Review Blog

Jan 31 2019

Emergency contact by Mary H.K. Choi

cover image

Simon and Schuster, 2018. ISBN 9781534425934.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Fiction. Penny and Sam, two complete strangers at first, have an unforeseen encounter that results in them becoming each other's emergency contact. With their growing friendship being entirely through each other's phones, they skip the awkwardness of social interactions at first. But as they get to know each other and their trust in each other grows, life seems to twist their stories together in an unusual and rushed series of events. Penny sees herself as awkward and different from everyone around her. She understands the social customs of teenage life and friendships. But still, she has difficulty performing them, not feeling comfortable enough in her own skin and feeling alienated from others. Her character is surprisingly self-dependent and very set in her own way of thinking. Sam, on the other hand, has a funny way of knowing how people tick and is able to fit in with most. His character has an adaptive personality and is a very easygoing person at first. But he too has personal struggles that he faces as well. With each other's help and through their texting they are both able to help each other in a way that is surprisingly supportive.
Choi has written a story that is both detailed and easy to read. The text conversations fit into the story appropriately and help to give you more of an insight into Penny and Sam's personality. The chapters are also divided into Penny and Sam's perspective and is used smoothly to tell both of their stories. Overall this story is interesting and a great read for teenagers and young adults.
Kayla Raphael

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