book review

Emergency Contact | Mary H.K. Choi – A Review

Hello! Welcome to my first book review blog post! Now I’m not a professional at this whole blogging/reviewing thing but I’ll give it my best!

I finished Emergency Contact last night and OMG! Honestly, while i didn’t rate it as a five-star read, there were a lot of things i loved about this book!


*goodreads synopsis*

For Penny Lee high school was a total non event. 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.


Emergency Contact is Mary H.K. Choi’s debut contemporary, and as a debut novel, there were few things I disliked, but a lot of things I loved! Emergency Contact is based around the two main Characters Penny and Sam, which the beginning of  each chapter being based on one of their POV. Emergency contact touches on issues of mental health, substance abuse, friendship, family issues and of course, love. It wouldn’t be one of my favourite genres without that little bit of love!

It starts with Penny who is headed off to college, as an aspiring writer. I really enjoyed Penny as a character, and she did come across quite relatable to me. And then there is Sam. Sam who is cute (obvs), with tattoos and who bakes. UM HELLO?! Where can I get one of those! Sam is also an aspiring film maker I found Sam really quite relatable as well. Both Penny and Sam have similar issues, which get spoken about throughout the story and I can see why they bonded and how the relationship they forged came about.

I also loved, loved the different character reps, with Penny being Korean and Sam not being your typical story boyfriend. WE LOVE DIVERSITY!

I really enjoyed the story around how they connected, but also how they bought out the best in each other.

And lets talk about the side characters for a second.

Celeste, Penny’s mum. OMG haha. like, girl has issues, but at the end of the day and towards the end of the book, you can see just how much she loves Penny and wants to best for her.

Jude, absolutely loved her! I think she helped Penny grow and not be afraid to let people in, and better yet learnt how to not push them away, and what real friendship is.

Mallory told it how it is and while she annoyed me at times, she brings a fun, no filter element to the story.

My only negative thoughts were that it was a little slow during times, and I guess I was kind of expecting more growth of Penny and Sam’s relationship at the end.

I’ve rated Emergency contact 4/5 stars.

If you’re looking for a fun, easy contemporary read then I think you would really enjoy Emergency Contact.

Happy reading!!

Lizz x

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