You’ve Reached Sam

Dustin Thao. Wednesday, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-76203-0
In Thao’s uneven debut, white high school senior and aspiring writer Julie Clarke must find a way to navigate her future after the death of her Japanese American boyfriend, Sam Obayashi, a big dreamer and music lover who died tragically one night while on his way to pick her up. After skipping his funeral and getting rid of most of his things in an attempt to move forward, she calls his phone one last time—and is stunned when he answers. Though Sam only knows that he’s “somewhere,” he is sure that if he ever calls Julie and she doesn’t pick up, their connection will end forever. Thao smartly keeps the logistics vague, effectively depicting Julie’s grieving process and her attempts to balance staying connected to Sam while being present for friends for whom his death is final—including Sam’s cousin Mika and best friend Oliver. While some secondary story lines—one exploring Julie’s mother’s paranoia and another involving Sam’s younger brother—are underdeveloped, the unique premise and authentic depiction of grief holds plenty of appeal. Ages 12–up. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/30/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-250-83674-8
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