Author: Laura Buzo
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Format: egalley* 256 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars
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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?
My thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
This book fooled and entertained me tremendously. I was looking for one thing and it totally took me in another direction. While I can’t say that this book exceeded my expectations, I can say that it did not disappoint me either. Really, it was breath of fresh, sweet air that surprised me, but also left too quickly.
Fifteen year old Amelia was one independent girl whom I enjoyed getting the chance to know. The best thing about young Amelia was her intelligence, her way with words and the depth of her mind. She may seem like an ordinary girl, but Amelia was smart and different. She got excellent marks on her schoolwork, loved English, and reads classic novels. She can talk about things you wouldn’t think a fifteen year old could talk about. She may be socially awkward and innocent in other aspects, but she still has a lot to learn. Amelia also cares about the welfare of her mother and her happiness and adores her younger sister. She observes other people around her and though she wishes to be like them, she doesn’t change herself to accommodate anyone. She’s pensive, passionate, and a tiny bit peculiar, but I liked her all the same.
Chris was a whole other story. He was just as passionate as Amelia when it came to books, movies, writing and lectures. I think that’s why he and Amelia just connected and hit it off so well. They share that intelligent and profound way of speaking and thinking. I loved that he wasn’t too cool to hang out with Amelia and that he was just a guy finding his way and looking for the right girl. While Amelia was socially awkward, Chris was a social butterfly. He was funny and easy to get along with. You couldn’t hate him even if you tried your very hardest.
Laura Buzo’s writing style is something I am not used to. It’s different and addictive and one that I hold great pleasure to be acquainted with. I loved how Buzo made it so we were able to see through Amelia’s eyes in the beginning for a few months and then we go back and see through Chris’s. I thought this was brilliant. Not much long dialogue goes on in this book, they are fairly short, but having this sort of forward-pause and rewind effect we have with Amelia and Chris made the whole story come full circle and allows us to just enjoy them simultaneously. The best part of this book is the banter between Chris and Amelia and how easily they are able to talk with one another. Everything about them is witty, interesting, and super entertaining.
To be honest, nothing truly happens in Love and Other Perishable Items. The main characters talk about their everyday lives, troubles, and tribulations, but nothing much more than that. We see through their eyes and we get to know them and learn to love them. It’s written in a genuine way that reminds us time and time again that life is not fair and not everything will go how we want it to. While this sort of thing may not be for everyone, I learned to appreciate this along the way. I believe that, even though it pains me to say, the decisions made in this book were the right ones. In the end, Laura Buzo may not have given me exactly what I wanted with Chris and Amelia, she did give me hope.
*Thanks to Random House for sending a copy for review.