Emergency Contact

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi
Mary H. K. Choi
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Mar 1, 2023

Title: Emergency Contact
Author: Mary H.K. Choi
Genre: Realistic Fiction

“Loving something was traumatizing… Everything precious was also vulnerable” (Choi 381).

Emergency Contact explores the effect of childhood trauma on adult relationships and the presence of the Internet in regards to meeting new people. Penny Lee is a freshman at college when she meets Sam, her roommate's ex-step-uncle. She instantly finds him attractive, but is told by her roommate not to pursue anything, especially since he has a girlfriend. In actuality, Sam is going through a tumultuous break-up when he hears that his ex-girlfriend is pregnant with his baby. After Sam has a panic attack on the side of the street due to the stress of this situation, Penny spots him and helps him out, putting her number in his phone as his “Emergency Contact” in case he ever needs someone to help him again. Their relationship quickly grows, but stays limited to texting conversations and eventual phone calls as they listen to each other’s life stories, trauma, and goals in life. Through this new chapter of both of their lives, they find themselves wanting more, but unsure if the risk of meeting again is worth giving up the protection guaranteed by their phones.

I have always found it difficult to give romance-centered books a rating above 3.5 stars, and while I can’t say this book is the exception to that rule, it did stand out through its heavy emphasis on female friendships and tumultuous relationships with family. It expresses thoughts and ideas past the dynamic between the two main characters, and if you are someone who enjoys the journey of finding yourself just as much as a healthy romance, then this book is perfect for you. I will give a warning that it is obviously a more modern type of book, with mentions of texting and the Internet, so if you are someone who does not enjoy that in novels, I would not recommend it.

Written by
Lillian F.

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