At times funny, emotional & poignant story of friendship, love and piecing yourself after the death of a toxic relationship.
by Mary HK Choi
Emergency contact was surprisingly heavy. At least, from Sam’s perspective, that is. He’s practically homeless if not for his generous employer who lets him room in a place no bigger than a closet. His life hasn’t been a walk in the park since day one. His mom went through men and had long since become an alcoholic who could care less if Sam survives childhood. The only saving grace he ever got from his mom’s doomed relationships was the friendship of his step-niece.
But life is not through with him yet. His on again and off again relationship was on its last breath – however desperate he might be to hold on. His ex-walks back into his life with news that she might be pregnant. And so it goes. He was drowning.
Penny Lee, on the other hand, wants to escape for a different reason altogether. Her life is a doldrum circle of school, having a relationship with a boy who knows nothing about her, and living with a mom who has the entire world in the palm of her hands. She’s a good mom, by anybody’s standards. She just doesn’t know how to be a mother to Penny.
Penny & Sam would start a texting friendship that begins when Penny saves Sam. And at the end of the book, Sam will save Penny back.
This book did not lack for bouts of aggravation. I had to be patient and generous. And while my heart went out for Sam, I also wanted to knock his head on the wall for not recognizing how desperate – and not in a good way – he was being.
And then there’s Penny. I really don’t understand why she was mad at her mom. Celeste tried her best to be the best mom for Penny but I felt like she never gave her mother a chance. The lack of communication on Penny’s part frustrated me. Celeste couldn’t possibly know what Penny wanted if she doesn’t speak up. And ignoring her mom’s calls and text messages just made it worst. It felt like she was dead set on widening the gap.
But after everything is said in done, this book eventually won my heart. I love the maturity they both went through and recognizing the part they played in the ennui of their respective relationships. Overall, you have to wade through all the rough parts till you get to the good parts of Emergency Contact. Just be patient, and you’ll discover a good, unflinching story about relationships and how easy it was to lose oneself to another if we’re not careful.