Kelly & Christy Review: Emergency Contact Mary H.K. Choi
Christy and I loved Emergency Contact so much that we decided we should do our thing and both review the book by answering the same questions! Hope you enjoy our thoughts, because we both enjoy this format!
Emergency Contactby Mary H.K. Choi
Narrator: Jacques Roy, Joy Osmanski
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
on March 27, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary
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.
Christy & Kelly talk about Emergency Contact
1. How did this story make both of our best of lists?
Christy: I admit – I was a late comer to this story. I kept seeing it EVERYWHERE but no one was talking about the story inside (honestly the biggest flaw of bookstagram). I finally picked it up when a newly acquired library card had it immediately available and I said, sure, why not.
Little did I know how sucked in I would be. I could not stop listening to this book and I just went through about 200 different emotions the whole way through. My strongest memory of this book is how I FELT the entire way through. Books that make me emote are an auto-win for me.
Kelly: It was one of the last books I read before I made my year end best of list, and to think I almost missed putting this on my list. I absolutely devoured the story. It was so different, so pleasing to read these emotions, to be something that isn’t cookie cutter and like everything else. The story, the characters, everything about this book was unique. I really hope more people give it praise it deserves. It was fresh and modern too, and not in a snarky this is our world now pov, but in a vulnerable how do I even survive this world we live in way. Does that even make sense? But that is my take away.
2. What makes the main characters relatable and why is that important to the main story?
C: Emergency Contact is a character-driven story. Interviews with the author will tell you that. In order for that to work, I need to be invested in their journey. There’s so much angst here, which I enjoyed. I feel like everyone needs one of Courtney Summers’ shirts after enjoying this book (http://courtneysummers.ca/shop/).
K: Man I related so hard to both Penny and Sam. They each had similar personality traits to each other as well. It was like they were made for each other, and not in any perfect way. They are both messy…so full of angst, and neither have good faith or trust in others. They each had their own backstory full of baggage, but eventually they find themselves in each other.
It helped that when I see someone with my similar style I always feel drawn to them, and the cover of this book fits these characters so damn much…plus it is the cutest emo cover I’ve ever seen.
3. The way this story is told is different than other books. How does this add to the book and what about the audiobook brings it to life?
C: Unlike a lot of YA books, the author uses texts in a realistic way that actually improved the reading experience. Having (amazing) dual narrators really brought this to life. I would have loved to watch them record their parts.
K: It really takes a in-depth look into the lives of people who text each other, and the shared intimacy that can grow just from sharing via texting. I feel like this contemporary romance is exactly a reflection on the current ways of our world. Personally for me, I love texting and the online friendships I have built, I can only imagine if I was younger and dating how that would be so different than back in my day!
At times listening to the audiobook, I found myself wanting to see how it was laid out on the page, which I did, since my ass was going to own this book in many formats, lol. But overall, the dual narrators were so perfect, their voices just lulled me into the story and swept me away.
This book felt so perfectly flawed and was so real. Like I felt so much of this book. SO MUCH.
4. Who are your emergency contacts and why?
C: Is it cheating to say Kelly? She gets so many of my random thoughts and is like the other half of me. Plus she understands texts that I feel like anyone else would be like ??????.
K: Well I definitely text Christy the most, about all things in life. To talk, to bitch, to dish the tea…so yes, we are definitely each others bests bets. However, in reality if I thought I was dying, I would call my wife, I wouldn’t even text, I would let that shit ring (which I hate actually talking on the phone).