Thursday, February 14, 2013

Book Review: Love and Other Perishable Items

Author: Laura Buzo
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

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, 15, is 15.

Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not going to 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.

“For those who are unfamiliar with the lifestyle, you do get used to having a whooping pointless crush.” – Hardback Copy pg. 26

“Like me with Chris. Will I always be the Youngster who can’t shed her puppy fat, doesn’t know what a bong is and has no fashion sense? This could go on for years. What if I can never free myself from it? What if I find myself forty years old and giving Chris marital advice with similar anguish?” – Hardback Copy pg. 57

“Back in my room, I pause in front of the mirror long enough to ascertain that I look the same today as I did yesterday. In bed, I open my bedside table drawer, get out Chris’s letter and run my eyes over his handwriting. I rub my feet together to warm them. Curling up in a ball, I think: Sun rises, sun sets, and still no Chris.” – Hardback Copy pg. 133

“Chris is king of winning smiles and witty banter, but thus far there has been neither. There is a smile from him, though – less brilliant than usual but more genuine. It nourishes me.” – Hardback Copy pg. 165

Amelia has developed a crush. On a twenty-one year old. She is only fifteen. This could be a problem. Amelia has accepted the fact that it is never going to happen. But what if Chris likes her back? What happens then? Will it be okay for the two of them to carry on a relationship? As their friendship and relationship progress, readers will be taken on a journey where they will laugh, cry, and best of all remember what it was like to be fifteen again. Laura Buzo is truly a talented author and writes from the perspective of a fifteen year old better than I have seen it done before!

The publicist for this book asked me to wait until around Valentine’s Day to post my review, and I now understand why. This book took me back to high school, my first crush, and my first heartbreak. Amelia’s story is full of cute and quirky moments that are sure to place anyone back in their high school years. Like I mentioned before, Buzo captures what it is like to be in those awkward stages right before reaching adulthood. This book would be perfect for young girls and guys alike. Amelia is in the process of “finding” herself and learns a lot about herself and the others around her as well.

Amelia’s character reminded me a lot of myself when I was that age. She was quirky and somewhat awkward at times, but what fifteen year old isn’t? Watching her fall harder and deeper for Chris made me actually miss the parts of high school that weren’t so bad. This book brought back the butterflies in the stomach feeling for me because I was so invested in Amelia’s character that I was hanging on the every word and movement of Chris just like she was. I hope others read this book and are taken down memory lane just like I was. I laughed and cried and didn’t miss one single page!

***A huge thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

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