ARC review, book review, young adult

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi (ARC Review)

Title: Emergency Contact
Author: Mary H.K. Choi
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: March 27, 2018

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.

– My Review –

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Because I received my ARC from a friend, I ended up starting and finishing this book before its pub date, but never ended up writing a review for it because I was drowning in other ARCs that I had received directly from publishers. But now that I’m almost caught up on reviews, I thought that I would sit down and show my appreciation for Emergency Contact by writing the review that it deserves. When I first saw the cover for this book, I wasn’t really reading a lot of contemporary fiction, but was rather focusing on fantasy YA books. Despite this, something about this book really drew me in, especially when I found out that the MC is Korean! I love Korean culture, and I definitely squealed at every reference that I understood. That wasn’t even the best part about this book!

The best part (for me at least) was how equal the roles of Penny and Sam were in this book. Oh, and of course, Penny and Sam themselves! I absolutely adored those characters, and I still get a tear in my eye when I think about them (even almost 2 months later)! Sam and Penny really stood out to me among the thousands upon thousands of YA book characters, and I will never forget them. Their interactions also made me squeal from cuteness one moment, and make me fan myself the next … because their chemistry was just … ah! The plot was also so so good, and it made me both laugh and cry. This is one of my top reads this year, and I highly recommend it!

– About the Author –


From Mary H.K. Choi’s website: Hi pals. The big news is that MY BOOK IS OUT on Simon & Schuster. It’s a YA novel called Emergency Contact. Please visit your local pulp purveyor to purchase. Read an excerpt on Or check out my triumphant return to the number one show on late night! Desus & Mero. Or read this super-righteous STARRED review on Publisher’s Weekly. AND this very swoon-worthy mind-meld in the Atlantic. Or perhaps THE NEW YORK TIMESNylon more your speed? WHADDABOUT the Verge? Meow. Oh and this ILY magazine article where I talk about art and love and how the two influence each other. It is one of my favorites. Check out some articles and essays I have written here. Watch some things I’ve made here. And sign up for my podcast here. Also, find me @choitotheworld on Twitter or IG for appearances and updates! xo

– Purchase Links –

amazon-canada chapters-indigo amazon-usa
amazon-uk book-depository amazon-australia


18 thoughts on “Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi (ARC Review)

    1. Ahhhh I’m sorry to hear that you heard mixed things! I’m glad that I haven’t found any negative reviews for this book yet because I might cry lmao. Thank you so much! And thanks for reading! <3

  1. Wonderful review, Flavia! I’m thrilled to hear you enjoyed this book so much – I LOVED it so, so much as well and can’t wait to read everything the author will write next 😀

    1. Ahhhh YAS! I hope that you love it too (because I’d feel bad if you didn’t hahaha). Thank you so much for the kind words! And thank you for reading! <3

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