You've reached Sam

Dustin Thao

Book - 2021

Seventeen-year-old Julie fell in love with Sam the day she met him, and planned to attend college with him; but Sam died, and getting rid of his things, trying to erase him from her life is not working, so desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls his cellphone expecting to hear his voicemail--but then Sam answers, and suddenly their cellphones become the living connection between them, a connection Julie finds impossible to let go.

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Thao, Dustin
1 / 2 copies available
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Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Thao, Dustin Due Aug 24, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Magic realist fiction
Fantasy fiction
Romance fiction
Young adult fiction
Published
New York : Wednesday Books 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
296 pages ; 22 cm
Audience
Ages 12-18.
ISBN
9781250762030
1250762030
9781250836748
1250836743
Main Author
Dustin Thao (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Rocked by the death of her boyfriend, Sam, in a car accident, Julie's life is slowly disintegrating. So many of her dreams had included Sam and getting out of her tiny town. She's tried to cope by eliminating all traces of Sam from her life, like mix CDs and the clothes he'd left at her house. But even that doesn't make the pain go away. So at her absolute lowest, she dials the number to his voicemail box to hear him speak one more time. Only, Sam picks up. Together, they try to better understand the final hours of Sam's life and how both he and Julie can move on. Thao skillfully marries a quiet, elegiac novel about grief with a provocative sf conceit. Julie's emotions swing from guilt to anger to profound sorrow as she processes Sam's death, portraying her story with the delicate authenticity that it requires. Her conflict about whether to tell others about Sam's calls propels the story forward to a haunting, yet hopeful, resolution. A poignant and moving read. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—When Sam dies in a car crash during his senior year of high school, his girlfriend, Julie, finds her life and the future plans they were supposed to share completely upended. She tries to forget Sam by avoiding his funeral and many memorials, and even goes as far as to throw away everything she had that was related to him. In a moment of desperation and regret, she dials his phone number, hoping to hear his voice on his outgoing message. But Sam answers the call. He is still dead, but because of a mysterious connection between their phones, they are able to speak to each other. As the story progresses, Julie buries her grief as she refuses to let go of Sam. It isn't until she realizes that she is hurting her friends and Sam's family by pulling away that she considers that the connection may not be entirely a good thing. Although an interesting exploration of grief, the slow pace and ambiguity of the situation, as well as the time it takes Julie to grow, make the story drag. Sam is Japanese, and cultural references and anti-Asian sentiment are incorporated deftly and sensitively. Secondary characters are diverse and unique, but there may have been too many for Thao to manage successfully. VERDICT While this is an interesting take on a person's struggle to let go of a lost loved one, there are better examples of books dealing with grief. An additional purchase.—Erica Deb, Matawan Aberdeen P.L., NJ Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After her boyfriend, Sam, dies, Julie gets a second chance at goodbye but finds it hard to keep these otherworldly calls a secret, especially when she witnesses the suffering his family is going through. 75,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Seventeen-year-old Julie fell in love with Sam the day she met him, and planned to attend college with him; but Sam died, and getting rid of his things, trying to erase him from her life is not working, so desperate to hear his voice one more time, Juliecalls his cellphone expecting to hear his voicemail--but then Sam answers, and suddenly their cellphones become the living connection between them, a connection Julie finds impossible to let go.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

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 SelectionA Cosmo.com Best YA Book Of 2021A Buzzfeed Best Book Of NovemberA Goodreads Most Anticipated Book