“Loving someone was traumatizing. You never knew what would happen to them out there in the world. Everything precious was also vulnerable.”
Thanks to Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for sending me this e-copy of Emergency Contact! This hadn’t influenced my review or rating in any way.
Trigger warnings : sexual abuse (flashback), panic attack, mentions of alcohol abuse.
I really liked this book overall, it was a modern tale of love, new-found friendship and making connections.
I’m starting to really adore books that focus on our personas in the virtual world and outside of it. This one focuses on a relationship (at first, it’s more of a friendship) that starts to develop through texting and it was absolutely adorable. Soooo cute. You can hear me screaming from here.
I was a bit hesitant about shipping Penny and Sam at first because Sam had a very strange situation going and he was going through a lot, it wasn’t the best time to start a new relationship (that’s a little bit of an understatement). But as Sam resolved his issues and got his shit together, I started to root more and more for them, because they are hugely supportive of each other, I felt like they really helped one another grow throught the period they knew each other and therefore, they deserved to be together. I SAID IT. They deserve so much happiness.
Penny was a writer, still in college, still trying to discover what she wanted to write and what was her style and figuring out how to do friendships and how to deal with her mom. I loved her connection with Celeste, her mom, it was very complex and a bit annoying, at times. But when Penny started to reveal things about herself, it became so obvious why things between them were that way. Mostly, Penny is very mature and responsible and Celeste is not, she’s more like the fun mom (you can see how that can become tiring very fast). That didn’t use to be a problem, they used to be friends, when Penny started distancing herself from her mother without giving her a reason, their relationship became rather strained and it only went worse after Penny got into college and stopped visiting all that much.
Sam is more of a cool kid, I literary felt at times like I was reading about a cool kid x nerd ship, even Penny felt like this at times. I had mixed feelings about Sam sometimes, I HATED THE WAY HE WROTE HIS TEXTS AT FIRST. Kid, write properly, okay?
I’m kidding. Mostly.
Anyway, Sam grew on me slowly as I started to understand him more. I liked very much how he was the devastated one after his break-up (usually it’s the girl while the guy is super fine and not feeling any pain). I loved how he felt many things and he was vulnerable, this book kind of killed the whole ‘men-have-to-be-strong’/ ‘men-can’t-feel-things’ stereotype. To the hell with it.
I loved the friendships that were formed between the girls, I liked how they didn’t start out very well and then Penny got over her judgmental opinion and started to hang out more with them.
My favourite parts are, for sure, the emergency contact idea – I absolutely adored this – it made me want to have an emergency contact as well. Just someone that you call when you need help, when you need someone to talk to, someone that can listen to you and be there for you. YEAH, sounds like the real deal right there. AND the way their relationship developed without much physical contact. I mean, I’m a sucker for tension and angst and not-yet-couples meeting and feeling all the feels, but I enjoyed seeing their relationship and respect for each other grow through their texts, how they managed to disclose so much information through those and be there for each other.
I should probably clarify that Penny and Sam met each other twice (in person) before starting texting, so they knew each other and everything. And they see each other some more while they are texting, so this aspect won’t be completely missing.
Also, to me, Penny’s college experience was hella relatable, the way she had a hard time making connections and feeling all the pressure and the teachers’ expectations and not really knowing how to deal with all of that on top of family and roommates. Yeah. Relatable.
I would totally recommend this to people who like stories that include special formats (
I ADORED THE TEXTS IN THIS ONE AFTER SAM STARTED WRITING LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING), who like soft romances, lots of internal conflicts and unexpected friendships.
Have you read Emergency Contact?
Did you like it? What were your favourite parts? Were there any things you didn’t particularly like?