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Love and Other Perishable Items
Cover of Love and Other Perishable Items
Love and Other Perishable Items
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Love is awkward, as fans of Sarah Dessen and E. Lockhart well know. Funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, this grocery store romance was a Morris Award Finalist for Best YA debut.

"Smart, honest and full of achingly real characters. And it made me laugh. What else would you want in a book?" --Melina Marchetta, Printz Award-winning author

From the moment Amelia 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 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.

"A sweet and scathingly funny love story." --Kirkus, Starred Review

From the Hardcover edition.

Love is awkward, as fans of Sarah Dessen and E. Lockhart well know. Funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, this grocery store romance was a Morris Award Finalist for Best YA debut.

"Smart, honest and full of achingly real characters. And it made me laugh. What else would you want in a book?" --Melina Marchetta, Printz Award-winning author

From the moment Amelia 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 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.

"A sweet and scathingly funny love story." --Kirkus, Starred Review

From the Hardcover edition.

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Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.0
  • Lexile:
    810
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
About the Author-
  • A life-long resident of Sydney Australia, LAURA BUZO is a social worker and mother to a young daughter. Love and Other Perishable Items is her first novel.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 5, 2012
    Set over the course of a year, Buzo's debut, first published in Australia, tracks 15-year-old Amelia as she pines over Chris, a boy six years her senior, who works the checkout with her at a supermarket in New South Wales. Amelia knows that a relationship with Chris is probably impossible, but she can't get him out of her head. From the beginning, Buzo underscores the idea that Chris and Amelia are simply at different stages of their lives (a line Chris even uses on Amelia at one point). Chapters told from Amelia's perspective are all about Chris, even as she vents her frustrations about her parents' relationship and feeling young and naïve. Conversely, Amelia barely warrants a mention in Chris's chapters, diary entries in which he mopes over being dumped by the love of his life and details partying with friends at university. Throughout, readers see how little Amelia really knows about Chris, a powerful bit of dramatic irony. It's a believable and often funny portrait of the messy relationship between a starry-eyed but sharp-witted teenager and a young man stumbling his way into adulthood. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from November 15, 2012
    A sweet and scathingly funny love story (kinda) from Australia. Amelia is thoroughly crushed out on Chris. Chris pines for Michaela, though he does think Amelia is interesting. Amelia lives for her evening and weekend shifts at the local supermarket, aka "the Land of Dreams"; Chris lives for his post-work and -class benders and the hope of sex. As Chris says, "[Y]ou are fifteen and I am twenty-two, we have nothing in common socially and are at completely different stages in our lives." Well, they are and they aren't. Amelia is "in [the] no-man's-land between the trenches of childhood and adulthood," and really, so is Chris. About to finish his sociology degree, he still lives with his parents and avoids planning beyond university. Amelia tells her side of the nonromance in a smart, wistfully perceptive present tense, while Chris' story unfolds in his journals, written with savage, self-deprecating, foulmouthed ferocity. These accounts are interleaved, though staggered chronologically so readers move back and forth in time as the relationship develops--a brilliant juxtaposition. Alcohol-drenched encounters outside of work are, with one exception, almost irredeemably sordid (though as funny as the rest of the book); the Land of Dreams becomes a weird haven for them both, where they discuss Great Expectations and school each other in third-wave feminism. The exactly right conclusion eschews easy resolution, though there's plenty of hope as they flounder into the future. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    December 1, 2012

    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, NY

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Melina Marchetta, Printz Award-winning author of Jellicoe Road

    "Smart, honest and full of achingly real characters. And it made me laugh. What else would you want in a book?"

  • Booklist "Charged, authentic, and awkward . . . The realistic situations and questions will stay with readers."
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    Random House Children's Books
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Laura Buzo
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