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    From School Library Journal Gr 9 Up—This debut novel examines modern relationships in the age of smart phones. Penny Lee leaves behind her humdrum high school years and meets her new college roommate Jude, who introduces Penny to her tattooed, mysterious, and sexy young uncle, Sam. After a strange chance encounter, Sam and Penny become each other's emergency contact. Choi creates an up-to-date and realistic contemporary romance by upending the love story trope. Miscues and miscommunications, which often propel romantic plots forward, are replaced by open and constant screen-to-screen communication. The tension exists in the development of the relationship, starting with just texts, and evolving to a multi-platform, 'in real life' friendship. In alternating chapters, Penny and Sam reveal their innermost thoughts. Choi explores love, family issues, identity, loneliness, and acceptance in the context of 24/7 social media. Despite the ever-present contact, deeply connecting with another human being remains remarkably difficult. Choi creates another layer of meaning by addressing the microaggressions that Penny, who is Korean American, faces. The protagonist's response is handled deftly. An internal monologue includes a multiple-choice list of potential reactions to external situations that will ring true with readers and make them appreciate Penny's wry sense of humor and direct approach. VERDICT A highly recommended purchase for the teens who enjoy realistic relationship fiction. Recommended for fans of Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything and Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park.—Eva Thaler-Sroussi, Needham Free Public Library, MA Read more Review “Mary H.K Choi’s Emergency Contact is one of the best debuts of the year and one of the first YA novels to really capture the depth and complexities of a text-based relationship.” (The Globe and Mail)* 'Choi sensitively shows the evolution of two lonely, complicated people who slowly emerge from their shells to risk an intimate relationship. Her sharp wit and skillful character development...ensure that readers will feel that they know Penny and Sam inside and out before the gratifying conclusion.' (Publisher's Weekly - starred review January 1, 2018)'Smart and funny, with characters so real and vulnerable, you want to send them care packages. I loved this book.'    (Rainbow Rowell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fangirl)* 'Choi creates an up-to-date and realistic contemporary romance by upending the love story trope....A highly recommended purchase for the teens who enjoy realistic relationship fiction. Recommended for fans of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park.' (School Library Journal - starred review February 1, 2018)'Readers will swoon over Emergency Contact. Choi has a knack for creating relatable characters, and this quirky, socially awkward love story will keep your cheeks rosy with every page....Emergency Contact is the perfect book for those who root for the underdog and believe that broken people can heal together.' (RT Book Reviews March 1, 2018)'Blushingly tender and piquant...Choi... inserts timely issues like sexual assault, cultural appropriation and even DACA into her characters’ intimate conversations, but it is her examination of digital vs. F2F communication that feels the most immediate.' (The New York Times Book Review March 2, 2018)'Readers who enjoyed the unorthodox evolution of romance in Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything (2015) will like this debut novel.' (Booklist March 7, 2018)'Penny somehow broke down all my walls. Her tech became incidental and her voice endearing, and just like that, I was hooked. Even the texts feel very natural and elegantly woven into the narration.There is much more to both Sam and Penny than quirky character traits and witty repartee....While the story does traffic in the heart flutter of romance that is tantalizingly out of reach, its emotional core goes deep.'   (NPR March 29, 2018)'Whip-smart, hilarious and poignant...Choi's prose is to be savored....Along with the biting wit and sharp observations, Choi's marvelous novel offers a perceptive exercise on the divide between digital and in-person communication - and how daunting it can be to 'escalate' to that face to face encounter.' (The Buffalo News March 29, 2018)'A tender, texting-based teen romance.' (Entertainment Weekly) Read more See all Editorial Reviews


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