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Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Publication date: Dec. 11, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Borrowed from library
Summary: From the moment Amelia sets eyes on Chris, she is head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, is 15. She knows it's not gonna happen so she plays it cool around Chris. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship and 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? (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…The good: Okay seriously, I've really enjoyed or loved almost every Aussie contemporary YA novel that I've read and this was no exception. Love and Other Perishable Items (previously known as Good Oil) is told mainly through the eyes of Amelia, an intelligent, funny, but awkward 15-year-old who has slowly but surely fallen for Chris, her 21-year-old coworker (we're treated to a few chapters from his point-of-view too!). Clearly nothing can happen here. She knows it, he knows it. We know it. And yet.. despite their age difference (which I would be against in real life), I found myself hoping they could overcome the odds. Who cares about age, they get each other! They have conversations about books, family, feminism, relationships (Chris is quite the sharer) and life in general. It made me think of how girls are so much more mature than guys anyway. So it didn't feel too strange that their conversations could feel like they were on equal footing. I mean, he definitely has more life experience than her (although her awkwardness is part of what endeared her to me) but she is a smart girl with a lot of opinions. I could see why he'd be drawn to her. And looking at things from her perspective, it's easy to see why she'd be charmed and infatuated by him too. The book just made me unexpectedly laugh and reminisce about being her age and going through first loves, first kisses and first parties in a way that felt real.
(Minor) reservations: The book focuses on Amelia's feelings for Chris but there are other topics that get touched upon. Like her relationship with her parents or her best friend. I wish we had gotten more details on that and maybe even more of a conclusion. The end came a bit too soon and I didn't exactly get the closure I was hoping for.
Do I recommend?: Yes! Especially if you've liked a much older guy before, I think you'll relate and enjoy this even more than I did.