by Mary H.K. Choi
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
EMERGENCY CONTACT by Mary H.K. Choi follows Penny Lee’s first year of college in Austin, Texas. An aspiring writer, Penny is excited to finally leave behind her high school years and start fresh in a new environment. Meanwhile, Sam works at a coffee shop and is struggling to get by, much less work towards his dreams of directing movies. Through texts and the dual-perspective aspect of the novel, readers follow the timeline of Penny and Sam’s relationship throughout the novel.
We found this to be a good, if a tad cluttered, first novel from the author. While Choi’s ambitious attempts to tackle many subject matters were generally successful, they fell flat at others. We would have liked to have see some aspects of the novel developed more, such as Sam’s relationship with his mother and some of Penny’s pre-college experiences. However, Choi did a good job of addressing diversity and it was easy to connect with the two main characters and their natural-feeling relationship. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and we recommend this for people looking for an uplifting story told in a unique way!
*Trigger warning for sexual assault.