Review: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Love and Other Perishable ItemsLove and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Page Count: 256
Format: Hardcover
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Love is awkward, Amelia should know.

From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, is 15.

Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia's crush doesn't seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?

Through a year of befuddling firsts—first love, first job, first party, and first hangover—debut author Laura Buzo shows how the things that break your heart can still crack you up.

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Originally titled Good Oil in Australia, I was really excited when I discovered that this book was being published in the U.S. as Love and Other Perishable Items. I think I may have been even more excited when I realized that my library had a copy on order and I was able to reserve it. It was definitely worth the wait, and I'm so glad that I got a chance to read it.

Amelia, 15, and Chris, 21, are both checkout clerks at a grocery store. They have a really nice co-worker/friendship thing going on. Chris is big on keeping things casual, even though he really does like Amelia. He knows (I mean, he REALLY knows) that Amelia is waaay to young to be involved with. He realizes there is a HUGE difference between 15 and 21, no matter how much he and Amelia have in common. For the most part, I really liked Chris. I was proud of him for admitting (at least to himself) that he really enjoyed Amelia's company, and felt close to her because of their friendship. But at other times, his wishy washy attitude with the women/girls in his life really bothered me, mostly because his attention towards these females varied depending on the day and his mood. I thought Chris was a pretty typical 21 year old with an uncertain future. He was in his last year of uni, still living at home with his parents, and working a crappy job. He really was just waiting to start the rest of his life, and waiting for an opportunity to present itself.

Amelia is infatuated with Chris from the moment she meets him at work. I really wanted to tell her "Oh honey, forget about him. He is too old for you." But see, that's the thing - Amelia knows he is too old for her. She knows she doesn't stand a chance, but she can't help crushing on him anyway, and wishing the circumstances were different. I loved how open Amelia was, and I was surprised by her honesty and maturity. She really held her own with Chris, and I liked that she was confident and naive, both at the same time.

Love and Other Perishable Items is told in dual POV, which I absolutely adore. Amelia's part is told in first person, but Chris's part is all journal entries. I loved how honest and real Chris was in his journals, and I enjoyed getting a peek inside his head.

From the beginning, I wanted things to work out between Amelia and Chris. I couldn't help but wish for a happy ending for these two. They really did seem like they could be the perfect couple if the circumstances were different.

I've really liked the Australian contemporaries that I have had the opportunity to read. They are fresh and different enough to be thoroughly entertaining, and always keep me guessing about what's happening next. Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable book that was quick and easy to read, and I highly recommend it. However, it does contain quite a bit of drinking, drugs, bad language, and sexual situations, so it may be more appropriate for an older teen.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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