Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi | Mini Review + GIVEAWAY!

Title: Emergency Contact
Author: Mary H.K. Choi
Pages: 391 pages
Release Date: March 27th, 2018
Source: Hardcover from Simon Teen
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonaevent. 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.

Buy it now! 
Emergency Contact is a mature and adorable novel about two young people falling in love. Don't let the pink and light ambiance of the cover fool you. This book touches upon topics like alcoholism, drug abuse, sexual assault, and anxiety. I wasn't expecting it to be as hard hitting as it was, and it made every minute of reading this book completely worth it.

We usually read books to get off our cell phones and escape this age of mass texting and social media. Because people have become so consumed with their cell phones, communicating through text and social media has since received a bad rep. There has long been a debate over whether cell phones are doing more harm than good to users. Sure, it distracts students from schoolwork and diminishes the chances of face-to-face interaction. But it also brings communities of people together and connects long-distance relationships. Also, I'm not the first to admit that meeting people face to face can be daunting.

At the beginning of the book, Sam has a panic attack. As someone who has experienced what it's like to have a panic attack, it was incredibly hard to read. But after I made it through that part, I was grateful that Choi added it in the first place. It's an experience everyone should be familiar because it's incredibly hard to understand what someone goes through during a panic attack. And of course, Sam's experience will mirror everybody's, but it's a start to talking about mental health in young adult literature.

Emergency Contact is not your topical meet-cute contemporary novel. Penny's fear of confrontation and her awkwardness makes her such a relatable character in the story. The fact that this book also took place in a college setting was just the cherry on top. I feel like we don't get enough college YA's that actually have scenes where the character is in a class! If you're even in the slightest bit interested in picking this one up, consider entering my giveaway below!


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  1. My emergency contact would have to be my best friend and my sister. They're always there no matter what :) Great review - didn't know about the serious topics in the novel!

  2. My emergency contact would definitely be my bff !!!
    Your review was so great and complete now I just need to have that book !!!

  3. I say my emergency contact is my homegirl Brandy I always text her when I'm at a crossroads

  4. I have heard a lot of hype surrounding this book; do you think the book lives up to the hype?

    1. I definitely think so! The reason I deducted one star was because the writing style just wasn't my cup of tea.

  5. Amazing review! The soft cover totally fooled me, I thought this will be a fluffy, meet cute story but I've seen reviews saying that this book deals with heavy topic really well. Can't wait to read it myself!

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

  6. Aw man, I loved this book so much! My emergency contact is definitely my best friend. She's my go-to person if I'm feeling stressed and looking for new memes. 😂 Thanks for the giveaway!

    anna | annaish

  7. My emergency contact would have to me by mom 😂she's literally my go-to person for everything and I mean, I trust her with my life, ya know 👀

  8. This cover, synopsis, and everything sounds amazing! And I agree, it's so nice to have college-geared books that delve into realistic portrayals :D


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