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Emergency Contact

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  37,873 ratings  ·  6,665 reviews
For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. 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.

Hardcover, 394 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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T. Rosado I just read your question after leaving my review and I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I agree that it toned down after the first half, but that first …moreI just read your question after leaving my review and I'm glad I wasn't the only one. I agree that it toned down after the first half, but that first half made the reading arduous at times. I mentioned in my review having to Google acronyms and such in order to keep up. I'm in my 40's, but enjoy reading relevant and realistic YA fiction. I'm glad that my age wasn't the only factor in finding the first half a little difficult to get through. FYI, I read the author's acknowledgments in the back of the book and I don't think her writing was too far removed from how she actually communicates. After reading it, her writing style made more sense to me.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  37,873 ratings  ·  6,665 reviews

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Okay just hang on one quick second we’re going to talk about the actual, you know, contents of this book but first: are you seeing this cover. My god.

I was killing several hours in a Barnes & Noble (not because I was waiting for something or anything, but because one of my favorite activities is “residing in a bookstore for long enough that I am forced to wonder whether I should update my listed address in several databases/paperworks”) when, like an oasis, or a dusty pink angel, this book appea
Sabaa Tahir
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My absolute favorite feel-good romantic contemp of the year, I'm calling it now. JUST GO READ IT OK ...more
Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
2.5*? I’m undecided
May 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
If ever there was a book that truly embodies the term ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ it is this one.

Before I get into it, let me just tell you that the book starts off with the mc slut-shaming her mother in front of all her friends.
There. That should give you just the right amount of idea as to what kinda trash this is...

I feel so cheated. And exhausted with anger.

Finishing this book was a struggle. I won’t lie. I had somewhat of a sneaking suspicion that it was going to piss me off but ev
Drcong O '
if you see some crazy bitch screaming, "WHAT A DISSAPOINTMENT" while she bangs two pots together, walking down your street, it's PROBABLY ME.

akdgajhds i'm so mad because the cover of this book is SO gorgeous. if i was ever to marry a book cover, hands down, it's THIS ONE!!! like, it's just so beautiful??? sadly, the pretty cover is the only good thing about this book.

what's it about??
Penny Lee wants a fresh start at her University and have a decent life, away from her MILF and embarrassing!! m
Mar 04, 2018 marked it as to-read
boi this guy's hair kinda looks like Kaz Brekker's hair

i've been reading too much Six of Crows omg

jk you can never read too much Six of Crows :)

how did we somehow get from the topic of this book to Six of Crows

i don't even know

edit: i actually stILl haven't read this yet, and so i don't really know what i'm doing with my life because it seems amazing and the cover's truly beautiful but i just wanted to update everyone in case ya'all were wondering why i haven't read this book :// i'Ll gEt tO iT
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Uhm wow so I really fucking liked this? This book definitely isn't without its problems but the characters in this were some of the most realistic characters I’ve ever read and it honestly just really worked for me. I’m a big fan. ...more
this book summed up in two words - triggering and problematic.

as someone who has a strictly textual friendship with another person, i relate with penny more than any other main character i have read about in quite some time. i understand her relief at having someone she can talk to without any fear or boundaries. i know exactly how penny feels when she comes to rely on those texts to get her through the day. and the moment when she realises she wants and needs more… my gosh, i felt that so deep
chan ☆
Apr 27, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021, ya-contemporary
i don't really get the point? ...more
Dec 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
So I loved this. It definitely isn't flawless and there were quite a few lines that I hated but I loved how flawed and real the characters were, the relationship that is built, the anxiety rep, the themes that this book tackles and more.

CW: racism, alcoholism, toxic relationships, rape, cheating, depression, anxiety, panic attacks
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 stars.

Strap in, folks, because I am not happy with this book. I'd much rather chuck it across the room. It failed on so many levels. I'd figured this would be a nice, decent story of two lost people connecting while trying to navigate through life. Sadly, none of that happened. Which made me salty. Saltier than the ocean.


I really wanted to like this, I really did. Even after I knew this wouldn't be a good book, my dumbass kept looking for signs of redemption. Surprise surprise, there wasn't. M
Mar 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: diverse-reads
Roller Girl 1-- bookspoils
Angst, Love, Texts, and Tattoos

When I read through the excerpt for Emergency Contact  back in February, I had a slight inkling indicating it would be well worth the wait. I was hooked, in particular, when I highlighted the opening line that really gets those of us living in the more warmer areas: When it came to perspiration, Penny had a problem. Not that she stank of BO or anything. It’s that from March to around October she was invariably damp. 

I do have to say, though, that upon starti
welcome to yet another instance of ‘i have no idea how to rate this book!!!’
Ashley Nuckles
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Basically started this at 1pm today and finished 9 hours later hahaha

This story was fricken adorable & I loved it so much! The writing was so fun and relatable and I adored Penny and Sam. The only fault I have it that I wanted mooooooore!
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

 photo 0C8D0F23-5F63-43EF-8D6C-3EE2C574E357_zpsnfhs669p.png
“Loving someone was traumatizing. You never knew what would happen to them out there in the world. Everything precious was also vulnerable.”

Emergency Contact is my first book by Mary H.K. Choi and I loved it. Before reading it, I noticed it had mixed reviews. While I can see why this book wouldn't be for everyone, I'm so happy I picked it up because it was very much for me and I'm looking forward to reading the authors other book, 'Permanent Record' soon!

This story take
Elyse  Walters
I liked it.
I didn’t like it.
I liked it.
I didn’t
mostly didn’t.
Really didn’t!!!!

Overall this was a drain on my brain.

From the start I thought it was pretty stupid to be honest ...
Milf mom?
and her daughter bitching?
What’s funny? Or even interesting?

The whole thing....
What’s the purpose?
Why did I care?
And what was this book ultimately about and trying to achieve?

Others LOVED LOVED LOVED this book....
I tried ...( because I love many of those people who love this book)...
destiny ♡ howling libraries
This was one of my most anticipated contemporary releases of the year, and while it definitely was not without its flaws, I thought it was all in all a tremendously cute, sweet story. I get so accustomed to reading heavy contemporaries—and don’t get me wrong, this one tackles some really rough topics—but Mary managed to write it in a way that, at risk of sounding really odd by saying this, felt like a geeky, goth twist on the stereotypical “fluffy YA contemporary” novel.

Penny thought of this
May 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
***4.5 stars. Absolutely loved this. I felt so connected to penny and the journey she was on and just related in so many ways. And the humor in this was just my style
Hilly ♡
Apr 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF 59% | 04/09/18

I could have spent the entire month reading only this book to have it on my 2018 reading challenge since I’ve surpassed the halfway point, but I just don’t care anymore. I am worried that if I push myself I’ll end up in a reading slump. I’m so bored and I can’t connect with the characters. I thought I liked Sam but now I’m tired of his negativity. Penny is just plain egocentric and I don’t like her at all. She wants to appear like an introverted girl but she’s actually really m
You know, for a while there I actually thought I might end up liking this story somewhat but now I’m just like, NO. Majorly underwhelmed. 2 stars and I’m being generous.

So Penny wants to be a writer, yeah? And she has this professor who critiques her work and gives her advice, talking about the importance of character motivation etc. so I think it’s kinda sad that the author wasn’t able to bring that to paper herself. At the end of the book I’m sitting here with a gazillion questions left unansw
REREAD 2/2019: yup i still love it *crying emoji*

this book is so beautifully awkward and eccentric i love it
4 stars !!!

I can see why people hated this, or found aspects of it frustrating or annoying or subtlely problematic or whatever (which is why I couldn't five star this because I didn't absolutely and faultlessly love it), but for once in my life im on the infrared side of the controversial spectrum and everything is good and positive and fucking dandy. this makes no sense I think it's the aftereffects of my month-long sleep deprivation. whatever tho.

rtc because I know y'all who read this are g
jaime ⭐️
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
book 3 out of 100

“I like knowing that you exist. It doesn’t make me feel any less lonely, because life is lonely, but it makes me feel a lot less alone.”

Wow, wow, wow. This book has to be up there with Radio Silence for me in terms of relatability when it comes to my teenage (or not so teenage) experience. It’s current and modern and authentic when it comes to young people navigating social media and there wasn’t a single moment where I cringed from incorrect teen-speak! Mary H. K. Choi ha
monica kim
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-loved
4.5 stars 💕 wow wow wow i adored this! i fell so in love with these weird, messy characters. they felt real and complicated. i loved the way digital communication was treated in this book - it’s so rare to find a books that are not super condescending about that. and i LOVE that penny is “unlikable.” i hate how there’s this expectation that girls in books can’t mess up or sometimes fail in order to be a good main character. i also thought the way choi handled the casual racism penny faced, even ...more
Mel (Epic Reading)
Sep 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one.
Ugh. Need I say more?
I read 20% of this book (which is under my normal guideline to read at least 30% of any book). I didn't need to read anymore of it to know that I was never going to be interested.
Things that drove me crazy in Emergency Contact:
1) She covets her phone like it's sacred. It's an important device, I get that but it doesn't need to be worshipped or be anyone's "precious".
2) I know lots of young girls say these things, but I don't care how authentic it is. It's never okay to
I loved this book so much and I don’t think I can properly review it... I will apologize for what will likely be a hot mess.

Penny and Sam are both great characters who were easy to root for. They're both struggling and they find a lifeline of sorts in each other. I loved how we just got the surface of the secondary characters. For me, it really helped show how Penny and Sam felt: separate and alienated.

Plot wise, it's the slowest and most delicious burn that ever existed. I loved the texting an
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anxiety, korean
i LOVED this!!!!!
♛ may
i wholeheartedly went into this book expecting to hate it and yet here we are ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

this is solid proof that dreams can come true (okay but for real this was surprisingly super entertaining and really fun to read and honestly what more can you ask for?)

- the main character is a writer and the love interest is a baker and i am Weak
- the writing was so entertaining and fast paced, i never lost interest
- for a fun, cute contemporary, the characters are really well developed
Amy Leigh
May 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.25 stars.
This is one of those books you will either love or hate and I found myself wanting to DNF this book but I couldn't. When I first saw this book and read the blurb I got really excited and expected a fun and fluffy contemporary romance. I fell in love with the gorgeous cover and couldn't wait til I could finally get my hands on this book. I'm so glad I got it from the library and didn't buy it.

I really didn't like Penny. She was very shallow and complained about people judging her for
Trina (Between Chapters)
Apr 05, 2018 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF at page 154.

I was excited about this but 150+ pages is too far in to feel like I don't yet know one of the main characters at all, and still be waiting to get interested in the story. For a book pitched for its cute text element, the texts took quite a while to be incorporated and are showing ZERO connection between these characters so far. I just grew bored waiting for things to get going.

*I received an unsolicited free copy of this book from the publisher but my opinions are my own.*
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Mary H.K. Choi is a Korean-American author, editor, television and print journalist. She is the author of young adult novel Emergency Contact (2018). She is the culture correspondent on Vice News Tonight on HBO and was previously a columnist at Wired and Allure magazines as well as a freelance writer. She attended a large public high school in a suburb of San Antonio, then college at the Universit ...more

Articles featuring this book

Young love, first love, star-crossed love. YA fiction has brought us some of our very favorite heartbreaks and Happily Ever Afters. For...
131 likes · 61 comments
“Loving someone was traumatizing. You never knew what would happen to them out there in the world. Everything precious was also vulnerable.” 104 likes
“I like knowing that you exist. It doesn't make me feel any less lonely, because life is lonely, but it makes me feel a lot less alone.” 101 likes
More quotes…