An Instant New York Times Bestseller!
If I Stay meets Your Name in Dustin Thao's You've Reached Sam, a heartfelt novel about love and loss and what it means to say goodbye.
Seventeen-year-old Julie Clarke has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city; spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes.
Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his belongings, and tries everything to forget him. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces memories to return. Desperate to hear him one more time, Julie calls Sam's cell phone just to listen to his voice mail recording. And Sam picks up the phone.
The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam's voice makes Julie fall for him all over again and with each call, it becomes harder to let him go.
What would you do if you had a second chance at goodbye?
A 2021 Kids' Indie Next List Selection
A Cosmo.com Best YA Book Of 2021
A Buzzfeed Best Book Of November
A Goodreads Most Anticipated Book
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Love hurts—and heals—in Dustin Thao’s heartfelt debut. When her boyfriend, Sam, is killed in a car crash, 17-year-old Julie lashes out, trashing all evidence of their love and the future they had planned together. But then a strange, otherworldly connection allows Julie to speak to Sam on the phone, and she discovers how to finally take stock of her complicated emotions and say goodbye. Thao sensitively captures the raw, raging nature of grief and the all-consuming feelings of first love. Through flashbacks of Sam and Julie’s romance, including their super-realistic conversations, the author gives us a strong sense of their life-altering relationship. A powerful tale of teen love and loss, You’ve Reached Sam is a beautiful and cathartic read. Make sure to have a tissue box at hand.
In Thao's uneven debut, white high school senior and aspiring writer Julie Clarke must find a way to navigate her future after the death of her Japanese American boyfriend, Sam Obayashi, a big dreamer and music lover who died tragically one night while on his way to pick her up. After skipping his funeral and getting rid of most of his things in an attempt to move forward, she calls his phone one last time and is stunned when he answers. Though Sam only knows that he's "somewhere," he is sure that if he ever calls Julie and she doesn't pick up, their connection will end forever. Thao smartly keeps the logistics vague, effectively depicting Julie's grieving process and her attempts to balance staying connected to Sam while being present for friends for whom his death is final including Sam's cousin Mika and best friend Oliver. While some secondary story lines one exploring Julie's mother's paranoia and another involving Sam's younger brother are underdeveloped, the unique premise and authentic depiction of grief holds plenty of appeal. Ages 12 up. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary.
I’m crying so much my eyes hurt
Beautiful ,just absolutely beautiful. I can’t stop crying it’s like 3 AM something. Definitely a book I will never forget and a favorite. So HEARTBREAKING this hurts more than a breakup for real. This book truly is hauntingly beautiful and so bittersweet. Absolutely heart wrenching. I didn’t ask for this much emotional damage 🥲😭
Loved it so much <3
-A mesmerized reader who will probably never forget this book-
Broke My Heart.
In her moment of grief, Julie called Sam’s number, wishing to hear his voice one more time. The voice that answers her shouldn’t be real. Sam shouldn’t be able to answer the call and talk to her like nothing happened. But he was, and Julie never wants to say goodbye.
When everyone else was grieving Sam’s death, Julie got a second chance with him. Their number of calls is limited and Sam told her from the beginning that this won’t last forever. There will come a time when they must say goodbye.
This book broke my heart. It has so many emotions and I’m still speechless because of it. It was SO GOOD.
You've Reached Sam doesn't just deal with grief. It has love, hope and friendship along with the sad themes of loss, death and the heartache of first love. It’s a story that’ll stay with you, keeping Sam alive in the reader’s memory.
There isn’t anything to hate about this one. I knew I would cry reading it, but I didn’t expect it to make me emotional from the first few pages. I’m glad I’ve finally found the courage to pick it up because now it’s one of my favourites.
The “Before” chapters are so unique in the way they’re written. In the memoirs, you see a visual of it playing in your head as if it were a movie. You can’t help but fall in love with the way it’s written and the seamless transition from one memory to the next.
These calls weren’t just so Julie could get a second chance and say goodbye. It was about Sam, too. These two weren’t ready to let go yet and having the chance to talk to each other helped them move on.
As we drown in grief, we sometimes forget that others may also be grieving. This is what Julie forgot when she was trying to forget about Sam. The calls with Sam made her see what others were also struggling through.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget this story.
Typically love sad story. Sad…. Romantic … but I love romance book so I enjoyed it very much.