Skip to Main Content

From New York Times bestselling author Mary H.K. Choi comes a funny and emotional story about two estranged sisters and how far they’ll go to save one of their lives—even if it means swapping identities.

Jayne and June Baek are nothing alike. June’s three years older, a classic first-born, know-it-all narc with a problematic finance job and an equally soulless apartment (according to Jayne). Jayne is an emotionally stunted, self-obsessed basket case who lives in squalor, has egregious taste in men, and needs to get to class and stop wasting Mom and Dad’s money (if you ask June). Once thick as thieves, these sisters who moved from Seoul to San Antonio to New York together now don’t want anything to do with each other.

That is, until June gets cancer. And Jayne becomes the only one who can help her.

Flung together by circumstance, housing woes, and family secrets, will the sisters learn more about each other than they’re willing to confront? And what if while helping June, Jayne has to confront the fact that maybe she’s sick, too?

Photograph (c) Aaron Richter

Mary H.K. Choi is a writer for The New York TimesGQWired, and The Atlantic. She has written comics for Marvel and DC, as well as a collection of essays called Oh, Never Mind. Her novels Emergency Contact and Permanent Record were New York Times bestsellers. She is the host of Hey, Cool Job!, a podcast about jobs, and Hey, Cool Life!, a podcast about mental health and creativity. Mary grew up in Hong Kong and Texas and now lives in New York. Follow her on Twitter @ChoitotheWorld. 

PRAISE FOR PERMANENT RECORD

“Choi has a real gift for creating a character so real and complex that she can crack his psyche open like a melon and pick through all the gnarly seeds.”

– NPR

“Captivating, with quotable one-liners pinging on every page.”

– The New York Times

"Choi has penned a smart and funny read that is as much about finding your path as it is about falling in love...Choi’s specificity, realistic dialogue, and humor ensure that the personal and romantic journeys feel warm and rewarding, but never saccharine."

– Booklist, starred review

"Choi provides a lively cast of characters...[and] the rising action—filled with conflict, captivating events, and authentic-sounding, often humorous dialogue—will win readers, and teens like Pablo, who are unsure who they want to be, will relate to his dilemmas."

– Publishers Weekly

"Choi pulls from themes in her previous book, Emergency Contact, and has created a compelling and quirky tale of love and negotiating early adulthood in New York City."

– School Library Journal

PRAISE FOR EMERGENCY CONTACT

"Blushingly tender and piquant."

– The New York Times

* "Choi creates an up-to-date and realistic contemporary romance by upending the love story trope....A highly recommended purchase for the teens who enjoy realistic relationship fiction. Recommended for fans of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park."

– School Library Journal, starred review

"Readers who enjoyed the unorthodox evolution of romance in Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything (2015) will like this debut novel."

– Booklist

"Penny somehow broke down all my walls. Her tech became incidental and her voice endearing, and just like that, I was hooked. Even the texts feel very natural and elegantly woven into the narration.There is much more to both Sam and Penny than quirky character traits and witty repartee....While the story does traffic in the heart flutter of romance that is tantalizingly out of reach, its emotional core goes deep."

– NPR

"Whip-smart, hilarious and poignant...Choi's prose is to be savored....Along with the biting wit and sharp observations, Choi's marvelous novel offers a perceptive exercise on the divide between digital and in-person communication - and how daunting it can be to 'escalate' to that face to face encounter."

– The Buffalo Newss

"A tender, texting-based teen romance."

– Entertainment Weekly

"The sweetest book I read this year."

– Cosmopolitan

"Emergency Contact is a sharp, funny, and adorable young-adult romance, but it’s also a pretty great story about two people living with differing levels of anxiety...you’ll relate to the characters in this book, and you’ll root for them, too."

– The Cut

More books from this author: Mary H. K. Choi