Review: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura BuzoGenre: YA
Warnings: Mature themes
Summary: From the moment Amelia 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?
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.
I really wanted to like this book. I really, really did. I picked it up one day at the bookstore while I was on a contemporary kick, and I figured that it sounded sweet and different enough that I would enjoy it. I wasn’t totally incorrect, but I was disappointed by what I found. This book is set in Australia and our main character is 15-year-old Amelia, who starts working at a grocery store as a cashier. She’s mentored by this college student named Chris, who’s funny and nice to her unlike her other coworkers. She starts falling for him despite the age gap, and the whole book deals with her struggling to come to terms with her feelings for Chris and also the aftermath of a particularly interesting encounter between the two.
There wasn’t anything specifically wrong with the novel. It does deal with some themes—namely the age gap between Amelia and her love interest—but I feel that they were a bit uncomfortable. In a way, that was a good thing, because these age gaps are supposed to be awkward and uncomfortable and imperfect. However, I feel that Chris, as the older guy and therefore more responsible one, handled situations very badly. The entirety of the book consists of Amelia trying to change herself to fit the mould that Chris has unknowingly set for her, and him constantly saying how great Amelia is just by being herself. The story is told from a dual point of view, Amelia and Chris’s, and I felt that Chris’s chapters sometimes droned and failed to get to the point. Overall, I liked the novel, but I felt that it dealt with the subject a bit inefficiently.
I gave this book a 3/5 stars on goodreads.