Thursday, December 13, 2012

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Release Date: December 11th, 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Details: 256 pages, hardcover
Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary
Source: NetGalley (Thank you NetGalley & Knopf Books!)
Summary (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.

Love and Other Perishable Items was originally published as Good Oil in Australia. How cool right?! Although I don't think Good Oil is a fitting title...

Love and Other Perishable Items is a complicated book to get into in the very beginning. It's basically about a girl named Amelia. She works at a grocery store and she's about as innocent as any other 15 year old is as well as curious. She slowly starts developing a crush on her co-worker Chris who seems like this really funny, smart and down to earth kind of guy... who's several years older than her. There are two sections to this story; Amelia's side who does a lot of telling and not much showing and Chris' side which is in the form of journal entries. The point of view's don't switch off from the beginning, it happens somewhere in the middle but there's no real set pattern to it.

Amelia as a character was, like I said, pretty innocent but she was also smart and she stood up for herself a lot. She doesn't like how he dad treats her mom or the family with being out of town all the time and not even bothering to clean up after himself on the rare occasion that he is home and she doesn't like how her mom just deals with it. I understand her frustration and I felt it right along with her. I don't think she was being wrong or unreasonable but I do think that if her father had just sat down and talked to her he'd spend less time being angry at her. Amelia gets into a bit of trouble because that's what you do at 15. You find yourself thrown into situations and you don't know how you effen got there. I understood her admiration towards Chris because in her eyes, he was pretty snazzy.

When you get to Chris' journal entries, that's where things get... complicated. Chris is humorous and sarcastic but Chris isn't who he is in Amelia's eyes but at the same time he is because that's how he portrays himself to the world, so that's who they see. They don't see the Chris who sluts around or the Chris who's still pinning after some girl who lives in a different country that "destroyed" him. They don't see the Chris who's angry and all he wants to do is drink. And Amelia never see's that. 

The ending was a bit abrupt for me and I didn't have any closure. I finished the book thinking, uhm... that's it?! What happens next?!

But I feel like Love and Other Perishable Items is more than just about Amelia and Chris. I feel like it's more about life. About trying to find your way and about not selling yourself short. About having that crush that literally crushes you and may seem into you but isn't but is and how complicated it all is. I also picked up on a heavy feminism lining and I enjoyed reading Chris' journal entries discussing conversations between him and Amelia and how he interpreted them. Their relationship/friendship and conversations were definitely intriguing. 

Love and Other Perishable Items is a totally different read than anything else I've read as far as story and structure but I enjoyed it. Really really enjoyed it!

March 15
There was a fire in the Wonder Bread factory last night. Thowsuands have been left breadless. Fould play is suspected.


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