You've Reached Sam: A Novel

You've Reached Sam: A Novel

by Dustin Thao

Narrated by Soneela Nankani

Unabridged — 9 hours, 39 minutes

You've Reached Sam: A Novel

You've Reached Sam: A Novel

by Dustin Thao

Narrated by Soneela Nankani

Unabridged — 9 hours, 39 minutes

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

As devastating as it is uplifting, this is a story of losing love, loving what's lost, holding on and letting go.

An Instant New York Times Bestseller!

If I Stay meets Your Name in Dustin Thao's You've Reached Sam, a heartfelt audiobook about love and loss and what it means to say goodbye.

Seventeen-year-old Julie Clarke 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 belongings, and tries everything to forget him. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces memories to return. Desperate to hear him one more time, Julie calls Sam's cell phone just to listen to his voice mail recording. And Sam picks up the phone.

The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam's voice makes Julie fall for him all over again and with each call, it becomes harder to let him go.

What would you do if you had a second chance at goodbye?

A Macmillan Audio production from Wednesday Books


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

10/04/2021

In Thao’s uneven debut, white high school senior and aspiring writer Julie Clarke must find a way to navigate her future after the death of her Japanese American boyfriend, Sam Obayashi, a big dreamer and music lover who died tragically one night while on his way to pick her up. After skipping his funeral and getting rid of most of his things in an attempt to move forward, she calls his phone one last time—and is stunned when he answers. Though Sam only knows that he’s “somewhere,” he is sure that if he ever calls Julie and she doesn’t pick up, their connection will end forever. Thao smartly keeps the logistics vague, effectively depicting Julie’s grieving process and her attempts to balance staying connected to Sam while being present for friends for whom his death is final—including Sam’s cousin Mika and best friend Oliver. While some secondary story lines—one exploring Julie’s mother’s paranoia and another involving Sam’s younger brother—are underdeveloped, the unique premise and authentic depiction of grief holds plenty of appeal. Ages 12–up. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Nov.)

From the Publisher

"I knew full well that I was signing up for a tragic love story, and that's exactly what I got. So now I am here to warn you: This book will absolutely make you cry. Make sure you've got a box of tissues handy, and I mean a full box."

—NPR.org

"This young adult novel’s enthralling premise and gorgeous, manga-style cover art promise an emotional ride. Thao does not disappoint. You’ve Reached Sam punches directly in the chest during countless moments that hit right on target." —Associated Press

“You’ve Reached Sam is a hauntingly remarkable debut. Dustin Thao gently weaves grief, regret, second chances, and the honestly beautiful moments we carry from a first love. Every tear you will shed reading this book will be worth it." —Julian Winters, award-winning author of Running With Lions

"If you like your contemporaries with a tiny piece of magic, this emotional YA is perfect for you." —BuzzFeed

"Thao skillfully marries a quiet, elegiac novel about grief with a provocative sf conceit. A poignant and moving read." —Booklist

"Have your tissues at the ready when you dive into Dustin Thao's emotional novel You've Reached Sam."

—PopSugar

"The writing is captivating and beautifully done, immediately drawing readers into imaginative and well-developed scenes. [A] beautifully written exploration of grief... You’ve Reached Sam is an impactful debut. The question at the center of the book and the paranormal premise combine to create a narrative full of heart." —The Young Folks

"A heart-breaking story of grief and loss, You've Reached Sam is a YA magical realism read about healing and moving on." —Young Adult Books Central

"...this debut novel will draw readers in and shatter their hearts in the best way." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A heartfelt story about love, loss, and grief, Dustin Thao’s bittersweet novel You’ve Reached Sam will likely make you shed some tears." —Culturess

"A touch of magic, first love and loss, this is the story of romance and heartache." —SheReads

"You’ve Reached Sam is a quiet exploration of grief and the ways in which we cope with losing the ones we love too soon. If you’re in need of a good, cathartic crying session, this one’s for you!" —The Nerd Daily

School Library Journal

11/01/2021

Gr 9 Up—When Sam dies in a car crash during his senior year of high school, his girlfriend, Julie, finds her life and the future plans they were supposed to share completely upended. She tries to forget Sam by avoiding his funeral and many memorials, and even goes as far as to throw away everything she had that was related to him. In a moment of desperation and regret, she dials his phone number, hoping to hear his voice on his outgoing message. But Sam answers the call. He is still dead, but because of a mysterious connection between their phones, they are able to speak to each other. As the story progresses, Julie buries her grief as she refuses to let go of Sam. It isn't until she realizes that she is hurting her friends and Sam's family by pulling away that she considers that the connection may not be entirely a good thing. Although an interesting exploration of grief, the slow pace and ambiguity of the situation, as well as the time it takes Julie to grow, make the story drag. Sam is Japanese, and cultural references and anti-Asian sentiment are incorporated deftly and sensitively. Secondary characters are diverse and unique, but there may have been too many for Thao to manage successfully. VERDICT While this is an interesting take on a person's struggle to let go of a lost loved one, there are better examples of books dealing with grief. An additional purchase.—Erica Deb, Matawan Aberdeen P.L., NJ

Kirkus Reviews

2021-08-16
Technology prevails over death, giving a teenage couple a second chance at goodbye.

High school senior Julie is paralyzed with grief over her boyfriend Sam’s death in a car accident. She avoids his funeral and throws away every reminder of him. They had planned to leave their small Pacific Northwest town together, and she now faces an uncertain and empty future. But one night she impulsively dials his cell, and, inexplicably, Sam answers. This is the first of many long conversations they have, neither understanding how or why this is happening but relishing the chance to say goodbye as they could not in life. However, Julie faces a difficult choice: whether or not to alleviate the pain of Sam’s loved ones by allowing them to talk to him, though it could put their own connection at risk. Yet, letting go and moving on might be just what she needs. The emotional tenor of the book is even throughout, making the characters feel remote at times and flattening the impact of momentous events—such as Julie and Sam’s first conversation—that are often buried in minor, day-in-the-life details. The time skips can also be difficult to follow. But the concept is a smart one and is sure to intrigue readers, especially those grappling with separation, loss, and mortality. Sam is cued as Japanese American; Julie defaults to White.

A rambling tale about grief that will appeal to patient, sentimental readers. (Fiction. 13-18)

Product Details

BN ID: 2940177236216
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication date: 11/09/2021
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 635,199
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