Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on March 27, 2018
Genres: Young Adult Contemporary
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 RATING: 4 stars
Emergency Contact is not the book I was expecting when I picked it up! That may have something to do with the powder pink cover, but I assumed it’s a lighter YA Contemporary. While humor and sarcasm are littered throughout, it’s grittier!
My favorite thing about this book is how relatable it is. Honestly, that’s usually why I enjoy Contemporaries, be it YA or not — I read them and find myself in the character’s shoes because at some point in my life, I felt or acted or witnessed something similar. In this case, the relatability came from the characters who are not all sunshine and rainbows, just as most of us aren’t! Penny and Sam are prickly and judgmental. Their lives are overwhelming, their relationships are flawed, and that’s what makes this such a great read!
I liked the premise for Emergency Contact which allowed for dual POVs and some really great text conversations to be added to the narrative. It is also sprinkled with fun pop culture references, which I loved! The story arch fell a little flat, though. Yes things happen, but from beginning to end, the plot really doesn’t go far.
Overall, I’d recommend this book, especially to YA Contemporary fans who like humor and drama to be well intertwined.
“You’ve got to understand that not everybody’s going to be exactly your kind of person. They’re not going to be completely satisfactory or meet your myriad qualifications.”