Monday, December 10, 2012

I Second That: Love and Other Perishable Items by Lauren Buzo

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

We gave this book a preview with this Up and Coming post. But since we're getting down to the very end of the year, AND THIS BOOK JUST GOT A MORRIS AWARD NOMINATION, I wanted to throw my two cents in about this book as well. It's Australian and for me has a similar feel to Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (see our review here). It definitely walks the line between teen and "new adult." One of the narrators is a sophomore in high school and our other narrator is struggling to finish out college.

Have you ever had a crush on someone older than you? It's like the term crush was made just for this case because no matter how perfect you think the person would be for you, the crushing truth is that the age difference is going to make it impossible for any sort of relationship to happen. This is totally Amelia's life. She's been crushing on Chris since she started working at the grocery store after school a few days a week. Unlike the guys she goes to school with, Chris wants to talk about literature and politics with her. He listens to her rants and doesn't just talk over her. She knows it's completely ridiculous to spend her days waiting for her shifts ringing up items next to him, but that's what she's doing anyway.

What's interesting about Love and Other Perishable Items is that we also get Chris' point of view. He's finishing up a course at university and dealing with a completely different set of problems than Amelia. He's living at home, despite feeling way too old for that. He's still completely hung up on his ex girlfriend and yet spends a lot of time coming up with ways to flirt with one of the grocery store's managers. For a long while Amelia doesn't even figure into his thoughts. She's just the newbie who he's been training.

Love and Other Perishable Items stands out for me because things don't happen the way they might in a movie. For instance, no crushable neighbor suddenly shows up to save the day or at least take Amelia's mind off the situation. Instead this book feels like how horrible and awkward being 15 can be. Sometimes you make a fool of yourself in front of a crush. Sometimes you make terrible decisions. And a lot of the time the mistakes you make end up working out in the end. You'll definitely be wincing at some of the decisions that Amelia AND Chris make, but it's worth it to find out just where their paths are going.

If you're brave enough to find out what a crush looks like from the other side, than this book is for you.

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