You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao | Book Review

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You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao | Book ReviewYou've Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group on November 9, 2021
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Diversity & Multicultural, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Pages: 304
Format: eARC, Hardcover
Source: Library, Publisher
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Goodreads
four-stars

An Instant New York Times Bestseller!

If I Stay meets Your Name in Dustin Thao's You've Reached Sam, a heartfelt novel about love and loss and what it means to say goodbye.

Seventeen-year-old Julie Clarke has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city; spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes.

Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his belongings, and tries everything to forget him. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces memories to return. Desperate to hear him one more time, Julie calls Sam's cell phone just to listen to his voice mail recording. And Sam picks up the phone.

The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam's voice makes Julie fall for him all over again and with each call, it becomes harder to let him go.

What would you do if you had a second chance at goodbye?

A 2021 Kids' Indie Next List Selection
A Cosmo.com Best YA Book Of 2021
A Buzzfeed Best Book Of November
A Goodreads Most Anticipated Book

Who doesn’t like closing out the year on a sad book? You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao is a debut young adult book about grief and letting go. So, naturally, this was the book I wanted to end my year with. I had also seen a TikTok about this book which convinced me that I needed to move it right up my TBR. Plus, I just find the cover stunning.

Julie is the main character of You’ve Reached Sam. She dated Sam for three years. When Sam dies as a result of a car accident, Julie is overcome with grief. However, her grief finds her making all kinds of mistakes – not checking in with certain people, getting rid of all traces of Sam. It is so hard for Julie to move on. Plus, some people are blaming Julie for Sam’s death. Overcome with everything that has happened, Julie decides to give Sam a call. She knows he won’t pick up as he is dead. Only, Sam actually does pick up. And so, Julie gets one more chance to say goodbye through her calls with Sam which eventually will come to an end.

Dustin Thao’s debut really spoke to me. I have not ever experienced the type of loss that Julie does, thankfully, yet I just felt so much empathy for her. She has all these grand plans and with Sam’s death they go up in smoke. Julie has to recalibrate and figure out her next moves. Then we have the complication of being able to speak to Sam on the phone but not tell anyone about it. You’ve Reached Sam is absolutely not plot driven – but very emotion based.

For me, I felt the grief and the quiet wafting right off the pages. I think that this book is for readers who enjoy quiet and thoughtful reads. This is not for people who need a high octane plot and action action action. The character study into Julie and her growth is what drives this book and for me personally made this book such a strong choice to end my reading year.


four-stars
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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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