Review: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Review: Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. ChoiTitle: Emergency Contact
Author: Mary H.K. Choi
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 27, 2018

four-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

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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Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi is the kind of book that really makes you feel for the characters. Angsty yet adorable, this book is about two people who are each other’s emergency contact. I enjoyed the relatable main characters and the use of texts throughout the book. This story surprised me, and I would definitely recommend it. Continue reading

Review: Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle

Review: Together at Midnight by Jennifer CastleTitle: Together at Midnight
Author: Jennifer Castle
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 2, 2018

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

What does it really mean to be kind . . . and why does it sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world to do? High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, struggle with these questions when they witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets.

Kendall and Max can’t deny their growing bond, even though they both have other romantic entanglements and uncertain futures. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, will they find themselves together at midnight?

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As 2018 draws to a close, what better read to end off with than Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle? This book is so touching as it tells the story of two people doing random acts of kindness at New Year’s. I enjoyed the main characters and their complexity, and the short chapters from the people they help add depth to the story. Fans of books like Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares will love this influential story. Continue reading

Review: Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

Review: Learning to Swear in America by Katie KennedyTitle: Learning to Swear in America
Author: Katie Kennedy
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: July 5, 2016

four-half-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Brimming with humor and one-of-a-kind characters, this end-of-the world novel will grab hold of Andrew Smith and Rainbow Rowell fans.

An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth. A big, bad one. Yuri, a physicist prodigy from Russia, has been called to NASA as they calculate a plan to avoid disaster. He knows how to stop the asteroid: his research in antimatter will probably win him a Nobel prize--if there's ever another Nobel prize awarded. But Yuri's 17, and having a hard time making older, stodgy physicists listen to him. Then he meets Dovie, who lives like a normal teenager, oblivious to the impending doom. Being with her, on the adventures she plans when he's not at NASA, Yuri catches a glimpse of what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.

Prepare to laugh, cry, cringe, and have your mind burst open with questions of the universe.

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I had been dying to read Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy for the longest time, and it is safe to say that it lived up to my expectations. This book is so original as it tells the story of a young physicist trying to save the world, and the main character has got to be up there with my favourites. As well, the side characters enhanced my enjoyment. I would definitely recommend this book as it is amusing, profound, and wholesome at the same time. Continue reading