Emergency Contact

Emergency Contact

Book - 2018 | First edition.
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"After a chance encounter, Penny and Sam become each other's emergency contacts and find themselves falling in love digitally, without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other"-- Provided by publisher.
When Penny Lee 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 is stuck, literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too; he knows that this is the chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he's a famous movie director but right life is really testing him. When they cross paths it's a collision of unbearable awkwardness. But as they stay in touch via text and share their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster BYFR, [2018]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781534408968
Branch Call Number: TEEN CHOI
Characteristics: 394 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

When Sam & Penny meet, it is awkWEIRD. But they both desperately need an emergency contact. They exchange digits and soon become texting besties. This YA novel is both edgy and soft and a delightful slow burn friend to romance story. Suggested by Lisa C.

Penny and Sam meet in a coffee shop and exchange numbers. Their awkward friendship quickly morphs into something serious the more they exchange texts and reveal their anxieties and fear with each other. Their banter is fantastic (very Laura Jean and Peter) and will have you laughing until you cry.

From the critics

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Jun 13, 2019

I really enjoyed the dynamic, dialogue, and overall sense of humor between Penny and Sam. This would make a killer film adaptation in the style of those indie-humor flicks like "Juno" or "Booksmart"!

May 18, 2019


LoganLib_Kirra Mar 27, 2019

Emergency Contact is the sweetest book that will make you laugh, make you gush and most importantly, make you wish you had your own emergency contact to text! I love books with two narrators like this when they compliment each other so well and it really adds more depth and excitement. I’ll definitely recommend this book for readers that loved To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Fangirl or Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda for that same warm-hearted glow.

multcolib_karene Feb 12, 2019

Smart characters and realistic fiction about young adults trying to figure out how to be in the adult world. I always like getting into the heads of more than one character in a book so enjoyed the alternating narration of two of the characters.

SurreyLibrarian Feb 01, 2019

-Reviewed by Sharleen - Penny is angry with her mom, Celeste. She’s going away to college to be a writer. Sam is stuck. He is in a low paying job as a baker/barista, his ex-girlfriend is pregnant, he has no money, and he wants to be a film director. Their paths collide in the centre of town and they become each other’s Emergency Contact. Great writing from 2 points of view, believable scenarios.

Jan 12, 2019

I think this a YA novel, but I'm an adult who enjoyed it! Also, her middle initials are H.K. and she grew up in Hong Kong.

Dec 05, 2018

Fangirl, but edgy--what happens when a quiet girl escapes to college in Austin, TX and reluctantly realizes she doesn't need to go it alone. --Rachel (For more of Rachel's picks, follow WoodneathRachel in the catalog.)

Oct 30, 2018

This was compulsively readable story - someone described it to me as "Fangirl but edgier," and that fits it to a "T." I enjoyed the overall awkwardness of the two main characters, and the idea of finding someone who "gets" your particular brand of weird made me happy. #TriggerWarning, there is a description of sexual assualt, as well as frank discussions of addiction.

JCLHebahA Jun 20, 2018

Reminded me of a more modern Eleanor and Park but with a slower burn and slightly older characters who took longer for me to fully warm up to.

samcmar May 22, 2018

I'll be honest: I kind of ignored the hype surrounding this book. I felt like it was going to be a book that I thought would just be "okay" or "that was fine." When I got it in my Simon and Schuster Canada goodies bag from the Ontario Library Association's Super Conference, I was intrigued, but not in the best frame of mind to read this book.

I loved, and slowly devoured Emergency Contact. I picked it up on a whim during a crazy and difficult period in my life, and it's a book I was constantly connecting with. I loved Penny and Sam, and I while they do frustrating and even unthinkable things, I cared about their every action, and I wanted them to be better off by the end. I love that this is first and foremost a friendship novel. Penny and Sam meet in such an awkward, uncomfortable way, and they become each other's "emergency contact" -- the person they connect with when life is beating them black and blue.

This book has a very slow build, but I found myself really loving and engaging with it. This isn't a book I found myself reading quickly, but rather small bits at a time because I found the situations that the characters engaged in to be difficult to read about at times. Sam's plot-line in particular had me yelling and flailing my arms in anger, while Penny I could easily relate to (despite being nothing like her) and seeing how she has to deal with changes beyond her control. The writing in this book is playful, lyrical and fun despite the darker tone in it, and I think Choi does a fantastic job of getting readers to care and emote while reading this novel.

I am definitely going to have to buy myself a copy of this book because I feel like it's one I will get the itch to reread. While I feel like this book is pretty hyped, it's also one I don't think that had that intention in the first place. This is a very quiet book, and one that builds and builds until it crashes so hard that everything feels messy and raw. I love novels like that, and I think it's why Emergency Contact resonated with me the way it did. It's definitely not for every reader, but if you love quieter books that offer a detailed character study of two lost young adults, I think this book is highly worth the read.

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Dec 04, 2018

sheepsheets thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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