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Permanent Record

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  433 ratings  ·  190 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…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)

Community Reviews

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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  433 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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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 are wort
i don't know what i did in a past life to deserve being disappointed by a book i anticipated for over a year, but i assume it was murder. or worse.

review to come / 2.5 stars


turns out the only thing i had to do to be able to read this book was wait.

the worst thing of all.


list of things i would do in exchange for being able to read this book:
- give up cookies for a week. okay 3 days
- reread The Fault in Our Stars
- go without talking about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for as
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!

Feb 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
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
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?

✨ A ✨
Apr 23, 2019 marked it as to-read
Why are her covers so fucking perfect? ✨
alexandra ling
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
Madalyn (Novel Ink)
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
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.
Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
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
michelle (magical reads)
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews, 2019, arcs
4.5 stars

read on my blog

**I received an ARC through Netgalley. These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

To this day I have no inkling as to what I care about the most. I care about everything equally until I care about so many things I get overwhelmed and care about nothing at all. When it comes to the single thing I want to focus the entire rest of my life on, it’s a muscle I don’t know how to flex.

Permanent Record was on my immediate tbr list since I ad
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
♠️ TABI ♠️
Jun 14, 2019 marked it as to-read
this author's contemporary books always have covers that belong in art museums
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
Kate ☀️ Olson
Read for a review publication so I can’t rate or write a review here. BUT, as an independent adult reader, I loved it 😉
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A book that captures the essence of being in your early twenties and also includes some truly inspired snack combinations. Permanent Record is the book I wish I had post-grad for high school and college. It's that nuanced, thoughtful, funny, and heartbreaking-every bit the confusing mix of emotions you feel as you enter adulthood. I can't recommend this book enough.
Aug 18, 2019 added it
Shelves: 2019-releases
I definitely enjoyed this, but my thoughts can be broken down into a few notes:

1) Love the friend group, the MC getting called out on his BS, the really interesting family dynamics, and the NYC setting including a very NYC-reflecting population. It made me feel very old and nostalgic about living in NYC for college for sure.

2) The romance is far more secondary to the MC's character arc being the real story than I would've imagined based on the marketing, which is not a complaint, but like, don't
Tiffany Chiang
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Nina-Tala (JustAddAWord) Shannak
Hi my name is Sad & Disappointed.

Cassandra (Thebookishcrypt)
Review coming soon
Tiffany Chiang
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are times when you read a contemporary novel and finish the book feeling all warm and fuzzy inside after concluding the sweet romance in a happily ever after. Other times, you’ll close the book and sit there for the next few minutes deep in thought. Permanent Record was an introspective story about personal growth, family, and a desire for something better. In comparison to her debut novel, Mary HK Choi’s sophomore novel has a more wistful and mature tone, yet it still presents the same th ...more
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
I'm torn between a 4 and a 5 so this is 4,5 for now. I think I'm not as in love with this one as with Emergency Contact, but this was still brilliant, relatable, raw and real and swoony at times and harsh and filled with incredible characters and so so very real. Mary H.K. Choi, hello, I'm a fan.
Full review coming soon!

A million thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, influenced my thoughts and rating.

My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
My review of Permanent Record is up on my blog now!

I really liked Emergency Contact, but I loved this one. It's all from Pablo's POV, a college dropout who works the graveyard shift at an upscale New York bodega, has a passion for snacks, and no earthly idea what to do with himself. Try to go back to NYU, even though he's drowning in a mountain of credit card debt? Get a better job? Move back in with his mom and little brother? And then one morning, Leanna Smart walks into the bodega, and nothing is the same again. It's the dream scenario, until ...more
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If there ever was a coming of age story that’s equal parts relatable and fantastical, it’s this one.

I really didn’t know if I should read this book. I mean, I was sucker punched in the heart by Emergency Contact to the point of permanent and hopeless unrequited love (how can I Book love you back?). When I heard this book was coming out I got all sorts of excited, and I haven’t felt excited over a new book release since OG Harry Potter days. After reading it, I realized I can’t compare this to EC
Aimal (Bookshelves & Paperbacks)
Pablo Neruda Rind is a Korean-Pakistani, twenty year-old living in New York City. He works the graveyard shift at a bodega in Brooklyn, making just enough money to get by, while he attempts to go back to school. You see, he dropped out of NYU after attending for a year, and now he wants to get back in, never mind that everyone around him thinks it’s a terrible idea because of the state of his finances. And then… a girl walks into his bodega one night – a girl who just so happens to be Leanna Sma ...more
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got the ARC for this at BookCon and I had absolutely no idea what to expect going in. And you know what? IT WAS EXCELLENT. Instant favorite.

Pablo is so New York it’s excellent. His internal monologue is witty, agonizing, frustrating, and punches you right in the ribs. His story feels like every single one of my best friends all threw up on a page, in the best way.

I love him, I want to shake him, and I spent every single page cheering for him. This book made me laugh out loud, and almost cry,
Apr 23, 2019 marked it as to-read
i will give you a chance
now i command thee....

Feb 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
I can't get over the beauty of the cover.

Lucien Welsh
Feb 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
2019.02.15 - I AM SCREAMING I LOVE THIS COVER!!! Emergency Contact was one of my favourite reads of 2018 and I'm so freaking hyped.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it liked it
While I sped through this book—the writing is addicting, as is the burgeoning relationship that Choi writes between Pablo and Lee—by the end, I realized two things:
a) nothing much had happened
b) it all moved so fast

There is a plot here. One that is very minimal for the first two-thirds of the book, as we simply bear witness to Pablo and Lee's relationship. And while I appreciated these sweet moments, I felt that after a certain point, I wanted something more to happen. It took too long, in my ey
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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
“Trying to get better at the thing you want to be the best at is humiliating.” 1 likes
“Here's what I want to know about school. Everyone assumes kids are bad at decisions, right? So why would anyone let an eighteen-year-old kid pick what they want to do in college?” 0 likes
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