Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

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Title: Love and Other Perishable Items
Author: Laura Buzo
Release Date: December 11, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 256
Source: Copy provided by publisher

Overall: 3.5 Stars

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?

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.

My Thoughts: 
Laura Buzo's debut novel, Love and Other Perishable Items, is filled with pages of quirkiness and Australian charm. It was not the contemporary romance novel I had been initially expecting, but I still enjoyed every moment of reading Love and Other Perishable Items!

Amelia is fifteen and Chris is twenty-one. When Amelia gets a job at a Coles supermarket, which Chris jokingly refers to as the Land of Dreams, he takes her under his wing and trains her how to serve customers. Despite the age difference, they are open and honest to each other, and soon enough, become unlikely friends. The novel is told from dual perspectives, with Amelia's point of view in first person and Chris's narration in the form of journal entries. And wow, did they ever have differing perspectives!

Amelia's thoughts are consumed by her hopeless crush on Chris, her parent's seemingly unhappy marriage, and the frustrating book characters in the classic English novels she must read for class. She's an avid reader who bonds with Chris over her reactions of the novels, and isn't afraid to speak what is on her mind... well, almost everything. As Chris flirts with their coworkers, she pretends she only likes him on a friends-only level.

While Amelia may look up to Chris as someone who is sophisticated and wise, when you see events from his perspective, there is quite a contrast. Chris feels very lost and unsure of himself, and like most university students, he hates answering questions about his future after school. His friends may be moving on with their lives, but he's in a form of stasis working at the Land of Dreams. He often drinks a lot with their misfit coworkers, but it's with Amelia that he has real conversations.

It was almost comical how much Amelia thinks of Chris, and how little he seems to notice her in his journal entries. Based on the six-year age gap, they simply have different real-world concerns to worry about. So while the ending may seem bittersweet to some readers, I thought it was realistic and made perfect sense. With themes which both teens and adults alike can relate to, Laura Buzo's Love and Other Perishable Items is definitely more than just a cute contemporary read! 

Thanks so much to Random House Canada for providing this review copy! 

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  1. I'm glad you liked this book over all! I've loved it since I got a chance to read the aussie edition.

    I found very interesting how Amelia doesn't really feature in Chris's journal entries other than here and there over the course of time, while she constantly think about him.

    1. I remember how much you enjoyed the book, so I was interested in reading Love and Other Perishable Items too! I completely agree that it was interesting how their POVs were so different from each other! :)

  2. This books sounds so sweet. I am dying to read it. I have seen a lot of great reviews of it in the last few days. I am glad you liked it.

    Sara @ Just Another Story