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.
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
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!
***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.
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.
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 💜
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.
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.
Thank you to NetGalley for a free eARC copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.
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.
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.
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.
You've Reached Sam had its moments, but ultimately disappointed me. Julie recently lost her boyfriend to a car accident, and amidst her journey of grief she decides to call his phone -- and he answers.
This is a super unique, exciting premise that, this and between the gorgeous cover, /really/ built up my hype for this book. I was ready to feel like I had been hit by a train throughout my entire reading experience. What I received was... not that.
I really like how the book handles Julies grief: she's messy, she's justified, and while she makes some selfish decisions that ultimately ignore those around her who are also grieving, it's incredibly realistic.
Unfortunately, I felt as I was reading that the plot was very repetitive and stagnant. It felt like nothing was happening, even though lots of things were "happening." The book did a lot of telling, not showing, about Julie and Sam's relationship, which led me to not understand or care about their romantic connection, which is basically what you need in order to care about this book AT ALL.
Moreover, Sam was a total manic pixie dreamboy. We learn nothing of him throughout the book except what he did in relation to Julie. Perhaps this was the point, as Julie could be interpreted as an unreliable narrator based on her perception of her relationships to those around her. However, how am I supposed to care about a main, central character and his relationship to the protagonist when I know virtually nothing about him?
As for the audiobook, I enjoyed the narrators voice, although I would've preferred there to be more fluidity between Sam's narration and Julie's. It felt a bit stagnant and chopped, which led to a less believable relationship between the two because they sounded unfamiliar with each other.
Overall, this novel definitely had it's moments of emotional intensity and high quality, and I really enjoyed watching Julie's development through her journey of grief, however her relationship with Sam left much to be desired, as did the writing style. For a book that takes these general themes and executes them much better, read History is all You Left Me by Adam Silvera.
What would you do if you could talk to your deceased loved one- one last time?
This was such a heart-wrenching story about loss, love, and all the different sides of grief.
In this emotional story, we see the world through Julie’s eyes after the loss of her beloved boyfriend Sam.
Julie feels guilty for his death and goes into a depression that she doesn’t seem to be able to get herself out of.
She shuts everyone out and refuses to emotionally let go of Sam whom she had so many plans of the future with. However, one day, she decides to call Sam. And, to her surprise, he picks up. We are sent into a whirlwind of emotions as Julie comes to terms with Sam’s death and realizes that soon she will have to say goodbye. For good.
I really enjoyed this book- it was one of my most anticipated releases this year. I knew it was going to be sad and boy OH BOY it was.
Julie’s grief is so raw and potent. Her sadness manifests itself very uniquely which I think is important to understand and know. Grief is different for everyone and I really appreciated seeing it from Julie’s eyes.
This story is told through memories where you can truly see Sam and Julie’s love shine- this was my favorite part of the story.
The ending was so beautiful and bittersweet I was ugly crying for a good 30 minutes after
4/5 stars from me
I received this book in audiobook format and the narrator did a FANTASTIC job. I could feel the emotion in her words and it felt like two different voice narrators when they would switch from Julie to Sam. I really liked it!
*thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for my advanced copy in exchange of an honest review*
This is a challenging read for anyone, but I expect it will be a much more difficult experience for those who have faced loss. As the world continues to burn around us, who can say - at this point - that they haven't?
Julie, the main character, is a high school senior who has arrived at that age appropriate cusp: where a major part of her life is ending and a whole new phase is about to begin. While she's looking forward to starting this new chapter with her partner, Sam, that dream cannot become a reality when Sam, who is the same age, dies in a car accident.
This book is devastating and in some ways torturous to read. For me, it sort of read like gratuitous emotional poking. I may return to this one in a few months and see if I have a similar sentiment or if this reaction is (as I largely expect) somewhat situational in this moment.
What readers will get is a lot of processing of grief, and they'll see this in various shades. Julie's experience is unique because there is a supernatural (or perhaps imagined) element included. Other characters all have their own methods of processing. The opportunity to see many different reactions to grief could be helpful to the audience.
No one should come to this book looking for a light YA read. Readers dwell in a space of despair from cover to cover, and while that isn't quite what I needed to read in this moment, it might be just the cup of bummer tea you've been seeking. I'll be looking forward to Thao's future work on a lighter topic (or at least approaching future work with a lighter mind).
While i enjoyed reading an actual physical copy of this book, it was nice to also listen to it in the audiobook format. I try not to put too much emphasis on the pronunciation of proper nouns, but it was nice to have a narrator effortlessly read over the many names that I would normally stumble over. You've Reached Sam, by Dustin Thao, is a good read in both formats and is appropriate for YA readers and older.