Love and Other Perishable Items
by Laura Buzo
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.
I've read many young adult books and, yes, quite a bit of them follow the same cookie-cutter storyline. Unlike others, however, I don't mind so much. If it's a good story - if it manages to grab my attention - I surely do not mind reading it.
With that said, Love and Other Perishable Items was a nice surprise! I do not consider the book cookie-cutter at all. Amelia is an average teenager dealing with life's many firsts: first job, first major fight with a best friend, first time having her sister living away from home, first time realizing her home situation - and first love.
What makes Amelia's situation different is the fact that her first love happens to be with Chris, a university student in his early twenties. With Amelia only being 15 years old - it sure throws a wrench into the equation.
Amelia is a very likable character, mostly because of how very real her personality and behavior comes off to the reader. The story is not a perfect fairy tale - not even close, but that is the charm of the story.
I recommend this story to anyone willing and wanting to read a realistic story about your average, but wonderful, teenage girl.