Monday, December 10, 2012

Love and Other Perishable Items

Book:  Love and Other Perishable Items
Author:  Laura Buzo
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date:  December 18, 2012
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  B+

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?

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.
(cover and description from

Initial reaction
Yep, that’s exactly how it works…..::sighs::  too bad.

Cover story
I loved this title.  The title is what made me click on it to read more about it.  I also like the cover.  It’s catchy, it’s pretty and it’s not cliché.  I love the handwriting of the title.  It makes the book cover look like some high school girl doodle art.  This is one of my favorite covers from 2012, I’m pretty sure.  There is not one thing on this cover that is cringe-worthy and I would totally read this in public places with adults present.

What’s the Story?
You know the story.  You may have lived the story or are possibly living the story now.  Young high school girl falls in love with perfect, older, unattainable boy and learns the heartache of first love/crush.  That is this story.

The great thing about this book?  It made me feel so nostalgic.  Laura Buzo did a bang-up job of capturing that feeling you have as a young teenaged girl pining after a real-live guy who is just out of your reach.  I mean, she nailed it.  The obsession, the heart fail, the pining and the reality check.  It was all there, just like I remembered it.  In fact, it was so well-done that it made me even more happy that I NEVER have to go through that again!!!!

I liked Amelia.  She was just like a 15 year old girl should be.  I felt for her with the home situation, but like all 15 year olds, she handled it with grace and composure……wait!  I mean she handled it with attitude and eye rolls!  Seriously though, I liked her a lot for a 15 year old girl.  In fact, sometimes I liked her a lot more than the 15 year old girl that is residing in my home. : )

Chris was a wonderful object of affection/obsession.  I can see why Amelia fell for him.  I think I fell for him also.  Of course, he still needed to do some growing himself, but I knew that he would grow up to be an incredible man.

The reason that this book is a B+ for me is because there were places where the story seemed to just drag a little bit.  There really was not a major conflict in the plot, so sometimes the description of Amelia’s obsession got a little ho-hum for my taste.  And I’m just going to go ahead and admit it.  This book read like an 80’s John Hughes movie, full of teen anguish and teenaged epiphanies, so I really, really wanted the Jake Ryan ending!!!  Please, Laura Buzo!!  Would you write a Jake Ryan ending and send it to me??

Overall, this was a simple story that managed to capture the beauty and the melancholy of life as a teenaged girl.  It was a lovely read, even though it sort of broke my heart.  Yet, the ending was full of optimism for Amelia and all the wonderful experiences she has ahead of her. 

The Soundtrack

Yep, you guessed it!  I’m going with a totally John Hughes inspired soundtrack here!  All of these songs can be found on the soundtracks for teen classic movies like “Pretty in Pink”, “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club”.  The soundtrack of my adolescence…….

If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want by Slow Moving Millie (cover of The Smiths original)

Sixteen Candles by The Stray Cats

If You Were Here by Thompson Twins

Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds

We Are Not Alone by Karla Devito

Oh Yeah by Yello (My tribute to the 80’s soundtrack couldn’t be complete without this one.  Even though it really doesn’t relate to this book at all…..)

The Final Grade
My grade for this one is a B+.  There were a few places where it was a bit slow, but overall, I really enjoyed reading it…..and remembering my own awkward days as a 15 year old girl.

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