Book Review

Emergency Contact Review

Emergency Contact was a spur of the moment purchase, it sounded interesting, but I hadn’t committed to it and then suddenly I made the decision to preorder it and that was that.

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Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

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Warning, I usually avoid spoilers as much as possible in my reviews but this one may include some. I will still try to keep them to a minimum.

I am not the biggest fan of contemporary books, and if I do read them I tend to prefer more “magical realism” or something like that, which this does not have. However, the idea of having an “emergency contact” for panic attacks was a lovely thing (I think it is one of the things that made me preorder this book, not sure but it definitely would’ve since I have had panic attacks).

And both Sam and Penny aren’t perfect, are struggling and are learning to be “adults”, so it was refreshing to read from them, and hey look at that, the parents aren’t conveniently out of the way as such (yes it happens while Penny is in college/university but her mum is definitely a big part in this story).

I was shook when Penny’s “secret” was revealed, not because it was a bad secret but rather because it touched me as I had gone through something similar and I could understand her too well.

All in all, the book left me feeling happy to be alive, wanting to fall in love slowly and just needing an emergency contact.

Moon recommends

Reading Emergency Contact, I literally said to my friends they had to read it because it was so good! Another good book that is contemporary and gave me similar vibes is When My Heart Joins The Thousand, so I recommend reading it if this sounds interesting.

 

 

Book Review

Windfall Review

This was lent to me by Nikki and I grabbed it last weekend for a quick read. It did not disappoint on that front.

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Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. 

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. 

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined . . . and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

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On the quick read front, if definitely was a quick read, and easy to read. Nothing complicated, nothing too difficult. On the other hand, there wasn’t anything wow to leave me wanting more or really anything like it.

It is a brilliant filler and a good “I don’t want to think and just need a nice book to read, thank you very much”.

Teddy wins the loterry thanks to a ticket Alice gets him, and as much as the premise here says about an adventure, most of the book isn’t exactly that. It is more a “we are all trying to figure ourselves out because this whole money thing has changed things and also college and life”.

One of the things that frustrated me a little is that I didn’t really want Alice to end up with Teddy. As Swayer says, he doesn’t deserve her. And it was frustrating to see him hurt her then apologise and everything is fine and all good. No, that is not good, that can become toxic, please don’t do that.

However, one of the things I really liked is the relationships between all characters. Teddy and his mother, Teddy and his gambling father. Alice and her uncle and aunt. Alice and Leo. Leo and Max. It is interesting.

Moon recommends

This book felt a little along the lines of Here We Are Now or Everything, Everything, easy reads that are more about relationships between family and friends or boy/girl so any fo them will do nicely.

PS. I don’t have lottery tickets so YALC queue tickets is all I had…

Book Review

Here We Are Now Review

This lovely book was provided to me through bookbridgr. So here is my honest review.

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Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga

Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she’d ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense – kinda – because Julian Oliver is Taliah’s father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.

Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father – her grandfather – who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother’s trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.

With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her ‘father’ and her family. But Julian isn’t the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother’s past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.

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The premise of this book is relationships. And in that aspect it excels. It touches on friendships (between Taliah and Harlow), f/f (Harlow and Quinn), what happens when your best and only friend has a girlfriend, mother/daughter (both for Taliah and for Lena, Taliah’s mother), father/son (Julian and Tom, and in a smaller way Toby), father/daughter (Julian/Taliah). It is all in all packed full of the complexity of family and friends, and it is fun to read but also emotional.

However, it starts full of questions, and ends full of questions (different ones to the ones at the beginning) which was not great. The reveals made the ending feel rushed and too open. It left you with more questions than you started with and it isn’t exactly like this is planned as a series.

It was a quick read and I loved the music aspect of it and the whole “dreams and who you are” exploration too.

Moon recommends

I am not a big reader of contemporary mostly because I’d rather escape to another world, but in a way this reminded me a tiny bit of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, so I’d suggest you read that one and if you have, why not read Here We Are Now?

PS. The props used are not sponsored, they just are the ones I had nearest to me when I took this picture.