Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Love and Other Perishable Items

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
4/5 stars
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2012
241 pages
YA Contemporary

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I first started seeing reviews of this, I was really freaked out to see that it featured a 15-year old girl and a 22-year old man-gross! What I didn't realize, because I mostly only skim reviews of books I haven't read to avoid spoilers, was that they were not dating. She has a crush on the charming older guy (understandable as he seems to "get" her in a way others don't) while he recognizes the inappropriateness and unsuitability of such a relationship. Saying that, I did kind of root for their friendship especially because I often age up a character if I think s/he seems older than written in the text.

In this case, I did find Amelia pretty mature especially for her age so I did sometimes catch myself making that mistake. We are in her head for most of the book so it is easy to sympathetize with what she wants for herself. She is also a responsible worker at the grocery store where she meets Chris, a trainer, and attempts to navigate the tricky social scene. I really empathized with her bewilderment over her slacker coworkers as someone who has been in that position. However I did not have a cute guy to crush on, oh woe is me!

We also get to see inside Chris' head with select journal entries, seeing him struggling with the end of university and the way his friends' lives are moving on. He is a lot of fun and it is very clear that he doesn't think of the young Amelia in a romantic way, which eased my concerns about his possible predatory status. Instead he pines for all manner of other women as he has to make big decisions about his life.

Besides the great leads, this book boasts an Australian setting. I haven't read many books set in Australia but if Buzo's debut is indicative of the quality, I will definitely be searching out some more, including her second, unrelated, title Holier Than Thou.  The hardest part was keeping track of the seasons since they're reversed from up here in the Northern Hemisphere. A sweltering Christmas is just bizarre to me!

Overall: A great contemporary read following the lives of two ordinary people and how they interact and grow over the course of a year.


  1. So is this a one-sided romance then? That wouldn't be too bad I guess. It is easy for young teens to develop crushes on older guys but creepy if it is reciprocated.

    I am curious about this book and while I don't think I'll be buying it for my library I may read it myself. I haven't read much fiction set in Australia either. It is funny to think that they get to celebrate Christmas in hot weather. I wouldn't mind that!

  2. I haven't seen many reviews of this one, it really excites me that it's setting is in Australia because I haven't yet to read a book that takes place there. Great review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  3. I've been waiting for your review. I am dying to read this and kicking myself for missing it on NetGalley. And I'm relieved that the relationship is complicated and unrequited and not squicky.

  4. Something about those Aussie writers! This sounds like a good story. I'll have to check it out and I'm with you, can't imagine a sweltering Christmas.


  5. Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for review.
    I had a bit of a time with the 22 yr old too.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  6. I don't think I have seen this one before, but it does sounds like something I would like. Great review and thank you for sharing it..

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  7. I just finished this one the other day and thought it was a pretty cute story!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  8. This one sounded interesting because I was actually curious how that relationship would progress. In books sometimes it is hard for me to tell age but I sometimes get grossed out too but not if it is a small age difference. SO many people loved Rose and Dimitri when it was a 17 year old with a 24 year old teacher but I figured this didn't sound much worse. Glad it doesn't get weird and that the characters are mature.

  9. I had a similar reaction when I read the summary, but you've assuaged my doubts. :) Great review. I can't wait to pick this book up for myself!

  10. Sounds like a pretty good book. I don't like to read too much of the synopsis if I haven't read a book but at the same time, I also like to know what I'm getting myself into. I ran into spoilers in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead because of the synopsis on the back :( Oh well. Happy reading!


Thank you for commenting-I love to read your thoughts! Feel free to leave a link to your latest post so I can stop by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...