Please note that this event will be held in our cafe space on the first floor of the bookstore. Joining Mary in conversation will be Jenna Wortham, award-winning journalist for The New York Times Magazine and co-host of the Still Processing podcast.
From debut author Mary H.K. Choi comes a compulsively readable novel that shows young love in all its awkward glory—perfect for fans of Eleanor & Park and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
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.
Mary H.K. Choi is a culture correspondent at VICE News. Prior to joining VICE, Choi was a writer for Wired, GQ, and The New York Times, where she covered tech, fashion, and pop culture. She has written comic books for Marvel and DC, and is the host of Hey, Cool Job!—a podcast about jobs. Cool ones. Emergency Contact is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter at @ChoitotheWorld.