Mary H. K. Choi
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018
Source: E-Galley, Library
Audience: Older Teens
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.
Well, I enjoyed the story in Emergency Contact. However, I didn’t appreciate the writing style. It was told in “dual perspectives,” except none of the book was written in first person. Also, things that the character wasn’t aware of about himself or herself were still mentioned. Usually with dual perspectives, each perspective is limited in its knowledge. That being said, it was a slow burn romance that I enjoyed reading in spite of its writing style because I wanted to see what happened at the end.