Review: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Review of Emergency Contactby Mary H.K. Choi

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


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.


This book was sweet and endearing, I did enjoy it but I’m bumping it from four stars to three stars. 🤷🏻‍♀️ After some thought – it just didn’t blow me away. NOTHING HAPPENED.

Penny seems to be overcome with infatuation the moment she sees Sam. Her reactions to him were so excessive that I couldn’t help but to wonder: is it even possible to have this sort of reaction in real life? calm down girl.

One of these stars is dedicated to Sam’s character. I loved him and felt deeply for him – but really felt like he wasn’t the right character for this book.

If you’re going into this hoping it will have a slow burn romance that builds via texting, you aren’t going to get it. I was disappointed to find that the texting aspect of this story is pretty minimal and only used to push the narrative between the main characters because it’s their only form of interaction for much of the story.

All of that said, this book represented current social issues decently and the importance of having someone to offload your troubles to.

I very rarely read contemporary, but the beautiful cover and summary caught my eye. Unfortunately it’s pretty bland on the inside.

View Review on Goodreads

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