Thursday, December 13, 2012

Review: Love and Other Perishable Items


Love and Other Perishable ItemsAuthor: Laura Buzo
Published: December 11th 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 256 pages
Buy: The Book Depository

I don't read contemporary YA that often, but when I do, I almost always go for Australian. There's just something about the complex subtlety of their prose that pulls me right in each and every time. I first read Good Oil (title of Aussie edition) almost two years ago and it remains, to this day, one of my favorite contemporary books. It is, after all, yet another proof of how special and engrossing their writing style usually is. There must be something in the water!

This story is about 15-year-old Amelia, 21-year-old Chris and a group of young people working at a grocery store in Sydney. The narration is equally divided between Chris and Amelia, and although I definitely preferred Chris’ point of view, I felt that both their voices were captured really well.

Amelia is the girl that doesn’t really fit anywhere. Her family life is a mess and, as a rule, she isn’t getting enough attention from her parents. Chris, on the other hand, gets too much attention. He is one of those people who fill the room with their presence. Loud, very intelligent, completely messed up, extroverted and fun, he’s everyone’s favorite guy. He draws Amelia to him like a magnet and they spend a lot of time talking about books and feminism.


She's amusing - all frizzy-haired and fiery. I suspect she can, like, construct sentences and read books.


For me, processing a book that doesn’t distance itself from reality is always harder than dealing with something you know in your heart is fiction. I remember how utterly confused and conflicted I was when I first read this. I recognized its brilliance right away, of course, but it still hit too close to home in more ways then I can count.

Usually when I read a book I know exactly how I’d like it to end. I was at a loss this time because no matter how much they have in common intellectually, at the end of the day, Amelia is a kid, and Chris is… not. I was very curious to see how Laura Buzo would handle that particular mess, and I have to admit that I was very impressed, regardless of my initial (conflicted) feelings.

I could go on and on about this book because I find it much easier to write about books that I loved, but I see no point. I loved it. That's all you need to know.
I’m asking you all to read this. I promise you won’t be sorry.



24 comments:

  1. I am the same. When it comes to contemporary, I'm more than likely to be drawn to the Aussie titles. I think all the evidence so far confirms that there is something in the water down there. ;) Anyway, I've had my eye on this for a while and I'm curious to see how the story plays out. Especially the ending. Great review, Maja!

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  2. This sounds like a book id really enjoy!! Unlike you, I really enjoy reading contemporaries, and I really do read just any contemp out there! Its nice that this book is from 2 points of views, always make a book more excitement! Glad that you loved it, cant wait to read it! Great review Maja!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  3. Great review! I'm only just discovering Aussie authors so this book looks fantastic :D

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  4. I had a hard time with Good Oil but I'm definitely looking forward to this one.

    Thanks for a fantastic review, Maja.

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  5. I agree with your review 100% Maja, I'm a huge fan on contemporary books, but the Aussie definitely seem to pull it off tons better. I loved how were given the chance to get into Chris' head with this book too, both pov's were so enlightening. And there was just something about Amelia that made me love her character even more. Another beautiful review Maja, you make me want to do a re-read! :)

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  6. You don't have it to say it twice, I'm already sold! I can't wait to read this one. I need to read more Aussie authors. The few that I've read, I've enjoyed their books tremendously!

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  7. I am loving Aussie authors as well. I know what you mean this was not an easy book to review and I suspect the average reader may not love it, but I did and that is all that matters.

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  8. I have not read anything by Aussie authors, although It seems like they have very great, popular book. Maybe I will start soon. I love the idea of this novel, as you said Maja, this hits too close to home. I can almost feel Amelia's heartbreak that she cannot be with her love. So heartbreaking. I think that I will fall in love with this one, totally
    Beautiful review, Maja, as always
    Your reader,
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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  9. I have never heard of this book but now I'm extremely curious, the synopsis sounds good. This Chris sounds very interesting ;)
    If this is one of your favorites and you don't usually read a lot of contemporary that says A LOT to me. Definitely added to my wishlist on GR.
    Thanks for the review. :)

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  10. Fantastic review, Maja! I'm SO glad this book released in the US since I love it SO MUCH! For me, Amelia was such an endearing protagonist and every time I read Buzo's work, I just feel so INTELLIGENT. I feel like the conversation is all so SMART, yet effective, which I adore. It reminds me of the dialogue in my favorite movie, "You've Got Mail." This one spoke to me on so many levels, so I need to buy the US Version ASAP and re-read it this Christmas for sure! :D

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  11. This book was brought to my attention a few weeks ago and I immediately fell in love with the synopsis and beautiful cover! I've never read a book by an Aussie author but a lot of their contemps do sound wonderful. I'm really eager to see how the author deals with such a controversial relationship and how she handles the conflict. I'm so glad you love this book so much, Maja - it encourages me to pick it up even more.

    Fantastic review as always <3

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  12. I still really wonder if there are any big differences between this version and the Australian one. I might have to investigate that someday. I love the ending of this book though - she really knows how to (not) end a book imo. Just the way I like it. ;)

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  13. I still really wonder if there are any big differences between this version and the Australian one. I might have to investigate that someday. I love the ending of this book though - she really knows how to (not) end a book imo. Just the way I like it. ;)

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  14. Your recommendations are trustworthy, so I've added it to my TBR list :)

    I don't read a lot of contemporaries either, but I think most of the ones I like are Australian too! (Okay, let's be honest, most of them are by Melina Marchetta, haha.)

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  15. Oh yes, I adore those Aussie authors! This book is on its way and I'm reading it the moment it arrives! So happy to see another great review of it!

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  16. *nods* Aussie authors are awesome, and I'm normally more swayed towards comtemp Aussie titles. This book has such a cute cover, it's simple yet pretty. Great review, Maja! ^^

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  17. So excited for this one Maja! Like you, I struggle to write the reviews of the books I love most, all I really want to say is "don't go another minute without picking this book up":) I was curious when I read the premise as to how the crush a 15 year old has on a 21 year old would be resolved, and I'm so glad to know the way it's handled impressed you. Lovely review!

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  18. I like how this is more of a gentle insistence to read the book than a review. Those work the best :)
    I have this on top of my TBR and will be reading it this month, hopefully. I love tough, challenging, messy premise in a book and see how the author manages her/his way around it.
    I like the new title of the book too.

    Addie @ That READioactive Book Blog

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  19. Maja, I skimmed your review, because i am actually reviewing this and doing a giveaway in February for it during Fiery Hot Reads, but I am so excited you liked it, because we tend to agree, well most of the time...LOL

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  20. Wonderful review. I keep hearing great things about this one lately, so it sounds like I should check it out. I didn't realize it was an Australian book until your review though; I keep hearing Aussie authors are brilliant...I must read more!

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  21. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this book at first, but then all the raving reviews started to come in and I knew I had to give it a try. Plus, you gave it such a high rating so it has to be good! I really like the sound of the characters! Lovely review as always, Maja! I'm really glad that this contemporary worked for you! :)

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  22. I'm completely wondering how this turned out. Aussie contemps hold a special place in my heart and this sounds more appealing to me than Holier Than Thou. I'll have to pick this up, especially with 4.5 stars. Wonderful review Maja. :)

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  23. So glad you loved this! I didn't like it as much as most readers - not sure why (I'm going to try re-reading it) but I do hope that you LOVE Holier Than Thou.

    p.s would you like me to send you a copy? Let me know if it's hard for you to get!

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  24. Great review, Maja! You've convinced me that I really need to read this soon! I hope I enjoy it just as much :)

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