Huge thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for giving me an ARC of You’ve Reached Sam!
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Average Rating on Goodreads: 3.89
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Julie 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 things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail.
And Sam picks up the phone.
In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call, it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever.
This was a book I requested from Netgalley for two reasons:
1) THE COVER. I mean come on. That is the most beautiful cover I have ever seen. The contrast between the two characters and the sketches of the main characters are absolutely STUNNING.
2) The Synopsis. I was really intrigued about the concept of being able to talk to someone on the phone after they die. I knew going into this one that it would be packed with grief and heartbreak.
Even though I requested this a while ago, I knew it would be a book that I would have to mentally prepare myself to read. Apparently, yesterday was the day I felt best equipped!
What I Liked
- This was a fast read. It only took me about two hours to read the book from start to finish. I should have been doing homework after work (dang grad school!) but I choose to ignore that responsibility and read this book in one sitting instead!
- The main character Julie was extremely relatable for me. It reminded me of my high school relationship and a lot of the feelings she felt I understood.
- Julie’s arc was also satisfying. I felt the book came to a solid conclusion that made sense.
- Julie’s friends were a fun aspect to the book (although I do wish we could’ve gotten more of them)
What I Disliked
- Unlikeable side characters are WAY too one-dimensional. I mean, these people were Sam’s friends and they were given ZERO redeemable qualities. It made me wonder why on earth Sam was friends with them in the first place. Made me view Sam as less of a person sadly.
- The story takes place too quickly after his death. I think one week was a little too soon. One month might have made the timing seem more accurate. Julie went through five stages of grief in what felt like two days.
- Sam was also one-dimensional. I understand he’s dead, so it’s all through Julie’s point of view, but I still felt like he was lacking something.
While this was not a five-star read for me, I still enjoyed You’ve Reached Sam. It was relatable, heart-crushing, but also satisfying. I think with more development of side characters I would have enjoyed this more, but I also understand how that could take away from the story (I just really love my side characters) Sam was also too underdeveloped for me to care about Sam and Julie’s relationship–I think also his friends’ ability to never be kind tainted my view of Sam too. Take away those two things though and you have a powerful story about a girl navigating grief. If you are looking for a story like that, this is definitely the book for you.
I gave it ⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of five stars using the CAWPILE system developed by Book Roast.