Book Review: You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
You’ve Reached Sam
Author: Dustin Thao
Published: November 9, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 11-24, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
How do you move forward when everything you love is on the line?
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. 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.
What would you do if you had a second chance at goodbye?
Filled with a diverse cast of characters, the heartache of first love and loss, and the kind of friends that can get you through anything, plus a touch of magic, You’ve Reached Sam will make an instant connection with anyone looking for a big emotional romance of a read.
You’ve Reached Sam is a novel that deals with something we all have dealt with: loss and grief. Whether the loss is a boyfriend such as this novel or a family member which includes pets, we have all experienced grief and Thao deals with this in a superb way. Julie has lost Sam due to a car accident and she feels partly responsible. Julie and Sam had planned their life together and now that is gone. Julie experiences grief in many ways, and while she is facing it she feels the needs to hear Sam’s voice so she calls him. And instead of it going to voicemail Sam himself answers.
Neither one really knowing how they in fact have this connection or how long they will have it, in some ways Julie has Sam again all to herself. But will this unknown connection keep her in the past and from moving on without Sam?
We do get the beginning of their relationship through flashbacks, so we see it evolve over time. There were some situations brought in dealing with Sam’s music that did not have a conclusion for me. I was wanting more from that side story to come into play, but it was left open.
The last chapter and Epilogue made this novel for me. I had some issues with Julie, and found closure with the ending Thao gave us along with Julie and Sam. Fair warning: If you have recently lost someone, I would stay clear of this novel until you have come to terms as best you can with your grief. Grief can be an overwhelming thing, and Thao shows us this with multiple characters and situations and how one person reacts with their grief affects others.
You’ve Reached Sam is recommended