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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Publisher: Random House
Published: December 11, 2012
Pages: 256
Source: For Review from Random House
Rating: 4 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, 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?

In short: Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo is an entertaining read that is refreshing in its simplicity.
Who knew I could be kept so entertained with a book in which nothing much happens? Love and Other Perishable Items is a book about the day-to-day life of 15-year-old Amelia working part-time as a cashier in a grocery store and crushing on her 21-year-old coworker, Chris. Sometimes it’s perfectly nice and refreshing to read something so normal and inconsequential – especially since I read Love and Other Perishable Items right after finishing a particularly intense and heavy book.

Laura Buzo has created a vibrant cast of fun characters in Love and Other Perishable Items. I found Amelia to be incredibly endearing and quite sensible for her age. And it was not hard to see why she falls so hard for the charming Chris, who treats her as no guy has ever treated her before – but is interested in girls who are completely different from her. I could totally relate to Amelia’s frustrations that Chris only ever seems interested in girls who either have no substance or who don’t return his interest. But despite Chris’ sometimes douchey moments and despite their age difference, I still found that I was rooting for Amelia and Chris to work out some way to be together. Laura Buzo handles the situation expertly and I thought the ending was perfect in its realism.

Love and Other Perishable Items is told through a dual narrative – a sort of he-said she-said manner of storytelling in which Amelia gets her side of the story told and then we hear the same exact events again, but told through Chris’ journal entries this time. So not only does nothing remarkable ever happen in the plot, but we get to hear these unremarkable plot points told twice – and it was somehow still entertaining! I thought that was impressive. Laura Buzo has a sort of subtle humour in her writing that is fun to read and makes Love and Other Perishable Items compulsively readable.

Overall, though there was nothing particularly profound about Love and Other Perishable Items, that’s okay because there doesn’t need to be and it was still an enjoyable read anyway.

Other Reviews:
A Girl, Books and Other Things
Midnight Bloom Reads
Xpresso Reads


  1. Eeeep! I won this one over the weekend and I can't wait for it to show up. I love a good contemporary that just follows the day to day like and is completely unremarkable. I didn't know it was told from both perspectives, that makes me even MORE excited! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ahhh Aylee! For some reason this one had completely dropped off my radar, I have no idea why! I need to put it back on the list, it sounds like such a great read. Sometimes I love a story where nothing hugely dramatic happens - like you said, they're nice to read in between the really heavy books. As long as the characters are really strong and fleshed out, I'm good with the plot just being their day to day lives:) Fabulous review!

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. It's nice that such a simple little book can still be entertaining. I like that you get the dual p.o.v. too. I hear the journal aspect of Chris' point of view was great.


  4. I've been hearing SUCH GOOD things about this book!! I think I would root for the couple too and I love subtle humour. Great review. :D

  5. Yay!! I'm glad you liked it!!
    I agree that it's a book where nothing much happens but I think that's one of the beautiful things about it, it's kind about every day, ordinary life. :D

    And I liked the humor too. :D

  6. I have read a number of really good review regarding this one. I am glad you liked it, considering contemporary novels aren't really your thing. I will for sure keeps my eyes open for this one.

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! This is the only book that I have ever pre-ordered, and I just started reading it today, though I've had to read it in small bursts so I don't hurt myself from smiling so much. This book sounds so much like my first real crush (on a guy significantly older than me, also named Chris), and so far I can relate to her so much, and I'm just loving it. I hope I like it as much when I finish it. :)

  8. Wonderful review! You're right, sometimes I need books like this one too. I first read the Aussie edition (Good Oil) more than a year ago, and I just reread it because I couldn't resist and it was even more wonderful the second time.
    I'm glad you liked it too.

  9. It surprises me this is something you liked. Its a little out of you genre niche. After reading your review, it sounds enjoyable. I bet I'd like it because I really like Anna and the French Kiss. Like "ANNA" this one sounds like its about a relationship you have to root for, which is always fun for me.

  10. This sounds adorable! Sometimes I think the best love stories are the ones that don't have a ton of plot -they're the ones that focus on the characters, and the build up. And this sounds exactly like what this book does! Plus, I love reading books with guys' journal entries. This doesn't happen too often. I'm sold!

  11. I think I'd love this one too! Sometimes it's nice to read a normal book and not paranormal/sci-fi/dystopian or anything else. Another blog (I think it was Giselle's) also reviewed this book pretty much saying the same thing. Thanks for the awesome review, Eilidh! (Do you mind if I spell it like that? Unless I'm spelling it wrong.....)

  12. I'm not a huge contemporary fiction fan, but this sounds like something I might like! I like contemporary fiction that has a "vibrant cast of characters" and I also like dual narratives. Both the girl and guy's perspectives is a favorite of mine. (Have you read Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles?)

    This is going on my to-read list!

    Lauren @ Hughes Reviews

  13. I'm back! :)

    I like the sound of this one even though you mentioned that there's nothing profound about it. It sounds perfect as a light read. I'm sure I'd be rooting for Chris and Amelia as well so I'm curious to find out how Buzo concludes the book.

  14. This book does look very good! I love the cover. But I do like a book that sticks with me ... this one seems like it would be a book I would read and forget about soon after. Still, maybe I'll give it a go one day!

  15. This sounds super cute and I love the title. I will definitely keep this in mind for next time I want a nice light but enjoyable read.

  16. I discovered this book with its Australian title of Good Oil and I've been interested in reading the book ever since. I love reading emotional and light YA contemporaries both so I know I'll enjoy it as much as you did!

    Great review, Aylee!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

    P.S. I LOVE your blog. I just discovered it today and can't believe it took me so long to discover yours. The title and powerpuff girls-esque HP header is made of awesome! =D