ARC Review: You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Hi, readers! I read You’ve Reached Sam way back in April and somehow convinced myself that I’d already shared my review when, in fact, I never did. So, since it published this week, I thought I’d share now!

You’ve Reached Sam follows Julie, a high-school girl who is trying to come to terms with the loss of her long-term boyfriend and the unravelling of all of the plans that they had for the future. Her mourning takes a sudden turn, though, when she calls Sam’s phone in a moment of weakness and he actually picks up.

What follows is a heart-wrenching story of love and loss, and an emotional portrayal of a young woman dealing with grief and the urge to move on.

This book is as emotional as you’d expect it to be. It’s completely filled with touching scenes about Sam and Julie’s relationship, heart-breaking moments of grief as she tries to cope with her loss, and touching friendships with Sam’s family and friends as they all struggle to move on in different ways. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to cry for the majority of the time you’re reading (I personally cried during the very first chapter…) so, if you want a book that will break your heart, this is a solid choice.

Some of Julie’s actions are flawed and, normally, I would criticise a protagonist for their mistakes, but everything she does is because of her grief and mourning and that really comes across throughout. I got frustrated when she missed opportunities that I wished she would take, but it was so understandable for someone in her position that, instead of being critical, I felt largely empathetic.

This was a really bittersweet, emotional story about young love, loss and figuring out what’s important in life. It’s a poignant contemporary with fantasy elements that I would absolutely recommend if you’re looking for a book to make you cry.

Rating: 4/5

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