Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Published: 12-11-2012 by Knopf Books
Get the book: Amazon
(This book is also called Good Oil, which was published 8-1-2010 by Knopf Books)
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, 15, 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?
Design – Heather Daugherty Art direction – Isabel Warren-Lynch Rating – 2/5
The idea here is cute, and ties into the grocery store setting, but it’s not very interesting. I like how the font looks handwritten and messy, but the cover doesn’t really have a color scheme or anything that makes me want to know more about the story. I’m glad there aren’t almost-kissing people on the cover like the other version, but I think this would be more interesting if the jar was on a shelf or someone was holding it. It just needs a little something more.
This book was a quick read. It was cute, but definitely not something I’m going to remember after a few months.
- setting – It was a refreshing change to read about a YA relationship that mainly developed at a job. Because the main character, Amelia, works at a grocery store, there’s more variety in the group of people she’s regularly around. People with varying ages and concerns, people who are at different points in life.
- Chris – I thought Chris was a great character, and I enjoyed reading from his point of view when those sections came along. He wasn’t perfect and he knew it. He struggled to figure out what to do with his life and how to treat Amelia. It wasn’t just “well screw the age difference because I like her” and it wasn’t a decision to ignore his feeling either. He was a much deeper character than that, and he made some not insignificant mistakes when it came to his love life.
- coworkers – I liked reading about Amelia and Chris’ interactions with their coworkers. These secondary characters were interesting because they were all so different. They’re the people you don’t really choose as friends but end up being around constantly anyways. There are the people Amelia doesn’t feel accepted by, the ones who use her, and the ones she admires.
- ending – I really like that this book ended in what I feel was a realistic way. Clearly, either they get together or they don’t, but the book wasn’t centered on that. So many books end with a completely off-the-wall fairytale ending, which is sometimes exactly what I want, but that’s not the right ending for every story. I don’t want to give anything away, but I thought the ending of the book fit the characters and the story perfectly. It felt like it drew the book to a close but left the story feeling like it could continue.
- POV timeframes – I liked reading Chris’ point of view, but I really wish that those chapters didn’t take a huge leap backward in time. I found myself struggling to remember what had happened in Amelia’s life. I wish that Chris’ chapters had been alternated with Amelia’s rather than being in 2 big chunks. It would’ve been nice to read about Chris’ life at the same time as Amelia’s. I don’t think there was really any reason to have Chris’ like that, except to keep the reader in the dark about his opinions toward Amelia.
- Amelia’s decisions – I understand that Amelia is only 15, but she really does make some dumb choices. There’s all the drinking, which is forgivable I guess because so many people drink when they’re underage. Amelia also practically gives it all up to the 1st male to show any bit of interest, but gets mad at her best friend for letting a guy her friend actually likes sit with them at lunch. She hangs all of her hopes on Chris, rather than believing in herself and seeing what she can accomplish.
- feminism – While Amelia’s concerns about her parent’s division of labor seem to be valid, I felt like the author was beating me over the head with her views on feminism. It’s cool that Amelia and Chris have conversations about things like classic literature and feminism, but I thought Chris’ very in-depth explanations about feminism got a bit preachy.
- Everyone is a bit quiet at lunch on Thursdays because there is a double math period right after. People silently try to psych themselves up for it, and when the bell rings, no one moves right away. Actually, the freeze – like animals caught in the headlights of the oncoming juggernaut of trigonometry. – ebook location 732
- “And if he wants to hang out with you, you might let him. but you will not be sitting around waiting. You will not be on hold. On ice. On…anything.” – Penny location 3127
Acquird: borrowed from library (ebook)