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Love and Other Perishable Items Library Binding – December 11, 2012

66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9-11-Sensitive and intelligent Amelia Hayes, 15, takes an after-school job at a local supermarket, and the minute she meets university student Chris, who trains her to work the checkout, she's a goner. Alas, it's a mostly one-sided infatuation. Amelia wants romance with the charming 21-year-old, but he is mourning a failed relationship and sees Amelia only as a bright and funny "youngster." Over the course of a year, her cringe-worthy crush persists, although she tries valiantly to hide it from Chris and the rest of the supermarket crew, all of whom are quirky and deserve books of their own. Chris is busy working too many hours and trying to avoid graduating and getting a real job by extending his coursework to include a second major. It's abundantly clear that if there weren't such a dramatic age difference, the genuine friendship between Chris and Amelia could have morphed into a heavy-duty romance, and this makes her plight even more painful. The author captures all of the conflicting emotions of both characters by telling the story through Amelia's eyes as well as through some of Chris's journal entries, which provide background information about his failed love affair, his relationship with his family and friends, and his ambivalence about his future. There is quite a lot of underage drinking and some funny discussions of pot use. The realistic conclusion is a bit open-ended, which lends hope that there will be a sequel.-Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

The hot topic of romance on the job is at the center of this debut novel. Working at the checkout in her local supermarket in Sydney, Australia, 15-year-old Amelia has a crush on her handsome supervisor, college student Christopher. He likes the youngster, and they talk about classic books, movies, and more; but he is in love with fellow worker Michaela. Or is his obsession with his supervisor, Kathy? With a big cast, this novel from Australia takes on just about everything, mainly in Amelia’s first-person, present-tense narrative, with a few detours into Chris’ long notebook entries and letters. Woven around the romance plots are issues about feminism today: yes, mom can work, but why does she still have to do all the housework? What will hold teens most is the charged, authentic, and awkward social scene at work. Amelia is not popular: is it because she refuses to cozy? The realistic situations and questions will stay with readers. Grades 9-12. --Hazel Rochman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (December 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375970002
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375970009
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,960,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By nataliewwrites on December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Why is it that it's so much harder to write reviews for books you love? I mean, I could go on for pages and pages about the books I didn't like and all the things that were wrong with them, but ask me to review one of my favorites and it's all spluttering and gushing and then I just say READ IT or YOU WILL LIKE IT, I PROMISE. Which, you know, is usually true, but not all that helpful. Ahem.

But that brings me to my point, which is that Good Oil, or, as it will be known here in the States, Love and Other Perishable Items, is one of the good ones. In fact, for me at least, it's one of the great ones. I think this book might now be in my top five favorites. It's at least top ten. And how do I know this? Number one because of how it made me feel: giddy and light and warm and fuzzy and nostalgic and hopeful all wrapped into one. Those are the main reasons, obviously. Reason number two is stated in paragraph numero uno: I can't seem to write a review that says more than READ IT or YOU WILL LIKE IT, I PROMISE. I sat here staring at my computer screen for a good half hour earlier, right after I finished, trying to think of what to say do do this book justice. I kept deleting paragraphs because they weren't good enough, until finally I slammed my laptop closed in frustration and left to get dinner. After a good refueling, I think I'm ready to give this another try.

Part of what makes this book so special for me is the narrators. Chris and Amelia are wonderful characters, well rounded and fully fleshed out. I feel like I know them, like I could slip into the pages, sit down at the table in the break room at Woolies, and have a good chat about books, and the role of women in a society based on patriarchy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on December 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was super excited to read this book. From the moment I read about the book (I think it's one of Kirkus' best YA of 2010?) I was hooked on the premise. I guess I should say that I worked retail starting as a 16 year-old and I had many crushes on some of the older guys I worked with ;)

The actual book thrilled me less than the build up to reading it. I really liked Amelia, she was feisty and very real and as someone who was once in her situation (although not as intensely) I think her emotions rang true. Chris, I liked less. I liked his interactions with Amelia, but his journal entries, which are probably about 40% of the book, sometimes got a little off-topic. Without giving anything away I will say I liked how the journal entries tied into the story line towards the end.

About the cover, the cover here, which I assume is the Australian cover, doesn't really paint a great picture of the book. I think the girl looks too old to be Amelia and the girl and guy look too intimate to be Chris and Amelia. But the US cover, which is a drawing, makes the book look a lot younger than it is.
Which brings me to another point...when I was reading the first part of the book, which is in Amelia's voice, I was concerned I wouldn't be able to enjoy it because she's so young and inexperienced that it was hard for me to relate. I like YA, but I like older YA. But then the voice switched to Chris' POV and I felt the book got much older. Lots of sex, lots of drugs, lots of cursing--which doesn't bother me, but I did think it was a pretty big contrast.

Overall, I don't know if I agree with Kirkus, but it was a pretty good book and a really concept. In reality probably 3.5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on November 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Amelia is fifteen. She just got her braces off and she’s started her first job at a grocery store. She is in love with her co-worker Chris. Chris is smart, funny, confident…and twenty-one. He’s in his final year at university and there is no way, not a chance, that he’d be interested in Amelia. But Amelia can’t help but find herself drawn to him, and as their conversation get increasingly intense and personal, she can’t help but wonder if a relationship with him just might work…

Love and Other Perishable Items is a smart, painfully awkward, and realistic novel is told in both Amelia’s and Chris’s voices over the course of an emotionally tumultuous year. Buzo’s coming of age story takes most of its action from the grocery store setting in which both protagonists work, and the many zany and entertaining characters who work there. The plot isn’t particularly action-driven, but the characters’ thoughts and motivations are smart and insightful, and both Amelia and Chris ask the reader to ponder questions about love, modern family dynamics, education, and the consequences of feminist movements. With many quiet revelations and comically awkward scenes, Amelia and Chris learn to work through their personal issues, their feelings for each other, and how to embrace an uncertain future. Love and Other Perishable Items is an intelligent, satisfying book, and readers will be reluctant to leave Buzo’s carefully constructed world.

Cover Comments: I really appreciate the simplicity of this cover, and I think it fits well with the story. The interior design is also really nice.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brandi Leigh Kosiner on December 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
ives a unique flavor to the book. I got a sense of both of the characters but not so much of how their stories meet. This was the point of the story that didn't have me enraptured. I didn't have the patience to really see how they connected at the beginning, it felt like I was slushing through, especially the sections from Chris.
Amelia showed us a young and impressionable mind but a setting one at that. I like that she had other interests and that she wanted to think for herself. As for Chris, getting in his mind was also entertaining. Seeing what he dealt with and how he processed things, as well as how he actually saw Amelia compared to how she thought he saw her.
I also like how this book captured being young and in love, especially in a love that you know you can't have.
You could see Amelia growing and learning in front of your eyes, and the character development was great to watch.
While this wasn't my favorite contemporary it was a pleasant enough read.
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