“Smart and funny, with characters so real and vulnerable, you want to send them care packages. I loved this book.” —Rainbow Rowell
From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
For Penny Lee, high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she’d somehow landed a boyfriend, they never managed to know much about each other. Now Penny is heading 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, you know, see each other.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
On the surface, Emergency Contact is a fun, heart-fluttering romance. But the book’s protagonists—awkward college freshman Penny and tattooed barista Sam, who lives above his coffee shop—have serious issues. The two seem to have little in common until a random event throws them together and they exchange digits. They’re too shy to hang out in real life, but their relationship blossoms via text messages, which author Mary H.K. Choi weaves into the story in a refreshingly natural way. The novel’s greatest strength is its characters, who are so endearing and deeply flawed that you can’t help but root for them.
Unlike her flirtatious Korean mother, Penny Lee doesn't have much of a social life, but she hopes that things will change when she goes off to college in Austin, Tex., to pursue becoming a writer. She soon meets Sam, her roommate's 21-year-old uncle, a college dropout and talented baker who works (and lives) at a local coffee house. They barely know each other, but, after Penny catches Sam in a vulnerable moment (he thinks he's having a heart attack but is actually suffering from anxiety) they agree to be each other's emergency contacts. Soon, they are exchanging texts and sharing secrets they've never divulged. In her first novel, writer and reporter Choi sensitively shows the evolution of two lonely, complicated people who slowly emerge from their shells to risk an intimate relationship. Her sharp wit and skillful character development (of Penny's mother: "in jeans and a faded T-shirt that read Slay Hunty, Celeste resembled an incoming freshman as much as Penny did") ensure that readers will feel that they know Penny and Sam inside and out before the gratifying conclusion. Ages 14 up. Agent: Edward Orloff, McCormick Literary.
My name is Mickey Blevins.
I live in Kansas City campus. For many years now I’ve been manipulated on the computer One side to another redirected by app driving me crazy literally my wife is in the care. How many years later if you come today I think I have figured out exactly what it is all about sounds crazy before we split up I’ve been locked up all over that mobile we will be over with their applications of creative, g commons .
If anyone else or if any one knows anything about this please give me a call at
I liked the book but penny was so annoying because she was always saying how quirky she is and how she’s not like other girls
Entertaining but lacking in substance
Not much going on really minus a rather predictable romance. I relate pretty well to Penny sometimes from the binge eating to feeling like I’m constantly babysitting my mother, but overall, the development is weak. Feels like a slice of life type of series