrounding this book. I felt like it was going to be a book that I thought would just be "okay" or "that was fine." When I got it in my Simon and Schuster Canada goodies bag from the Ontario Library Association's Super Conference, I was intrigued, but not in the best frame of mind to read this book.

I loved, and slowly devoured Emergency Contact. I picked it up on a whim during a crazy and difficult period in my life, and it's a book I was constantly connecting with. I loved Penny and Sam, and I while they do frustrating and even unthinkable things, I cared about their every action, and I wanted them to be better off by the end. I love that this is first and foremost a friendship novel. Penny and Sam meet in such an awkward, uncomfortable way, and they become each other's "emergency contact" -- the person they connect with when life is beating them black and blue.

This book has a very slow build, but I found myself really loving and engaging with it. This isn't a book I found myself reading quickly, but rather small bits at a time because I found the situations that the characters engaged in to be difficult to read about at times. Sam's plot-line in particular had me yelling and flailing my arms in anger, while Penny I could easily relate to (despite being nothing like her) and seeing how she has to deal with changes beyond her control. The writing in this book is playful, lyrical and fun despite the darker tone in it, and I think Choi does a fantastic job of getting readers to care and emote while reading this novel.

I am definitely going to have to buy myself a copy of this book because I feel like it's one I will get the itch to reread. While I feel like this book is pretty hyped, it's also one I don't think that had that intention in the first place. This is a very quiet book, and one that builds and builds until it crashes so hard that everything feels messy and raw. I love novels like that, and I think it's why Emergency Contact resonated with me the way it did. It's definitely not for every reader, but if you love quieter books that offer a detailed character study of two lost young adults, I think this book is highly worth the read.

JCLEmmaF May 21, 2018

The first half was a struggle, but mostly because I am not excited about the romance genre. However, once I got past my hump, I quite liked this. It does follow a soft and slow romance, but Emergency Contact is about much more, following both Sam and Penny through their realworld struggles and complicated relationships. Helped my brain numb out after the semester, and it absolutely reminded me of Fangirl. Same style as Rainbow Rowell, same thoughtful and smart characters, same exploration of fiction and freshman year of college. I dig the characters and the concepts. Very sweet.

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Dec 04, 2018

sheepsheets thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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