Friday, December 7, 2012

Book Review: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Series: Standalone
Published: December 11th, 2012 (originally published under the title Good Oil on August 1st, 2010)
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
250 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary young adult
Acquired this book: From NetGalley
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Purchase this book: Book Depository || Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

Synopsis: 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?

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.

Love and Other Perishable Items is a cute, amusing story about a girl’s first experience with unrequited love, and a boy who loves everyone except for the right person. It was very different from anything I’d ever read, both in style and content.

Amelia had a very authentic voice, and her thought process felt very genuine. I remember being fifteen and feeling the sting of unrequited love (more times than I can count). And the whole ‘older boy’ thing - when I was thirteen, I was in love with an eighteen-year-old (he was on placement in my grade eight class), and I thought I was so much more mature than other girls my age, and that the age difference shouldn’t matter (I cringe writing that; sometimes I’d like to forget that I was ever that na├»ve). Through the entire book I was taken back to my teen years, and found myself identifying very easily with Amelia. I also loved that she was smart and quite mature for her age. I’d love to see more smart heroines who enjoy learning and actually take an interest in it.

Chris is absolutely hilarious. The things he says, does, and thinks (or, rather, writes in his journal) had me laughing out loud and thinking I could completely understand why Amelia loved him. He was flawed and could be a jackass, but he was mostly likeable, and easy to relate to. Most kids at that age are trying to find themselves and are working through stuff - college, jobs, family, relationships, friendships, uncertainty, wanderlust, etc. - so I found it as easy to connect with him as I did with Amelia. Even though it took me awhile to get used to, I enjoyed that the story was told from different perspectives - female/male, 15-year-old/21-year-old. It made for a very interesting twist.

I did have a few problems with Love and Other Perishable Items. Although I enjoyed the story, not a whole lot actually happened. At the beginning I found myself thinking it felt like reading someone’s diary, and then we actually did read Chris’s diary. The time line was a little confusing - the story was mostly told by Amelia, but then we would get parts that were from Chris’s journal and it would be way before or way after whatever was happening with Amelia, and I found it hard to keep up sometimes and make the switch.

Overall, I thought Love and Other Perishable Items was cute, funny, quirky, well written, and very authentic. Like its two main characters, the story had flaws, but they weren't enough to keep me from enjoying it. 

In accordance with FTC guidelines, I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No money or compensation of any sort exchanged hands. I review books to share my love of reading, and I'm always completely honest in my reviews, good or bad.
*Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book for review.*

Have you read Love and Other Perishable Items? What did you think? Do you remember your first experience with unrequited love?


  1. I read this one under a different name. I don't know why publishers change book names in different countries. I really enjoyed this one. I could have done less with Chris' POV only because he kept moaning about that other girl! Overall it was a nice read.

  2. Oh man, don't get me started on unrequited love... lol. I remember it quite vividly. What's nice about it is that the guy I thought I was in love with wasn't all I really wanted in the end. Although my heart was broken back then, my epiphany was liberating. Sometimes it's nice to be in your late twenties. You understand love better. :)

    About the book though... it does sound interesting although slightly irritating. :P

  3. I hadn't heard of this one and though it sounds a little plot-less, it sounds really cute. I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

  4. Oh wow, do I. I was thirteen and the minute he spoke to me, I was GONE. I had SUCH a crush on him but we were only ever really close friends. Then, it was the worst thing EVER, but as I moved on to other relationships, I can look back and see that it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was. :)

    This one sounds super cute! I really wanted to read it when it was on NG but never requested it - now I'm wishing I had!


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