Permanent Record

Permanent Record❴Reading❵ ➹ Permanent Record Author Mary H.K. Choi – After a year of college Pablo is working at his local twenty four hour deli selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies He’s dodging calls from the student loan office and he has no idea what hi After a year of college Pablo is working at his local twenty four hour deli selling overpriced snacks to brownstone yuppies He’s dodging calls from the student loan office and he has no idea what his next move isLeanna Smart’s life so far has been nothing but success Age eight Disney Mouseketeer; Age fifteen first single on the US pop chart; Age seventeen tenth single; and now at Age nineteenlife is a ueasy blur of private planes weird hotel rooms and strangers asking for selfies on the streetWhen Leanna and Pab randomly meet at am in the middle of a snowstorm in Brooklyn they both know they can’t be together forever So they keep things on the down low and off Instagram for as long as they can But it takes about three seconds before the world finds out. ARC acuired at Book Expo in exchange for an honest review “Trying to get better at the thing you want to be the best at is humiliating” Hello to my favorite contemporary of 2019 Friends this book was so uiet but so loud and really impacted me than any other book I’ve read all year This is the type of story that makes you want to see the world the type of story that heals wounds you didn’t know you had the type of story that makes you feel seen and loved and realize you are worthy of unconditional happiness and the type of story that will make you want to find that happiness and hold on to it with both hands I know I probably sound so very cheesy but this really is the type of book that you close and you just want to be a better person and want to live a happier life and it’s a reminder why books truly have the power to change lives I loved this book with the sum of my being and I’ll carry it with me and pass it along for the rest of my life This is a book that borderlines on Young Adult and New Adult about two characters who find each other while they are at the crossroads of trying to find themselves too They have very different backgrounds and very different current living situations but they both bond over the unknown and the bursts of happiness that they feel while communicating with each other ➽ Pablo Neruda Rind biracial Korean and Pakistani 20 working at a bodega in NYC was an actual meme and now has a little bit of Instagram success because of it and is thinking about going back to college after dropping out with a large sum of debt following him➽ Leanna Smart biracial Mexican and white 22 childhood star now pop singer and trying to be happy with the content she is putting out in the world And one very late night while Pablo is working in the bodega Leanna comes in and their lives change They are both searching for happiness in very different ways and very different forms of outlets but they start to think that maybe they can also find happiness togetherAnd Mary HK Choi delivers a story that is so beautifully written so heartfelt so very real that I won’t forget it ever Some of the themes and discussions in this book are so important and I truly think this story is going to change lives I feel like I normally only read one book a year that changes my life and I think that this year’s is without a doubt Permanent Record Seeing Pablo uestion what he wants for his life while also entering into depression because of this overwhelming debt he has accumulated because of doubt and uncertainty is something that I’ve never read about before Never has a book really forced me to understand that Americans truly expect seventeen year olds and eighteen year olds to make choices that will impact them financially and so many other ways for the rest of their lives Graduating college with 100k debt is the reality that so many people in their young twenties have but so many also have that debt without a degree as well It’s heartbreaking truly that we put this pressure on young adults and that we expect them to know how they want to spend their lives at such a young age while also feeling that weight from society from schools and from their families “God this country It’s so predatory” And people have so many options that don’t involve school Sometimes people find happiness chasing dreams that don’t reuire degrees Sometimes people find happiness becoming celebrities in many different forms Yes sometimes people do find happiness with a degree that will help them live the life with the job they want But sometimes people will find happiness simply by being on the journey of searching for happiness in the first place There is no wrong way to find happiness and it can be so very hard to find but it is always so important that you search for it because you’re so deserving of it I think Pablo and his situation is such a reality for so many Finding happiness and determination and inspiration it can be so very hard And Pablo much like many of us is someone who doesn’t make it easy This book in my eyes is also a love letter to depression awareness and how depression can come in many forms unknowingly Pablo’s life and struggle both academically and with his loved ones was something so very raw and I was so easily able to connect with and I think many others will feel like that too Because sometimes the weight of other peoples’ expectations can be so very heavy “Life isn’t a destination It’s the continual practice of things that make you wiser and happier” This is ownvoices for the Korean representation but I just want to touch on how I really loved seeing Leanna and Pablo talk about them both being biracial It was so important and meaningful for me to see characters talk about how they are both of their races instead of half and half This seems like such a simple concept something that should be easy for me to say “hello my name is Melanie and I’m Filipino” but it is something that I really struggle with and I always want to break my racial identity of being Filipino and white up in percentages as a kneejerk reaction when talking about myself And this small conversation between Pablo and Leanna just really meant so very much to me and really hit me extremely hard Also just seeing Pablo having a tough time not feeling as connected to parts of his identity was really important and moving too And like always seeing an older sibling help take care of their younger brother is something that will always resonate with me and inside my heart Pab’s entire family dynamic really was perfection actually because I feel like in literature we either get really horrible parents or really perfect parents; we never really get the messy in between where parents are supportive and loving but have a hard time showing their love and support “You don't get to start over every day; you get to keep going” Overall I just really loved this book and it means so very much to me The messages in this book really are life changing and I truly wish I could put this book in everyone’s hands I feel like much like Emergency Contact this could be a polarizing book but I also think it is a book that is going to touch and impact so many I know a lot of people probably won’t love the ending but I truly thought it was perfection and really made this book standout as a true masterpiece And if you read through this whole review I hope you know that I appreciate you and that it is never too late to follow your dreams and find the happiness you deserve Oh also be warned that the mention of all the snacks in this will make you extremely hungryYoutube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch The uotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publicationContent and Trigger Warnings anxiety debt the debt crisis credit debt bill collectors talk of sudden death briefly talk of cancer minor scene involving childhood cancer and the Make A Wish foundation depression codependency and talk of assault unwanted touching Life is a bummerSo many bad things happen every day Like good shows getting canceled Or when autumn ends and it’s too cold and all the leaves are brown and the trees are bare Or that thing that happens sometimes inexplicably when you bake cookies where they turn all liuidy and spread out into this flat unappetizing chocolate chip lumpy ThingOr the worst thing of all me anticipating a book for OVER A YEAR and then not caring for that book very much at allI know none of these even begin to enter the top million of the list of worst things happening in the world but let’s pretend for a moment we live in a utopia where these are our biggest problems And then everyone would feel bad for me and give me attention So Extra utopianI loved Emergency Contact with my life I loved the flawed characters I loved the Very Hip And Online tone of the writing I loved the story of the relationship that builds between everyone not just our romantic duoWhich is why it’s so disappointing and surprising and upsetting and horrible and so on that none of those loves translated to Mary HK Choi’s second bookIn Permanent Record we follow Pablo a deeply indebted college dropout turned bodega employee who soon develops a crush at first sight on teen pop sensation Leanna Smart And not only did I not love either of these characters I had trouble understanding themPablo is an unknown amount of money in debt probably tens of thousands of dollars if not His story is that it’s because no one educates high schoolers on how much college costs nor on the burden of credit card debt nor on the importance of being sure of what you want to do before you pay six figures to attain a degree in itAnd that is in some ways fair America has a student debt crisis and at its foundation is the fact that asking 17 year olds to saddle up with a 40000 price tag for four years isn’t fairHowever This doesn’t sit well with meWhen I was 13 I went on a family trip to New York City I fell in love with it so much that the second I got home I booted up the family laptop googled “colleges in New York” and penciled a list of the results in a half used notebook Over the years that followed I did and research and fell and in love with New York University the school Pablo attends in this book I spent a weekend on a pullout couch with my friend in her aunt’s apartment so I could tour it I wrote lists of study abroad destinations and majors and schools I was obsessed with the idea of attendingAnd when I applied I got in But I couldn’t go It just cost too much money That was a conclusion I came to all on my ownSo it was hard for me to accept that Pablo got himself in a ton of student debt because he “you don’t say no to NYU” That he ignored the advice of his parents and people he knew in order to attend I didn’t have much support than he did I didn’t know sht about student loans or debt I experienced a high school culture that really placed a lot of pressure on name recognition for college choice I had dreamed about NYU for years And I still said noSo I spent a lot of my time with this book staving off resentment and a lack of understanding Especially as Pablo opened credit cards and racked up balances and abandoned payment Especially as he refused to speak to his friends or his parents or his boss or anyone and uit his job without noticeBecause that sht is just common senseI also was unable to connect with Pablo’s love interest Leanna who is extremely selfish and mean Can’t relate to the life of a teen pop sensation like I can relate to someone who wants to go to NYU but I still managed not to connect to either of themThe language also didn’t feel as real and relatable to me in this one? It felt a lot forced and cringey Maybe I’m just getting old Although I’m 22 and not than a couple years older than either of these characters So Probably not thatAnd likely no surprise seeing as I didn’t care for these characters at all but I was NOT interested in their relationship And I didn’t reallyget it? Pablo is instantly obsessed with Leanna upon meeting her to the point of constant stalking Which I guess makes sense from a celebrity crush standpoint but in my humble opinion not the cutest in a romance type situationAnywayI’m going to go cry for a hundred years nowBottom line WHY DO I SUFFER i don't know what i did in a past life to deserve being disappointed by a book i anticipated for over a year but i assume it was murder or worsereview to come 25 stars turns out the only thing i had to do to be able to read this book was waitthe worst thing of all list of things i would do in exchange for being able to read this book give up cookies for a week okay 3 days reread The Fault in Our Stars go without talking about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland for as long as humanly possible 36 hours write another love letter to review of Emergency Contact actually start writing the 10 12 page paper I have due in 3 days now instead of the day before it's due put down what i'm currently eating raw cookie dough with a spoon at 1036 am and eat a vegetable or somethingi would do all of this and mary hk choi hmu I loved this SO MUCH SO MUCH name a better duo than mary hk choi books and aesthetic ass covers that make you want to buy the book despite not knowing anything about it I had seen everyone really hyped about this book and some how the premise of this book as I understood it through the osmosis of being online was that it was a love story between a Korean girl and Pakistani guy That misunderstanding is clearly on me though as always I could do to figure out what a book is about before actually reading it Just want to put it out there that I would love to read a book where the love story involves people of two ethnicities we don't usually seeThe book is actually about Pablo who is half Korean and half Pakistani He works in a health storebodega and his life is a mess One day a pop star happens to come into a bodega and the usual happens from there The real premise reuires a lot of suspension of disbelief that I don't really have in me to be uite honest which is part of why I had trouble with this oneI also was born in NYC and have lived here my whole life and find nothing annoying than people insisting something is so New York and the right way to be New York which Pablo does constantly I can explain how grating it was Also everyone is this book is mixed and I'm not sure if that's the reality of living in New York? I just also find it annoying how much time was spent describing New York to be uite honest mostly because I live here and it just feels tedious to have to read about it I think the truth is that this book wasn't really aimed at me and since I'm not the target audience I didn't enjoy it?I do think that some of the things discussed in this book are interesting like the idea of education and having to do the hard work everyday to get to where you want to be It was really enjoyable to have those explorations of finances and fame in there as well I just think the resolution to those issues weren't satisfactory and not enough time was spent exploring them I wish instead of having so much time spent on talking about New York and the different cultural idiosyncrasies of the ethnic identities in this country we'd even had time devoted to Pablo's struggle with his own mixed race ethnicity to be uite honestI also don't understand this valorization of doing what you love and creative pursuits to be uite honest I think its uite lame how we constantly talk about working in those terms when work can also just be about financial security I think I've gotten to the place where I'm a curmudgeonly adult who is like who cares about loving what you do? It's work you're doing it to eat? Maybe I'm too old and cynical for YA now? Its much realistic for people to fail in their creative ambitions than not even in NYC and it feels like a cop out that he just ends up figuring out a way to find a creative outlet that might be his way to being successful I think the book brought up a lot of interesting things but then glossed over them superficially and they some how just end up being resolved in the end and it just felt disappointing This one was a 25 stars for me I considered rounding it up to 3 because it does deliver on what its supposed to be but I just felt really bummed out by it to be uite honest “Life isn’t a destination It’s the continual practice of things that make you wiser and happier”This was so relatable and enjoyable Pablo was an amazing character and the story is really about him trying to find his footing in life The romance was also adorable and I just had the best time reading this I received an ARC of this at BookExpo It comes out 3rd September 2019 I wanted to like this than I did From the synopsis I thought this was going to be dual POV but it’s just told in the guy’s POV I think I would have enjoyed this if we could have heard from her I also found him a bit insufferable? And while that’s the point and makes sense for what he’s going through I found that made his arc rather stagnant at times I did enjoy the slice of life elements and depiction of depression and anxiety But the romance didn’t give me butterflies And you always want butterflies i had knots in my stomach for almost the entire time i read this book i think it’s important to set expectations this isn’t a cutesy ya contemporary it’s about people in their 20s who are living and struggling and trying to find their footing and it is brilliant at depicting thati also think one of the things choi does so brilliantly is capturing an authentic voice her characters sound so completely real in the best and worst ways Pablo Neruda Rind or Pab for short is a somewhat rudderless half Korean half Pakistani college dropout with a mound of credit card debt He works the graveyard shift at a 24 hour upscale bodega in Brooklyn and spends a good deal of time wondering what to do with his futureShould he try reapplying to NYU despite not being able to afford it much less afford his rent? Should he get a job? Should he move back in with his mother who hasn't forgiven him for dropping out in the first place?All of the uestions about the path he should take coupled with the letters and phone calls from bill collectors tend to overwhelm him He tries to content himself with inventing uniue snack combinations for his Instagram feed Snack foods are his jam He also is trying to figure out how to navigate his relationships with his tiger mother and his laissez faire fatherAnd then one winter morning at 500 am during one of Pab's bodega shifts she walks in Leanna Smart—former child star who transitioned to pop star and social media celebrity—shows up in his store Alone No entourage But she does accumulate an impressive supply of snacksThe two trade jokes roll their eyes at the world and flirt This is a relationship destined to go nowhere because they couldn't come from two different worlds But they can't resist each other So they take a leap which leads them on a journey that is at once spontaneous magical emotional and fraught with trouble Permanent Record is funny poignant thought provoking and a little ridiculous but it's an insightful commentary on our celebrity and social media obsessed culture and how difficult it is to let someone see your true self This book started a little slow but definitely picked up steam as it went on Mary HK Choi's first book Emergency Contact was one of the best books I read last year She has such an ear for dialogue and while the characters here are tremendously erudite sarcastic and whip smart it works for the book considering who the characters are I also felt that while some of the situations that occurred were silly the relationships between Pab and his family seemed genuineThe characters are fun and you root for them and at the same time you want to smack them when they're acting like idiots Pab isn't really very sympathetic through a good portion of the book and his near total paralysis toward his future and the financial situation he's in as well as the way he treats people really wore on me a bitChoi is a tremendously talented writer and while Permanent Record didn't uite wow me as her first book did I really enjoyed it and read most of it on a long flight She remains one of the authors whose work I'm most excited to followSimon Schuster provided an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review Thanks for making it availableThis book publishes September 3 2019See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoriablogspotcomCheck out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at You can follow me on Instagram at You know when you just put a book down after you've finished it And you just sit there But somehow you find tears welling up in your eyes So you try to wipe them away Yet you can't The tears just have to be shed The emotions demand to be felt That's exactly how I was after finishing Permanent Record This book took a number of days for me to read because I just felt it all so keenly I couldn't read at my normal place This book demanded of me And not for a second do I regret giving it my heart If you've ever been lost or lonely or confused in life then you will know exactly the feelings that Pablo goes through in this book His life may be different to yours I mean hands up who among us has had a deeply affecting love affair with a celebrity cue deafening silenceso yes His life is different This definitely has aspects of the purely fictional But yet Pablo grounds this Pablo is you He is me Pablo is all of us He's every fear you've ever had every doubt; every feeling of loss of not fitting inSometimes books are than their plots Because the characters in them truly touch us Pablo's story moved me so deeply The journey his character took his dealings with his family his friends his heartbreak his crippling anxiety and depression I felt what he felt My heart ached for him and it also ached for me That is truly gifted writing My world weary heart identified with his and I feel like I learned as much about myself from this reading experience as Pablo did from his journey This is such a deceptive book On the surface it's pegged as a love story between a pop starlet and a uni dropout But the blurb barely scratches the surface at what this book truly is about It's about finding ourselves Finding acceptance And knowing that it's okay to not always have the answers The characters here don't try to be likeable Pablo makes frustrating choices for sure And we only see Leanna through his eyes so never really understand her and her motivations But this worked for me I like that this book took a narrow PoV because isn't that how we each experience life anyway? It's all through our individual interpretation So I loved the narrative choices that Choi made I know as I read an ARC I'm not supposed to uote the book unless I can check it against the final published piece but I simply have to share this uote Because it struck a chord deep within me Life isn't a destination It's the continual practice of things that make you wiser and happier Keep practicing my friends And when our life's stories have concluded hopefully we can look back and know that wherever we ended up it didn't matter because we were happy And isn't that what we all want Our own happy ever after four and a half stars rounded up to fiveAn e copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher AtomLittle Brown Book Group UK via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review For reviews and book related chat check out my blog