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Permanent Record

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  5,668 ratings  ·  1,288 reviews
After a year of college, Pablo is working at his local twenty-four-hour deli, selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies. He’s dodging calls from the student loan office and he has no idea what his next move is.

Leanna Smart’s life so far has been nothing but success. Age eight: Disney Mouseketeer; Age fifteen: first #1 single on the US pop chart; Age seventeen, *tenth
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Erin Quinn Perhaps the cover blurb needs to be updated - she isn't described as a Mouseketeer in the book. She was a star of a Disney TV show, who later transiti…morePerhaps the cover blurb needs to be updated - she isn't described as a Mouseketeer in the book. She was a star of a Disney TV show, who later transitioned to movies.(less)
Stevie The artist is GG....@ohgigue on Instagram.

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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,668 ratings  ·  1,288 reviews

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Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Melanie by: Monte Price

ARC acquired at Book Expo in exchange for an honest review.

“Trying to get better at the thing you want to be the best at is humiliating.”

Hello to my favorite contemporary of 2019. Friends, this book was so quiet, but so loud, and really impacted me more than any other book I’ve read all year. This is the type of story that makes you want to see the world, the type of story that heals wounds you didn’t know you had, the type of story that makes you feel seen and loved and realize you
Life is a bummer.

So many bad things happen every day. Like good shows getting canceled. Or when autumn ends and it’s too cold and all the leaves are brown and the trees are bare. Or that thing that happens sometimes, inexplicably, when you bake cookies where they turn all liquidy and spread out into this flat unappetizing chocolate-chip-lumpy Thing.

Or the worst thing of all: me anticipating a book for OVER A YEAR and then not caring for that book very much at all.

(I know none of these even begin
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I loved this SO MUCH. SO MUCH!!!!
Always Pouting
I had seen everyone really hyped about this book and some how the premise of this book as I understood it through the osmosis of being online was that it was a love story between a Korean girl and Pakistani guy. That misunderstanding is clearly on me though, as always I could do more to figure out what a book is about before actually reading it. Just want to put it out there that I would love to read a book where the love story involves people of two ethnicities we don't usually see.

The book is
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-release
name a better duo than mary h.k. choi books and aesthetic ass covers that make you want to buy the book despite not knowing anything about it
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Life isn’t a destination. It’s the continual practice of things that make you wiser and happier”

This was so relatable and enjoyable. Pablo was an amazing character, and the story is really about him trying to find his footing in life. The romance was also adorable, and I just had the best time reading this!

I received an ARC of this at BookExpo. It comes out 3rd September 2019!

Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this more than I did. From the synopsis I thought this was going to be dual POV, but it’s just told in the guy’s POV. I think I would have enjoyed this if we could have heard more from her. I also found him a bit.. insufferable? And while that’s the point and makes sense for what he’s going through, I found that made his arc rather stagnant at times. I did enjoy the slice of life elements and depiction of depression and anxiety. But the romance didn’t give me butterflies. And yo ...more
monica kim
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
i had knots in my stomach for almost the entire time i read this book. i think it’s important to set expectations: this isn’t a cutesy ya contemporary. it’s about people in their 20s who are living and struggling and trying to find their footing. and it is brilliant at depicting that.

i also think one of the things choi does so brilliantly is capturing an authentic voice - her characters sound so completely real in the best and worst ways.
Larry H
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Pablo Neruda Rind, or Pab for short, is a somewhat-rudderless, half-Korean, half-Pakistani college dropout with a mound of credit card debt. He works the graveyard shift at a 24-hour upscale bodega in Brooklyn and spends a good deal of time wondering what to do with his future.

Should he try reapplying to NYU despite not being able to afford it (much less afford his rent)? Should he get a job? Should he move back in with his mother, who hasn't forgiven him for dropping out in the first place?

Emer (A Little Haze)
You know when you just put a book down after you've finished it. And you just sit there. But somehow you find tears welling up in your eyes. So you try to wipe them away...
Yet you can't.
The tears just have to be shed.
The emotions demand to be felt.

That's exactly how I was after finishing Permanent Record.

This book took a number of days for me to read because I just felt it all so keenly. I couldn't read at my normal place. This book demanded more of me. And not for a second do I regret givi
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars

After reading Emergency Contact, I knew I would be picking up any and everything Mary H.K. Choi writes. You know how you just jive with an authors writing style? I totally jive with hers. Although I loved her debut novel just a tad more than this (I think it was just a personal preference/my connection to the main character in the first book) I thought this was amazing as well.

Pablo Neruda Rind is a twenty year old guy still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. This is
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: those who don't mind reading 400 pages of incessant whining
Shelves: ya, 2019, romancelandia
Cry me a river.

If Choi's intention had been to write a novel about quintessential gen z-ers, the way we, the olds, see them, she succeeded spectacularly. Every stereotype of an obnoxious 20-something you have in your head, it's in this book. And it's excruciating to read.

I know, I know, this is a story about a 20-year old guy drowning in student debt. But as much as I generally feel sorry for this kind of plight, it just doesn't hit you the same way when the person who is in debt is a whiny, na
This isn't a bad book. Not technically. The writing style is still good and all that, but then there were the characters. Boy, oh boy, these characters. I just didn't like them. 

No, scratch that. It's not that I didn't like them. It's that I didn't care. Lee was so boring to me. So superficial. And yeah, maybe that was the point, and you know what? I still didn't like her. At times she didn't even feel like a character at all. She felt like a caricature pulled right out of someone's fantasy in o
Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
damn i really enjoyed this.
this review was originally posted on twirling pages

objectively, this book is closer to a 3.5 or 4/5 star BUT because i had such a wonderful reading experience and enjoyed it so so so much, i have no qualms for giving it a 5/5. Permanent Record is the first book i stayed up to read in a really long time; i can’t remember the last time it happened. i just– T—T

mary h.k. choi’s writing continues to blow me away. i’m obsessed and in love. it makes me want to write, or be a writer. i wish i were able
Amy (libraryofamy)
DNF on page 219.

There is almost nothing I enjoyed about this book.

The writing style was exhausting, it was wholly dependent on the narrative talking like a *~hip twenty-something~*, using language that will be cringe-y in a couple of years. Yeah, the main character is a hip twenty-something, but there's way to get that across and still maintain a semi-understandable narrative. Also, the amount of pop-culture references was a big turn-off. Again, not gonna make sense to readers in 5-10 years and
Ashley Nuckles
I really enjoyed this one! Pablo’s voice is so distinct and honestly really funny sometimes, and although I thought this was going to be more of a romance than it was, I loved reading about him, his family, and his life! Definitely read as a new adult, though!
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
No overhyping of this book worked anyway.

What I liked: the interracial representation, the smooth writing style, the first chapter. What I didn’t like: the rest of the book. It was really unnecessarily long and nothing much is there to get into. I hate the cover with a vengeance.
Clem (the villain's quest)
dnf at 60%

just learnt that depression is one of my triggers. won’t be able to finish this.
Amy Imogene Reads
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was ok

Wow. That narrative voice is intense. I’m not sure how a lot of people are invested in this story as almost half of it are linguistic references and pop culture mishmash that only makes sense if you’re already tuned in to NYC, slang, and internet dialogue.

It almost felt like Pablo was writing out an Instagram description/interior monologue the whole time. Not my jam, and honestly in 5 years this story will read like an outdated Facebook post reads to us now.

I’ve read some other reviews and
I read EMERGENCY CONTACT, Mary H. K. Choi's debut novel, before the era of the blog so believe me when I say I liked elements of it but didn't love it (sidetone, the review is on GR, so feel free to investigate if you feel so inclined). I found the story to be a little dull, though the characters were occasionally vibrant even if I didn't like them, with plenty of Real Issues(tm) to tackle, but overall the story felt a little.. sad. A lot sad. Nonetheless I wanted to give her follow up novel a c ...more
I don’t think it’s a secret that I was {am} borderline obsessed with Emergency Contact and I was so eager to get an arc of PR in my hands...sadly, this wasn’t what I was looking for.

Pablo and Lee are just okay characters. He’s fairly apathetic and she’s so busy it comes across as self-centered. They’re both struggling in their own way and even with that, I couldn’t connect with either of them. There’s a pretty large cast of characters here and no one really stood out for me.

Plot wise, it was b
Anna Luce
DNF at 20%

The protagonist and narrator of Permanent Record is experiencing a woke existential life crisis that could be appreciated or understood only by an American reader.
I started this hoping to read of a 'meet-cute' scenario, with the added twist that one of them is famous (a more modern and 'up to date' version of Notting Hill) but I soon found myself rethinking my expectations.

✖Our narrator is named Pablo Neruda Rind. Yep...just to give those real 'dreamer boy' vibes...

20% in and all our
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Why am I so drawn to beautiful covers and interesting-sounding plots? And why do they deceive me most of the time?

The first book by Mary H.K. Choi, Emergency Contact, was okay, but I was willing to give her another big chance because this book sounded so good. But then it wasn't!
Listen, my main problem with this novel is that it was quite boring. The plot didn't capture my attention and I really could not have cared less about the two main characters, Pablo and Lee. The side-characters, thos
may ❀
this book is like the slight more adult version of Somewhere Only We Know (which i thought was profoundly adorable)

i really liked how we got to zero in on pablo and his daily struggles whether it be about his financial situation, his education choices, or the fact that he is a mixed kid (korean & pakistani) trying to find his identity and where he fits in

i'm not so much interested in the 'famous person' falls for a normie but i think this book did it well. i will admit though, i became increasi
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a delightful slice-of-life contemporary. I loved that our protagonist, Pablo, is college-aged, but has dropped out of college and is trying to figure out what to do next. This was so refreshing and realistic and painfully relatable and just, ugh. So good.
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
Full Review on The Candid Cover

3.5 Stars

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi is an original story about a pop star and a college dropout that is surprisingly meaningful. I enjoyed the premise as well as the blend of entertainment and serious moments, however the main character’s actions really stressed me out. I had high hopes for this book since I enjoyed Emergency Contact, but this one fell a bit flat for me.

This book follows Pablo, an NYU dropout working at a deli, when he meets pop star Leanne
this book has so much goodness in it. I really want to emphasise this point. it made me feel seen as a biracial kid. but it also simply made me feel as a person, someone who lost herself at some point, not knowing what she wanted out of life. I kind of separated this book in three parts in my head, the first part made me incredibly excited about this story, the third part made me fall in love with this book, my only 'problem' was the second part. it felt too much like something I would read in a ...more
˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗
Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars

Danielle (yaallegiance)
I have been DYING to read this book from the moment I heard about it.. and I am so disappointed in this one.

First of all, the insta love in this was absolutely cringeworthy. I get it.. meeting your celebrity crush... you would probably fall into an insta love.. but why was Leanna so interested that quickly?

This story was also way longer than it needed to be and it felt like it dragged on for a while.

There were a couple of scenes that made this book a slightly higher rating, but I could not stan
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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

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