You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to WednesdayBooks and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

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.

I have seen tons of love and excitement for this book online. The premise is something that I feel like I’ve heard a lot, but never actually seen done. After Sam passes away, Julie calls him one last time, and he picks up. I knew it was going to be emotional, so I wasn’t sure when I would feel like I would be able to handle it. Emotional books also make me a bit nervous, because they’re, emotional haha. But, I wanted to give this book a try. Trigger warnings: grief

Wow, this book surprised me in a whole lot of ways. It is truly a beautiful book, all the way down to it’s core.

It’s hard to describe this book, because it something that just connects with something inside you, something that tugs at the strings of your soul and strums.

While reading this book, I was unsure about a couple things. Even until the very end, I was unsure about this a couple things. I thought the writing seemed a bit choppy, and I thought that Julie’s emotional wouldn’t completely land for me. But, after finishing, just, everything connected. Everything connected and I was ripped to shreds.

Just, this book sets out to be emotional. It sets out to be an exploration of grief, and the connection between people. And it does exactly that. I feel like it does exactly what it set out to do, and it just, the feelings that it evokes are so strong. I am being very literal and very earnest when I say that I have not cried this hard over a book before. It is that heart wrenching, and that good.

I love so much about it. Sometimes it is messy, and sometimes it’s uncomfortable, and sometimes it’s happy, and sometimes it’s a million different emotions. Julie is trying to grapple with her grief, with how she is trying to handle it, the rest of her life, her friends, and so much more. There is so much she is trying to sort through. And just, it was all done so well. I loved how she emerged in new ways, and how she grew in others. I loved her.

All the other characters were brilliant as well. I fell in love with pretty much all of them. They all had something to offer, something that made the book so, so much better than it already was.

This book is about the connection that people have, the piece that is left behind and carried on in others. It’s about that love that transcends boundaries, that is so strong that it becomes a piece of a person. Oh gosh, just, wow. I want to sob just thinking about it. Just, it’s so, so good.

I know it’s weird to say this, but this book felt comforting in a way. Comforting in the connection between people, comforting in the love that is shared, comforting in the bonds between people. It’s just a brilliant book.

I love this book so much. I want to cry thinking about it. It’s the softness of a cherry blossom petal and the salt from all the tears I shed. It’s an amazing, spectacular book.

You’ve Reached Sam comes out November 2, 2021! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

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