mini reviews for books i read last month

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Today, I’m back with mini reviews of Emergency Contact and The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. As you can probably guess from the blog title, I’m falling behind on writing reviews! But the good news is that I am now 7 books ahead on my Goodreads Reading Challenge. Realizing that I have less than a month until college starts (at which point I won’t have much time to read) has been great motivation. Without further ado, here are the reviews (in bullet point format because why not!). 

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Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

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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.

my thoughts

  • I have way too many mixed feelings about this book. I thought I’d love it and I did..most of the time..but it also wasn’t perfect. 
  • Part of the reason why I enjoyed reading Emergency Contact is because I related to Penny so much. She’s a writer!! She may as well be a unicorn because there are so few YA protagonists who are writers. Also, she’s just starting college at the beginning of the book. Like her, I’ll be studying creative writing in college (in a few months!) so I was extra-interested in the scenes where she was interacting with her professor or sitting in a lecture. (And she’s an #ownvoices Korean American character!) 
  • But Penny is also..painfully awkward. I should probably have expected that since it’s mentioned in the blurb but it’s just…a bit much. I found her more annoying than endearing at times.
  • And I couldn’t bring myself to care much about Sam or the romance. This is more personal preference than anything but I wanted Penny and Sam to remain friends. I wasn’t rooting for them to kiss like I usually do when reading YA books. (Probably because Sam is not exactly..the ideal love interest.)
  • I really liked the structure of this book! It has so many ~ slice-of-life ~ vibes because it focuses on everyday life things. There are quite a few heavy moments because the book addresses issues like addiction and complicated relationships with parents but somehow, it doesn’t get too intense. 
  • The text conversations between Penny and Sam are pretty interesting because they often delve into issues like racism or the characters discuss their desire to pursue their dreams. 

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The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

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Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

my thoughts

  • I listened to an audiobook of The Loneliest Girl in the Universe on Scribd and I can’t recommend it enough. The narration is engaging and it captures Romy’s voice perfectly so that you feel like you’re right with her on the spaceship, experiencing everything. 
  • So Romy immediately falls for J and at first, I found this kind of annoying because she idolizes him. She assumes that he’s perfect and kind and handsome even though she doesn’t actually know that much about him. But then I realized that A) I do the exact same things when I have a crush on someone and B) she’s a romantic just like me! 
  • Romy’s traumatic past haunts her at every step. There are little hints and references to what happened but nothing makes complete sense until Romy is finally forced to confront her past. This is part of the reason why the book is so suspenseful! You don’t know UNTIL YOU DO KNOW and then you feel terrible.. 
  • At first, I got ~ slice of life on a spaceship ~ vibes (if that makes sense) because each chapter is a snapshot of Romy’s day. She discusses maintenance of the spaceship or her desire to write fanfic for her favorite TV show or picking strawberries and making jam. 
  • Which brings me to my other favorite part of the book: THE FANFIC. I liked that it was kind of cliche but still oh so romantic. It made me want to watch the show and fangirl with Romy. 
  • The main reason I’m giving this one five stars is due to the major plot twist that makes the book 10X more interesting and completely wrecks Romy. I was listening to the audiobook while lying on my bed and when this happened, I just sat up because so many things were finally making sense and it was all starting to come together.
  • THAT ENDING JUST CAME OUT OUT OF NOWHERE. Never in a million years could I have predicted that things would turn out that way.
  • I can’t think of anything I didn’t like about this book honestly. IT’S PERFECTION. It lives up to all the hype!! Please go read it! 

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have you read either of these books? do you enjoy listening to audiobooks? what kinds of characters do you like to see in books? tell me everything! 

18 thoughts on “mini reviews for books i read last month

  1. I’ve been wanting to read Lonliest Girl in the Universe, I’ll have to check if my library has it! And I’m not terribly fond of audiobooks, it depends on the narrator. I’ve been meaning to try out more, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I hope your library has it! I know what you mean, some narrators are less engaging than others but I’ve had a good experience listening to most of the audiobooks I’ve tried so far. 🙂 Well that’s okay, I hope you can find the time to listen to some soon.

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  2. I loved Emergency Contact, but understand why you’d find Penny annoying, haha. I related to her so much, though. I didn’t get sparks from her and Sam’s pairing, but I liked them together. I hadn’t heard of Loneliest Girl but after your review, I’m definitely going to seek it out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I’m glad you loved the book! Emergency Contact seems like a popular book – I read a lot of positive reviews of it before starting it. Ooh I hope you like Loneliest Girl! I also haven’t seen many bloggers mention it but it’s such a good book lol. There should be more hype for it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I’m sorry you didn’t love Emergency Contact as much as I did, but I’m glad you still appreciated the conversations via text, these were my favorites ❤ And I LOVED The Loneliest Girl so much, that plot twist was ahhhhhhhhh, so good. 😀
    Wonderful reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, exactly!! I’m pretty bad predicting twists so I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t see this one coming. Also, I was kind of relieved because I think it made the book a lot more interesting and exciting than I initially expected.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great reviews! I hope to read these two soon! I love reading about characters who write or are just creative types so these two books sounds perfect. I also enjoy slice of life stories.

    I’ll try to see if I can get the audiobook for The Loneliest Girl in the Universe. I’ve been listening to a few right now (We Are Okay + Little & Lion both which I recommend). Audiobooks are great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Ooh yes I also love books featuring characters who are creative. Well if you get to listen to The Loneliest Girl in the Universe, I hope you like it too! We Are Okay is one of my favorite books so I’m not surprised to hear the audiobook is good. I haven’t read or listened to Little & Lion yet so I’ll try to remember to check it out. Thanks for the recs! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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