I’m noting that a frustrating thing about audiobooks is I can’t highlight passages. Realizing that Goodreads preserves my highlights beyond the term of a library loan has been revolutionary for me so I really feel that it’s missing in an audiobook. Ah well.
For this book, though, I find it’s rare that a cover matches its book so well. There’s something about the soft pink cover and simple line illustration style, the way Penny and Sam are drawn in such close proximity but the lack of background implies they could still be miles apart. It’s a little bit sad, a little bit sweet, and it just fits.
Emergency Contact is about two young people and the relationship that builds between them. The chapters alternate between each of their perspectives (and the audiobook cleverly drives that home with separate narrators). Penny is a college freshmen, excited to be even this hour from her hometown with the chance to maybe be someone new. Sam is an aspiring documentary filmmaker, only a few years older but working through life on his own. They build a friendship via nearly-nonstop text but of course they can’t stay in each other’s respective phone for forever.
To be completely honest, I think with a few tweaks this book could have sidestepped the romance and been just as good. The friendship they build is really something beautiful and there was a good exploration of the things we can say more easily in a text than we can in person. I would have loved to learn more about where Sam’s movie was going or about Penny’s development of herself as a college student. Penny reconnecting with her mother felt to me like the true climax of the book anyway.
It also reminded me to call my mom.