Cover Image: You've Reached Sam

You've Reached Sam

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Member Reviews

So I’m normally an emotional wreck when I read a book about death, but for some reason I didn’t connect with the characters as much as I wanted to. I listened to the audio book, so maybe that’s where the disconnect came from. I could hear the emotion in the writing and I felt the loss… but I’m not sure where I disconnected.

I really loved Sam. Albeit the only part of him in the story was his voice, but I loved his character.

I just didn’t love Julie. She’s the MC throughout the book… I don’t want to judge anyone based on the way they grieve, so I’ll just say I didn’t love the choices she made. I think she will grow to regret them. (I’m talking about a fictional character like she is real, I know)

I loved the basis of the story, but just not allllllll of it. I wanted the racist bullies to be knocked down a few more pegs as well. It feels unfinished to me, even though it very clearly ended. 🤷🏻‍♂️
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This was hard because while I felt like the idea was good, the execution just kind of fell flat for me. It's one I probably would have enjoyed more were I an actual teenager, but I hope that it still reaches the readers it needs to. A lot of us have felt grief in some form, and this could potentially give hope to those who experience grief. I was intrigued, but overall, this one just wasn't for me.
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This book was devastatingly beautiful. It talks about grief and how to navigate it, and the POC representation was very nice.

I wish more things were explained by the end, but the story and the characters were enough to make this book compelling and make me devour it!
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3.5 Stars

Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for an ALC of this book.

Julie had her entire future planned out with her boyfriend Sam. But when Sam is killed in a car accident, she is left with nothing but grief. Calling his phone expecting to just hear his voice on the voicemail, Julie is instead connected with Sam from beyond death.

This book is very sad and emotional throughout the entire thing. I guess there is nowhere else to go with a plot synopsis like that. This was an interesting exploration of grief, not just for Julie, but for her friends and people around her. I liked the parts where they all participated in rituals to try and move on, and how this affected Julie when she was still in communication with Sam.  Super sad book.

Pub Date: Nov 9, 2021

 Content Warnings
Graphic: Grief, Child death, and Death
Moderate: Bullying, Racism, and Car accident
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I have looked forward to this book for months, I recently got the audio version and was even more excited. Unfortunately I was super disappointed in the actual story. I expected to fall in love with the characters and feel a deep emotional connection. In reality, I was annoyed by the characters, narrator and the storyline. I’m sure others will appreciate this book, it was not for me.
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3.5 stars -- 

I really loved the premise of this book, (and how gorgeous is that cover?!), but my biggest comment about YOU'VE REACHED SAM is that it could have been a packs-a-punch short story. I'd have loved if it had been part of a meaningful anthology about how people handle grief, or experiences with loss. For me, it just wasn't enough substance to make a novel-length story, so it felt fluffy and even pointless at parts. It dragged in places. Also, some of the main characters behaviors had me ??? sometimes.

Overall, a really unique concept with beautiful writing (and what a gut-punch of a finish), but the overall execution left me wanting. 

(Audiobook note: Soneela Nankani does a really fantastic job narrating this book! I thoroughly enjoyed the listening experience and she handled the characters and tone well.)

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the audiobook ARC in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.
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I started this book off feeling very melancholic... despite never having really met Sam I felt a sense of loss when reading about how Julie felt. Thao did a great job at developing his characters and making us care for them, however I feel that this book didn't need to be as long as it did.
For the last 25% of the book I found myself losing interest and getting a little annoyed at Julie...
Maybe people who actually enjoy contemporary would have a better time with the end of this book. Overall, had fun reading it which is all I expect from a book. 
(Also that scene towards the end with the petals in the field? Beautiful imagery and probably my favourite scene in the book.)
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comes out november 9th of this year!

Wooooow. I'm disappointed, to say the least. This was on my most anticipated releases list for, not only this season but the entire year and it was such a letdown. I liked the writing style and there were certainly moments the story tugged on my heartstrings, but I couldn't connect overall to the characters or the plot or... really anything. I kept waiting for the moment when I would really feel for these people and, unfortunately, I never did. I guess I wish the story was more fleshed out. I wanted to know more about the characters and what was going on with the phone calls. I liked the fantasy element and how it allows for an interesting exploration of grief, but then we never dove into it and I was left feeling confused about the whole thing. There were sad moments and, as I just said, I did enjoy how the story explored grief, but I just couldn't connect. It needed... MORE for me.

Also, can we all sign some petition to have audio arcs on NetGalley not echo so much? Ohmygawd it's terrible. Anything over 1x speed and I instantly have a headache from the sound.

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reading thoughts

-uhm... why is she throwing EVERYTHING away??? even deleting pictures ????? like i know grief is CRAYZEE, but damn. DAMN.
-netgalley audio arcs are the worst. i'm sorry but WHY is there always so much echo. ughhhh.
-this was on my most anticipated list for 2021. all i'll say is now i'm questioning every other book on that list. ion trust my own taste anymore.

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tbr comments

wait this sounds like heartbreak
GUESS who got an audiobook arc from netgalley??? this soon-to-be-heartbroken gal!!!


Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Audio for an advanced readers audiobook. All thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.
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This was an emotional and captivating story and I really did want to love it. I think the fact that it started off right into the emotions and didn't let it build to a climactic point is what I struggled with. I do like a good cry but I think I like it when it is more unexpected. I didn't cry with this read and it just felt heavy living in that head space while reading this one. I still would definitely recommend this book for those who are grieving as this novel that Dustin Thao wrote may make them feel like they are not alone.
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I really wanted to like this book. When I requested this so many months ago, it was at the top of my TBR pile because the premise sounded so good! And I was just… disappointed by a pretty stagnant plot.

I’m all for suspending disbelief for a story, especially when well written, but this story had way too many loop holes and contradictions and things that made me annoyed.

I also didn’t love any of the characters. I couldn’t find myself caring for any of them, even though the whole book is based on grief and living through the worst pain you can imagine. Julie is just not super likable to me, even in scenes we see from “before” and her dream sequences. I did like that it showed that everyone grieves differently, but I just didn’t love her.
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Dustin Thao does such an incredible job at portraying grief. How all-consuming and isolating it can be. How it lingers in every interaction one has with the world. This book does everything it set out to do and I appreciate that. However, I just didn’t grow the attachment to the characters that I thought I would. I enjoyed seeing them heal and learn to move on (specifically Julie), but I just didn’t have that emotional connection that would be needed to feel the full impact of this book. I can see why people would adore this book and I can see why they wouldn’t. I end up falling in the middle: 3.5 stars. 

Thank you to Macmillian Audio and NetGalley for providing this in exchange for an honest review
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Macmillan Audio, 
Thank you for this heart breaking story!
WoW! Just WoW!
You've Reached Sam by Dustin Thao has got to be the most beautiful Young Adult Romance I've read in awhile.
I was given the amazing chance to listen to the audio version! 
And let me say Soneela Nankani who narrates Julie did such an outstanding job! 
I will probably listen to anything she narrates! Just saying!.

This is a heartwarming, gratifying book about grief and loss!
But also shows us the parts about how to love and move forward from our grief!

Two teens Sam and Julie meet and fall in love.....
Sam is a sweet nice, laid back guy who meets Julie who just moved from Seattle to a small town. 
Julie has her whole life mapped out... Go to school, graduate high school, save for an apartment and go to college. 
She meets Sam and she falls hard for him!.
But when a tragic accident takes Sam away from her it's hard on her losing Sam especially in just the short amount of time they had together! 
It wasn't supposed to end this way! They had forever to go! 
She thinks she won't be able get through this.... So she becomes cold to everyone around her....
Until little by little she starts dealing and slowly healing!

Gawd..... This book ripped my damn heart out and stomped all over it! 
This was a affectionate, heart-wrenching, inspiring story!
And its for anyone who has lost anyone special in their lives! 
I thought this was such a stunning, beautiful, gorgeous read!
That had me crying all over the damn place! 
I loved listening to Julie and her story I think the audio version added something more special to the book! 
It was more personal, in depth... I literally felt everything she was experiencing and it gutted me to the core!
I will always recommend this book to anyone who loves Young Adult and a badass love story!
Dustin knocked this outta the park here! 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟  

Thank you so much publisher, NetGalley and Author for the chance to listen to this audio version!
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***I received a copy of this book for free from netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

Maybe if I were younger, maybe if there was a different narrator, maybe if I were in a different mood. But I did not enjoy or finish this book…

Gave the 3 stars because it definitely wasn’t the books fault.
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This was a very long book to tell a very simple, predictable story. It took a sharp turn away from reality right from the very beginning. I think that this would be good for certain people, but not all people.
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This love story was SO beautiful and heartbreaking and healing all at once! It was everything and more than I expected of it. A masterpiece for sure a debut out of the water! Wow pulls the emotions right out of you with great weaving storytelling in alternating chapters of before and after. The narrator was perfect for this Stunning novel 💜
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Thank you to #Netgalley, Dustin Thao, and Wednesday Books for the early read of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was hesitant at first to read this book at first because it deals with death. I don't particularly like books that deal with death, but this one was good.
Julie is dealing with the death of her boyfriend, Sam. One day she calls his number hoping to hear his voice one last time on his voicemail and is surprised when he answers. Wouldn't we all love the chance to say goodbye one more time to our loved ones? 
This book was very moving. We all deal with death in different ways and I thought this book did a nice job of handling that and showing the different ways we cope.
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I got an ARC of the audiobook.

I wanted to love this book, it has the perfect cover. I have loved books about dead boyfriends before. Yet this one just felt flat and boring the whole time I was listening. I never cared, I never felt emotions.

The story switched around from the present and memories seemingly at random. It wasn't the easiest to keep track of in an audiobook. I literally only knew what time it was based on if Sam was moving or if he was just a voice.

The narrator was wonderful, which was the reason this was not a one star read.
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Thank you to NetGalley for a free eARC copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review. 

1.5*

I wanted to like this-- the premise of it is so intriguing. Magical realism goes one of two ways for me; I'm never in the middle on that genre. 

In all honesty, the MC (Julie) was just... too abrasive for me. 

For the right person, this book would be wonderful. It just wasn't for me.
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Julie has life after high school all mapped out, but those big plans are all over when her boyfriend, Sam, dies after a car accident. Heartbroken Julie calls his phone, just to hear his voice one more time, but instead of getting his voicemail, Sam picks up. They continue to have regular phone calls, but Julie can’t tell anyone without risking losing the connection. So when she sees his friends and family struggling in their own grief, she is torn between giving them the opportunity to connect with Sam as well and risking never being able to talk to him again. 

Wow, what a book. It’s taken me a while to gather my thoughts on this book, because it gave me all the feels. This is such a power story about love, loss, and the impact grief can have. This is definitely a tough read, and I recommend making sure you are in the right headspace when you read it. When you are ready for it, it is so beautiful and heartbreaking.

I listened to the audiobook and thought it was phenomenal. It was captivating and I didn’t want to stop listening. 

Thank you yo NetGalley, and Macmillan audio for the advanced copy.
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I only made it about 30% in and I decided not to finish. I feel like maybe audio is not the way to go with this story with all the back and forth of memories.
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