Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Love and Other Perishable Items
by Laura Buzo
Published: Dec. 11, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Available: Amazon

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.

Love and Other Perishable Items is one of those hard books to pin down. The book is written through the points of view of both Amelia and Chris. I wasn't expecting that. Amelia's voice is very true to her age and I could definitely relate to her innocence. It was refreshing to read about a young girl who isn't involved in drinking, drugs, and sex. A girl who is not worldly. Amelia is 15 and frankly she acts it. Does she fantasize about Chris, yeah, but the reader is also aware that the chance of this being her 'one true love' is pretty slim. This is a testament to Buzo's ability to accurately capture the mind of a teenager.

Chris's voice was different. He's a 21 year old guy and has obviously experienced more of life than Amelia is even aware of. He's slightly melodramatic, but hey he's an English buff. He sees in Amelia what he is looking for, but he's also very aware of her innocence and like most 21 year old guys, he's not really interested in a chaste relationship.

The relationship that develops between Amelia and Chris is interesting to say the least. As the story progressed I grew a bit concerned with how Buzo was going to pull it together. I had seen 2 possible endings. One I would have rolled my eyes at and the other not really satisfying. Yet, she managed to pull out a completely different ending and at first I was a bit put off, but when I read the final page I felt like it had ended perfectly. 

If you're looking for a coming of age story then I definitely think this is one to pick up. Aussies may be interested to know that the story is set in Australia. :)

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