"Love and Other Perishable Items", by Laura Buzo - Book Review

“So, Amelia, what do you hate?” he says, leaning back in his side of the booth.
“Yes, hate. You know, despise, loathe, abhor. What erodes you from the inside?”
“What, about myself, or the world in general?”
“Let’s start with you, then move on to the world in general.”
“I hate that I am fat and ugly and stupid.”
Chris takes a swig of his beer. “You are none of those things, but I can dig irrational self-loathing. What else?”

Australian author, Laura Buzo’s novel, Love and Other Perishable Items, takes a realistic and charming look at what a young girl endures when she has a crush that she knows deep down will not amount to anything except a broken heart. 15-year-old Amelia Hayes falls for her grocery store co-worker, Chris. At 21-years-old, Amelia knows that Chris is too old for her, but this does not stop her from falling for him and obsessing non-stop about every interaction.

The thing that makes this novel unique, is that the chemistry that develops between Amelia and Chris is heart-breakingly sweet and real. The dialogue between these two characters is some of the most raw and endearing that I’ve read in a very long time. Buzo has done an excellent job of developing the voice of both a young teenage girl and a confused 20-something guy as the story toggles back and forth between both characters’ perspectives.

Buzo masterfully pulls the reader through many different emotions of wanting these two characters to make a connection to knowing that Chris really isn’t the right guy for Amelia….yet. I don’t normally enjoy or read sequels, but these are two characters that I desperately want to follow as they continue to grow. I was really sad to see this book end, and I sincerely hope that Buzo will continue Chris and Amelia’s story.

Published: 2012
Publisher: Knopf

Sara's rating: 5 stars