Cover Image: You've Reached Sam

You've Reached Sam

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Member Reviews

This story is one that I knew would be heartbreaking from the beginning. But it’s also a kind of cathartic read. It’s a story that really explores grief and how people deal with it in such a varying amount of ways.
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Thank you to Wednesday Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

You've Reached Sam follows Julie after her boyfriend, Sam, a Japanese-American high school senior, dies in a car crash. They'd had all these plans for their futures, and with him gone, Julie doesn't know how to move on.

Until she calls his phone and he picks up. 

This was so utterly sweet and heartbreaking. My goodness if you need a good, long cry is this the book from you. Right out of page 1, You've Reached Sam hits you in the feels.

For a debut, this is just so beautifully written. There aren't enough YA books that talk about grief, and this one does it so well. It's touching, seeing Julie learn to navigate life while also trying to learn how to say goodbye. 

It's a hard book to read, but harder still to put down. Do yourself a favor and preorder it!
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Sadly this didn’t live up to premise of the book. I saw this labelled as “Your Name” inspired, which is one of my favourite films of all time, and I’m sorry to say this didn’t contain even half the magic. 

I don’t want to be to critical considering this is the author’s debut novel, but this ended up being quite bland. I didn’t really care for the romance, and the main character was kind of frustrating to read from.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for this eArc in exchange for an honest review. 

I’m currently sobbing writing this…thanks for hurting me.
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When I say I was terrified to read this book, I meant it. I knew it would hurt so much, and I don’t know why I do this to myself. It hurt my heart to its core, but it was so good. I never know how to process books about grief because I always feel them so deeply, and this was no exception. Julie trying to learn how to let go of Sam and move on without allowing herself to process her grief but then getting a second chance to say goodbye? Like what? It was so much in the best way and my heart may never recover. I’m going to go cry again.
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DNF. I really liked the premise but the writing did not work for me at all. It wouldn't be fair to the book if I finished reading and gave it a low rating.
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I was excited to read this based on the premise. I expected it to be sad but it's actually somewhat sadder than I thought. It took me awhile to get into the book--I did not warm to the narrator for quite awhile. The detached style of writing was somewhat difficult for me too but it works for the main character, who has detached herself from her old life and the people in it and is somewhat numb from grief. So it works for the character and the setting it just took a bit to get used to it. 
I liked the side characters, expecially Mika, Sam's cousin. 

it wasn't quite what I expected but it was an interesting book
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Wow... I am obsessed! The writing was relatable, thoughtful, and just beautiful. I loved all the characters and their development throughout the story. The shift in energy and emotions while reading were great. I swear I felt all the raw, heartbreaking emotions as our main character Julie was feeling them. I laughed and cried, like ugly cried, and it was amazing! Read this book if you want to be emotionally destroyed in the best possible way! Yes, yes, yes 1000× YES! Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.
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A beautiful YA novel that touches on issues and feelings of grief, loss, and coping. This is decidedly a YA novel and the characters act, think, and speak like teens so I feel like it will resonate more with readers currently in that age group. Overall a good read, but I would recommend it to YA lovers particularly.
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This book will speak to your soul and, if you've ever lost someone, tell you the messages you always wished you heard. The book is notably YA, with characters who act their age. They are all experiencing grief in their own ways, and may sometimes not be likeable as they try to cope, but they will feel real. 
For me, the focus wasn't on the details of the magic, but on the relationships and love and loss, and finally getting closure however that looks. 
If you want an emotional read that will help you remember the love associated with loss, this is the book for you.
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This was definitely a tear jerker. Parts of it seemed to drag on with Sams death but started pickup back up around 73% it was heartbreaking to read and definitely makes you tear up.
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Loved this little gem of a book much!!! Dustin Thao is a debut author who i will for sure be new keeping an eye out for, because this was just amazing! :))
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4.25 stars rounded down
tysm to st. martin's press and netgalley for the digital ARC :D 

you've reached sam was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021 so i was ectastic to receive this ARC. no joke, i actually flailed around and nearly knocked a music stand over. and it's safe to say that i adored this book. 

this book isn't my usual genre. i'm usually a romance fan and grief stories aren't something i usually pick up. but i don't regret this read at all. ultimately, this novel is about love and loss. but we also see themes of healing and friendship. 

julie's journey was so painfully realistic. healing isn't linear, there are ups and downs and we could see that with her healing. it was such a messy and painful process but it made the end result worth it. i think she was a realistic MC. she wasn't that likeable imo but i understand that she was grieving, so i don't really fault that against the author (or julie) at all. 

the pacing of this book was great. it started off very sudden but instead of falling flat like some stories do, it built off the initial start and kept the pace going. i did feel like the ending did kind of disappoint me. it felt kind of anticlimactic, especially since i had so much suspense throughout the book (how did sam die? why do they have a connection? etc etc). 

though the ending was anticlimactic, it did hit emotionally. especially the last few chapters. it was a satisfying ending, all things considered. 

i'd recommend this to those who love emotional, character-driven stories. the growth we see from all the characters is amazing and i think this is a must-read for those that prefer character-driven stories over plot-driven stories.
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The writing in this book destroyed me. I spent half an hour sobbing over the last few chapters. You've Reached Sam is heartbreaking and beautifully written.
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The following review has been posted on Goodreads as of September 13:

I was initially skeptical about <i>You’ve Reached Sam</i>; grief stories are always very hit-or-miss for me, and the last few I’ve read were ones I didn’t like at all. This one managed to hit me hard, though. Julie’s late boyfriend Sam has passed away after being involved in a car crash, and Julie has been stuck at home, stricken by grief. She’s been unable to get herself to attend Sam’s funeral—or any other event to commemorate his death—which has angered some of their mutual friends. When one day, sick with grief, she tries to reach Sam’s phone, he unexpectedly picks up, and she has a whole new form of grief to deal with. I usually write longer reviews, but I think readers really need to go into this book knowing not much more than that. It offers such a tender look into Julie’s messy grieving process, and it follows her as she learns to say goodbye to Sam and (re)connects with both old and new friends. I’d say get your tissues ready and pick this one up when it comes out in November if you need a good cathartic cry.
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*eARC provided by netgalley and the publishers for an honest review*

Julie and Sam have their future all planned out, from the college they’re gonna go to, to the apartment they’re gonna live in, to vacations and traveling all over the world with Julie as a successful author and Sam and his musical career. Until one night by a tragic turn of events, Sam passes away. Grief stricken and helpless, Julie struggles to accept the death of Sam, especially when, after a particularly rough night a few weeks after when she essentially hits rock bottom, she calls his phone, and he picks up. 

Trying to wrap her head around it especially since she cannot tell her friends or anyone about Sam’s phone calls in fear of their connection getting lost and struggling to believe it’s actually real, Julie has to move on and accept Sam’s death all while trying to graduate, finish high school and deal with her relationships with her friends and family especially since Sam's phonecalls are apparently costing him much more than he's letting on. 

This was a wonderful story about love, death, grief and most prominently friendship and acceptance. I’m pretty sure I started crying during the prologue and kept tearing up until the end. I highly suggest you pick this up for a character driven plot and if you're in the mood for a good cry, you will not be disappointed.
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I was really interested going into this book because of the interesting premise and it definitely was like it’s synopsis said, if you’re looking for a short cute and sad read then this is for you. Overall I liked the book, there were some good moments and I liked the ending but I felt like a few things were left unanswered (some on purpose) and some things felt like they would lead up to something bigger but just didn’t, other than that I enjoyed it.
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Thank you to Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This was so sad and I am just a ball of feels.

Julie and Sam had their whole future planned out together, but when Sam dies in a car accident, Julie doesn't know how to pick up the pieces he left behind. Julie attempts to completely forget him, throws out all his stuff and skips his funeral. But then desperate to hear his voice again, she calls his voicemail only for Sam to pick up. The two have a second chance at goodbye but how can Julie let him go again?

I really enjoyed this exploration of grief. As Julie goes through her grieving, she slowly becomes aware of how Sam's death has affected her friends and family around her. The characters in this story show how grief is different for everyone and that whatever you are feeling because of grief is 100% valid. I only wish we saw this grace given to Julie, by herself or her friends. That and we go a whole book about different ways of grieving and NEVER is grief counseling mentioned? Make it make sense.

Julie was a character I was always rooting for even if she made me frustrated at times. Her unwillingness to let Sam go kept me enthralled even though I knew she had for her own sake. This book is messy, but it's full of love and hope for the future. If you want a good cry, definitely pick this one up.

Rep: female MC (unspecified ethnicity), Japanese-American male love interest, achillean Thai male side character, Vietnamese female side character, Japanese-American female side character, achillean (gay coded) male side character.

CWs: Bullying, child death, death, grief. Moderate: racism, underage alcohol consumption, car accident.
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✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✧
4/5 Stars

Synopsis: After Julie’s boyfriend Sam dies, she struggles to move on and shuts down. Deciding she wants to hear Sam’s voice one last time, she calls his phone and expects to get his voicemail. But instead he answers the phone. We follow Julie trying to figure out how to deal with the fact that she can now talk to him, if she should tell others, and the frightening thought that she will have to say goodbye again. 

I heard this was a very sad book and trust me it did not disappoint. It didn’t necessarily break my heart like others had said but I can see how it would. It took me a while to understand the beginning but after that it was amazing.

The small one liners that are throughout this book killed me. I never thought five words could make me cry so much. The author, Dustin Thao’s transition between the scenes were so cool, and it was such an imaginative way of letting us see Julie’s memories. The author also does an amazing job of getting the readers to care about the side characters as well. I was so invested in the main characters plot lines, of course but I loved Oliver, Jay, Mika, and Tristan’s stories and loved hearing about them. The underlying part of why Julie’s mother lost her job was the only part of the book that I felt was “unsolved”. The only reason this book is not five stars is because the middle seemed very slow to me and anticlimactic. But the end really cleared up all the questions I had. 

Favorite Quotes:
1. “I feel like my life didn’t start until I met you, Julie. You’re the best thing to happen to this small town. To me.”
2. “He won’t be there when I open my acceptance letter. He’ll never know if I get in.”
3. “Beneath each of our gowns is something that belongs to Sam, in memory of him.”
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There were things I like and didn't like about this book, but overall it was a good read. I struggled with how I compared it to If I stay in my mind and that is what held me back from being crazy about it. I do think my students will really enjoy this story and find it enjoyable though because it touches on so many things that they love in a YA novel.
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