BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi [in School Library Journal]

Narrators Joy Osmanski and Jacques Roy prove to be convincing partners in propelling two awkward misfits toward each other. Osmanski’s Penny Lee is slightly detached. UT-Austin might be less than 80 miles away, but 18-year-old Penny imagines she’s headed for a whole new world – literally, as she wants to hone her sci-fi writing skills.

Roy takes on slightly older Sam, who happens to be Penny’s new roommate’s 21-year-old ex-uncle-by-marriage. Versatile Roy could be 20 or 40, just as Sam’s falling-apart-life might suggest multiple ages, from college drop-out ex-boyfriend of Someone Kinda Famous to filmmaker-in-the-rough who’s biding his time as an overqualified barista forced to sleep where he works.

Penny and Sam’s chance second meeting involving a panic attack results in their fatefully designating each another as “emergency contacts.” Let the texting begin. Fans of Maurene Goo, Jenny Han, and Julie Murphy: get ready to listen in.

Review: “Media,” School Library Journal, October 1, 2018

Readers: Middle Grade, Young Adult

Published: 2018


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