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Dustin ThaoResenhas

Autor(a) de You've Reached Sam

12 Works 1,051 Membros 22 Reviews


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Recommended: if you think you're interested
For folks who read the premise and think they'll like it, for a very singular dive into one person and issue

For such a normal-length book, this felt like it flew by. In this case... that's not exactly a good thing (or a bad thing). This book sets out to tell the story of Julie's guilt and grief over Sam's death, and that's exactly what it tells. The weird thing is that it's also the only thing that it tells. This book has a very tight focus on the issue it aims to address. While, again, that's not a bad thing, it was strange in that it ended up reading more like short story for me since there was only one thread to the plot.

I suppose I expected a little more depth of the world around them, but Julie remains very much the focus as she is drowning in her own grief and hurt. Fair, I mean, grieving and all. There was a bit with other characters who were close to Sam -- his best friend, his sister and parents, his classmates -- but the way it was presented was so topical and unimportant precisely because Julie is so wallow-deep in her own issues. It's accurate for sure, but presenting the others as second fiddle ended up being exactly how they stayed to me.

Julie is not my favorite person, so my empathy was a bit lacking for what I would expect in this subject matter. Everyone grieves differently, but even ignoring that aspect, the who that makes her up was underwhelming.

Last thing that dropped this for me: the alternating timeline between before and after Sam's death. I don't usually mind that, but here it felt like a very lazy way of establishing who he was. We can't go back in time to get him back, so I would have liked the story to reflect that in it's style by relying on characters and memory to define Sam. He's dead -- he can no longer define himself, and exists only from the people and place he's remembered in.

Even though this book flew by, it also d r a g g e d. I didn't want to finish this, and in fact stopped a few chapters in on my first attempt. This story didn't elicit emotion from me, which isn't good considering it's a sad story about death and grief and heartbreak, coupled with the fact that I am a very easy crier with my sympathetic heartstrings! This one was sadly lacking for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and Wednesday books for an free advanced copy of this title. This is my honest and voluntary review!
Jenniferforjoy | outras 21 resenhas | Jan 29, 2024 |
The novel commences with the shocking death of Sam, a truly heart-wrenching event that sets the emotional tone of the narrative. Julie, struggling to cope with her unbearable grief, accidentally discovers a way to reconnect with him through calls to his old cellphone number. As the calls continue, readers become enthralled by their bittersweet conversations, providing a unique insight into the complexities of love, life, and grief.

Thao masterfully weaves the story of Julie and Sam, with the past and present intertwining seamlessly. By incorporating vivid details of their relationship - from the precious memories of their first meeting to the difficulties they encountered - Thao demonstrates the depth in Julie's love for Sam and the magnitude of her loss. The novel delves into the intricacies of healing and the author skillfully balances the rawness of emotion with moments of levity, creating an intensely relatable and authentic atmosphere.

What sets "You've Reached Sam" apart from other stories about grief and loss is Thao's innovative use of the magical phone calls as a narrative device. These calls force Julie to confront her grief, and in turn, she starts to learn how to let Sam go and find closure. The phone calls serve as a metaphor for the lingering presence of those we have lost and the enduring bonds we share with them.

"You've Reached Sam" is remarkable not only for its emotional core but also for the diverse and endearing cast of supporting characters that surround Julie. These characters, such as Julie's best friend Natalie and the charming new guy Daniel, offer a sense of belonging and support that help Julie navigate her way through the grieving process. The relationships between these characters add layers of complexity and authenticity to the story, making it one that is both enjoyable and thought-provoking.
Prass | outras 21 resenhas | Oct 24, 2023 |
I cannot think of a better word to describe this book with than quiet. It is a quiet, mournful love letter to life. A story about being stuck in grief and learning to move on and about how it is, in the end, the little things that we treasure.

While it was not a book that knocked me off my feet, it is still definitely worth picking up and it is, in its own, unassuming, way beautiful.

(Mild Spoiler) While reading I could not decide wether to give this 2 or 3 stars and only in the end my decision became clear. Because it was only in the end, as all of the calls and messages flooded back on Julies phone after letting go off Sam, that I (maybe a bit densely) realized what these phone class where. A symbol of her inability to let go keeping her away from her family, friends and ultimately her life.

Because only after we let those we love go and move on into our memory, are we able to go on.

All in all, this did not make me cry, which is why my rating is a bit low, but there is beauty in here and I really appreciate it.
Hexenwelt | outras 21 resenhas | Sep 6, 2023 |
Where were the tears?? I've never read such a dull book, and they say it's supposed to be a heartbreaker...
Sam would've been better off with Oliver.
Valebaby | outras 21 resenhas | May 10, 2023 |
Aldri gråter så mye i mitt liv!!
HegusDegus | outras 21 resenhas | Apr 28, 2023 |
This review is also featured on Behind the Pages: You've Reached Sam

Julie and Sam have planned everything. Where they will live, where they will go to college, and all the little details that go into building a future. But the night Sam dies in a car accident, Julie gives up all hope for any future without Sam. Drowning in grief, Julie refuses to attend his funeral and sets herself on a path to forget everything. Until one night Julie calls Sam, desperate to hear his voice once more. And he picks up.

You’ve Reached Sam has the potential to be a powerful story about overcoming the loss of a loved one. And at the start of the novel, I loved the concept of Sam and Julie maintaining their connection beyond the grave. But the emotional connection wasn’t always present for me. Julie’s relationship with Sam is shown through flashbacks and moments where Sam and Julie reminisce over the phone. I wish there had been more of a foundation for their relationship. Watching the slow build-up of love and the sudden loss of it would have made a heavier impact.

However, the repercussions of Julie missing Sam’s funeral and the subsequent memorials for him made a huge impact on the story. Every character who had a connection to the couple shared their various opinions on Julie’s actions. And many in their own grief mistook her suffering as negligence. Witnessing Julie navigate through her various relationships and struggle to come to terms with her impact on them was complex and well done.

Sam’s phone calls showed firsthand how Julie was in denial over his death. How she wanted so desperately to never lose him. But the magical realism of the phone calls didn’t follow the flow of the story. It wasn’t just Julie’s progression through grief influencing them. Sharing her secret seemed to have the greater impact. Each time she gave a piece of her secret conversation away, it became harder to reach out to Sam. And yet Julie wasn’t moving forward to closure as quickly as the phone calls were. The ending left me wanting for more, and wishing for a tidier closure.

If you are looking to see if this type of fiction is right for you, pick up You’ve Reached Sam. It does not go as deeply into the stages of grief as some other YA novels, and you’ll be able to see if it is something you’d like to continue reading.
Letora | outras 21 resenhas | Apr 28, 2023 |
Ending was absolutely gorgeous. Loved the voicemail and how we got a taste of Sam and a glimpse into what he might have been like. But throughout the rest of it I enjoyed it but struggled to really get emotionally connected.
whakaora | outras 21 resenhas | Mar 5, 2023 |
If you need a good cry, get the tissues ready towards the end of this novel.
I sped through listening to the audiobook version of You've Reached Sam, as I had an inkling/wish about how I wanted this one to end. It didn't end as I expected, but surprisingly, that was okay.

I'm not sure how much more to say without spoilers. Romantic. High School. Senior Year. The main theme is working through grief, with a fantasy bent.

The main character I felt was a bit grating/desperate, but that might have just been their grief.
1 vote
deslivres5 | outras 21 resenhas | Feb 18, 2023 |
Beautifully written, compelling and unique, bittersweet and heartwarming at the same time. All the real parts of grief, guilt and reality... In goodbye..
katejo99 | outras 21 resenhas | Jan 28, 2023 |
The line that stuck the most with me is this: “Letting go isn’t about forgetting. It’s balancing moving forward with life, and looking back from time to time, remembering the people in it.” I wish someone had said that to me years ago when my sister died. I never thought life would go on, but it did and that’s what Julie, the protagonist of the story, learns after her boyfriend Sam dies. Her journey is one of pain, of learning to let go. This was a unique way of telling the story of letting go and taking the next step after loss. I’m most impressed that it is a male author, telling the story of Julie’s pain. Highly recommend this one!
Z_Brarian | outras 21 resenhas | Dec 12, 2022 |
Le livre aurait pu être super, dommage . J’adore les histoires qui font pleurer et c’est la raison pour laquelle j'ai acheté ce livre. Tout le monde disait qu’il était super, trop triste trop ceci trop selaba. Cela n’a pas été le cas pour moi puisque je n’ai pas versé une seule larme. Le personnage de Julie en soit m’a énormément énervé. Je la trouve trop égoïste celle-là. Je peux comprendre que tu étais proche de Sam, c'était ton copain, sa mort t’a beaucoup atteinte mais ce n’est pas une raison d’agir comme si tu étais la seule qui aimait Sam dans le monde. Il avait une famille, des amis et sa façon d’agir m’avait donné envie de la secouer dans tous les sens . Vraiment, je m’attendais à plus en ce qui concerne les échanges entre Sam et Julie. Bref, 3 étoiles.
Capucinette | outras 21 resenhas | Oct 25, 2022 |
I knew this book was going to leave me crying. Sam and Julie are inseparable as boyfriend and girlfriend until Sam passed away unexpectedly. Julie feels guilty, as Sam was coming to her side the night he passed away. So in trap with her grief, she skips out on the funeral and the memorial services held for Sam, which caused even more guilt. Julie must learn how to continue on with life without Sam by her side. When she calls him, she’s shocked to hear his actual voice on the other end of the call. With each call, Julie falls for Sam all over again, making it harder and harder to let him go. This book left my heart breaking for Julie and crying for Sam at the same time. I read this in one sitting and couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend it!!
dabutkus | outras 21 resenhas | Sep 4, 2022 |
Hᴍᴍ. Oᴋ. Wʜᴇʀᴇ ᴅᴏ I sᴛᴀʀᴛ?

Fɪʀsᴛ ᴏғ ᴀʟʟ, I ᴅɪᴅɴ'ᴛ ʟɪᴋᴇ Jᴜʟɪᴇ. I ᴜɴᴅᴇʀsᴛᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴅɪғғᴇʀᴇɴᴛ ᴡᴀʏs ᴛᴏ ᴄᴏᴘᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ɢʀɪᴇᴠᴇ ʙᴜᴛ I ғᴏᴜɴᴅ ɪᴛ ʜᴀʀᴅ ᴛᴏ sʏᴍᴘᴀᴛʜɪᴢᴇ ᴡɪᴛʜ ʜᴇʀ ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴍᴏsᴛ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴏᴋ sʜᴇ ᴡᴀs sᴇʟғɪsʜ ᴀɴᴅ ʀᴜᴅᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴏɴᴇ ᴀʀᴏᴜɴᴅ ʜᴇʀ.

Sᴇᴄᴏɴᴅ, I ᴅɪᴅɴ'ᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛ ᴡɪᴛʜ Sᴀᴍ. Hᴇ ᴡᴀs ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴀ ᴘɪᴄᴛᴜʀᴇ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴏᴋ, ᴡᴇ ᴏɴʟʏ ɢᴇᴛ ᴛᴏ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ʜɪᴍ ᴛʜʀᴏᴜɢʜ Jᴜʟɪᴇ's ᴍᴇᴍᴏʀɪᴇs ᴀɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇ sʜᴏʀᴛ ᴄᴀʟʟs ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴇxᴄʜᴀɴɢᴇ. Iᴛ's ʜᴀʀᴅ ᴛᴏ ɪᴍᴀɢɪɴᴇ ʜɪᴍ ᴀs ᴀ ʀᴇᴀʟ ᴘᴇʀsᴏɴ, ᴀᴛ ʟᴇᴀsᴛ ɴᴏᴛ ᴜɴᴛɪʟ ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴀsᴛ ᴄʜᴀᴘᴛᴇʀ ᴏʀ sᴏ.

ᴛʜᴇ ɪᴅᴇᴀ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴏᴋ ɪs ᴏʀɪɢɪɴᴀʟ ᴀɴᴅ I ᴍᴇᴀɴ ᴛʜᴀᴛ I ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ʀᴇᴀᴅ sᴏᴍᴇᴛʜɪɴɢ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴇғᴏʀᴇ. Iᴛ's ʜᴀʀᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴡʀɪᴛᴇ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴘʀᴏᴄᴇss ᴏғ ɢʀɪᴇᴠɪɴɢ sᴏᴍᴇᴏɴᴇ's ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ ʙᴜᴛ Yᴏᴜ'ᴠᴇ Rᴇᴀᴄʜᴇᴅ Sᴀᴍ ɢᴀᴠᴇ ᴍᴇ sᴏᴍᴇᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜɪɴᴋ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ.

Aʟʟ ɪɴ ᴀʟʟ Iᴛ ᴡᴀsɴ'ᴛ ᴀ ʙᴀᴅ ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴀɴᴅ I ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ʀᴇɢʀᴇᴛ ʀᴇᴀᴅɪɴɢ ɪᴛ.

souhailaa | outras 21 resenhas | May 20, 2022 |
alexisxnicole | outras 21 resenhas | May 12, 2022 |
review coming soon. you wont want to miss it!
chasingholden | outras 21 resenhas | Apr 26, 2022 |
I received an e-copy of this story for my honest review.
This is one of the most intensively emotional, heart-rending, and cathartic books I have ever read. We get to experience the strong love of two people, and the devastation when one is suddenly taken from the other. And then, the journey that the person still here takes to get to the point of letting their loved one go.
1 vote
SherDEMomma | outras 21 resenhas | Mar 6, 2022 |
this was ok but definitely nothing special. the beginning, in particular, where it was important to give us an idea of who julie is and what she's feeling, was lacking. i did feel like i got her by the end and so was more into it, but i really needed that at the beginning.

i do like the point he's making here, about grief and how you can both move on with your life and still keep someone with you. (or at least, i feel like i like it, while i'm not going through anything similar to know for sure.) i'm really not sure i like the framework he employed to get us there, though. i think this just wasn't for me, although i did generally like spending time with all of the characters by the end.½
overlycriticalelisa | outras 21 resenhas | Nov 30, 2021 |
Oh that prologue really just draws you right in to Julie's emotional journey.
Soneela Nankani narrates an already beautifully heartbreaking story with such perfection. Each character really comes to life in the audiobook and I found myself having a hard time pausing the book to do important stuff...like eat.

You've Reached Sam is an absolutely heavy, slow-burn story about the weight of grief and young love with just a sprinkling of magic tossed in. What I wouldn't give to be able to pick up the phone and talk to someone I care for again. This book definitely hits all the feels.

Big thank you to Macmillan Audio via NetGalley for the audio-ARC to listen to and honestly review.
Lea.Pearl | outras 21 resenhas | Oct 28, 2021 |
This book plays out the ultimate fantasy of everyone who's lost someone: What if you could pick up the phone, and they could take your call? Julie's lost her boyfriend, Sam, and all their shared plans of getting an apartment together after their high school graduation. Now Julie's alone, drowning in an ocean of grief, until she calls Sam's phone.

Their relationship is shared through flashbacks, Julie's memories and her conversations with others about him. Sam seems pretty much perfect in Julie's mind, which is probably how anyone would feel about someone they're grieving.

Julie blames herself for the accident, and she's falling apart. Seriously, this girl does not know how to grieve in a healthy way! From skipping his funeral to shutting out all of her friends, she's a total wreck until her phone calls with Sam helps her find the strength to begin to move forward. It's a slow-burn storyline, but heartfelt and emotional.

This is a heavy book, but ends on a hopeful note. It has a lot of valuable insight into living your life when you're the one left behind.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the advance review copy of this book.
Asingrey | outras 21 resenhas | Jun 1, 2021 |
review coming soon. you wont want to miss it!
literarylifelines | outras 21 resenhas | May 13, 2021 |
his book was not for me. I spent today reading and reading and not liking it. The beginning is jerky to me. I felt like the author skipped a lot of the story. When I thought that i knew what was going on, the planks dropped from beneath my feet. That is it, I did not like the way the book made me feel, confused and wanting to escape.

I received an Avanced Reading Copy of this book from the publisher as a win in a First Reads Contest. My thoughts and feelings are entirely my own.
Carolee888 | outras 21 resenhas | Jan 1, 2021 |
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