Emergency Contact is a novel I picked up by accident by Mary H. K. Choi under Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. This book was published in March 2018. However, recently, I was looking for an ebook to read (since I wanted to do more literature reading aside from comics). And, I found this novel – listed under YA romance literature. Right off the bat, the concept intrigued me.

A relationship formed through texting and the main antagonist was awkward and just as anxious as me? Who is also a writer? What more could I want from the main character? It intrigued me in more ways than one, so I decided to start reading Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi.

“If You Enjoyed… You’ll Love Emergency Contact

I don’t like or enjoy when books are compared to others. Such as – when you read the synopsis of this book it says:

“If you like Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Eleanor Park you’ll love Emergency Contact.

I don’t necessarily like or think any company should do this. No book is the same, while the genres may be the same – this book is not the same as either of those. It has romance and YA themes, but this book is different. (I have read both of those books aforementioned.) I’ll explain.

The Synopsis Of Emergency Contact

The book alters between PoV’s (point of views). You get a chapter of Penny, a chapter of Sam, and so forth. I enjoyed this alternating PoV, but there were some slight issues. Nonetheless, this book is about both Penny and Sam respectively. Penny being the main character of the two, but Sam is supporting. The story is about Penny’s desire to be more. 

She cannot wait to move from her hometown, her overbearing (and slightly emotionally abuse?) mother, and get a fresh start. Sam, on the other hand, wants something fresh. He wants to not feel so stuck in every angle of his life. Between his ex, his job, his non-existent place of living – what does he ever have to look forward to? He wants to be a famous documentary director… with seventeen bucks in his wallet.

When Penny and Sam cross paths on accident, they decide to become each others Emergency Contact. You know, in case of emergencies. Those emergencies then become more frequent, every night they talk either texting or on the phone. They create this relationship with one another without the awkwardness and fumbling. And, thus, Emergency Contact begins. 

Tidbits About The Concept

First and foremost, before delving into the actual review – the synopsis is great. It’s relatable, whimsical, and very freakin’ cute. Nowadays, everything has texting in it, no matter which way you think about it. You are probably thinking about texting back someone right now. The story and concept of this book were what got me interested.

And, because of that, it resulted in a majorly cute book about two characters that you grow to love and root for by the end of reading Emergency Contact. I am Penny and Penny is me. I know I am not the only one to resonate with her, but a lot of readers can see themselves as Penny and that is what makes a great premise and concept for a book such as this.

Let’s Talk About Emergency Contact

This book, regardless of pros or cons, is a very fantastic read. Everything has faults, right? Of course. But, do not let that determine how great this book is and how engulfed I was with it for about a week straight. The book is lengthy – 400 pages. It takes a while to get into and get through. Most YA romance books are about 350-ish.

So, this one is on the longer side, but I enjoyed that personally – it’s a personal preference. I thought the story being developed more was better than skipping out on major character development. I finished the book in about a week, this is not a sponsored post – I checked out this book from my public library.

The Pros & Cons Of Emergency Contact

The start of the book is slightly slow, but it does set the scene really well for both of the characters. The tone and voice of each character were spot on. At times, it is hard to decipher between Sam and Penny’s voice – Sam often talked like Penny. This isn’t a pitfall, it is gradual to showcase how similar they are and how close they are becoming.

However, towards the end, at times, you could barely tell the difference (at times) unless you were well aware of the chapter you were on. I didn’t have any issues with figuring out, but there were a few times this happened. Not enough to keep me away from the story. I was engulfed. The writing is outstanding in this book, quite extraordinary.

Mary truly delves into the mind of an adult and channels that. I could relate to nearly everything in this book including Penny’s mother, Celeste. Without spoiling anything in this book, (we are aiming for spoiler-free), Mary accomplishes the ideal character in a nutshell. She does this while also bringing in an important issue (especially in 2018): mental health. The importance of it and having an ’emergency contact.’

Having a friend, a person, a lover that can help you through it all is so important. Plus, texting as a form of communication before you even hang out with the person is so real. That is 2018 in a nutshell. The premise of the plot is relatable to the T and it is executed well. 

What’s The Verdict?

Now, this book is a score. Despite a few small very small nitpicks, this was an incredible read. It was smooth, no hiccups, the voices of the each of the characters are prominent and loud. I honestly could not put the book down the entire week I spent reading it and that says a lot.

So, if you like cute finding yourself romance YA books, this is a solid addition to your bookshelf. It’s cute, it will make your heart happy; and, above all else, there’s a Sam (also called Sammy). Even we have to admit, Sam sounds dreamy – and we all need a Peter and a Sam in our lives.

Emergency Contact By Mary H. K. Choi