Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Friday, September 18, 2015

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: December 11th, 2012
Pages: 243
Song I Played While Reading: Black Magic by   Little Mix
Rating: 4 stars

Love is; heart-wrenching, tongue-tying, butterfly-inducing. 
But most of all, 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 Christ, 21, is a sophistic 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. Their conversation crackles with wit and repressed longing, and 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? 

This. Was. SO. Cute. Cute and fluffy and quirky and hilarious. This was exactly what I needed to get over my Queen of Shadows hangover.
They're so many reasons why you should read this book, but first I must admit, it's one of those books that you'll either love or hate. Now, with that out of the way, let's get into the good stuff!
Amelia. She was a fucking riot. I was wary about reading from the pov of a 15 year old, but damn, I wish I had been this selectively spunky when I was that age. She's normally pretty quite and goes with the flow, putting in her two cents only if she feels strongly enough or because she enjoys talking to whoever she's talking too. This girl was a feminist, and it was hilarious. Her and Chris could talk for hours about the injustices of the world, especially about how cleaning commercials always featured a woman. It actually gave me pause because, holy shit. I never noticed this. I mean I did, but I never even thought to think about it. But Amelia did and charged into the rant, and it opened my eyes and made me realize that, hell yeah they should feature men in those commercials. Why the hell not? Not all woman clean the kitchen. Men do too sometimes, so why not feature them in there as well?
And then Chris would get into how he hated being jealous of other people who had more than him, solely because there were people out there with absolutely nothing.
Example: "I try not to envy him. It's disgusting to waste time envying those things when whole families, whole tribes, get slaughtered by the thousands in Africa, when leaky boatloads of refugees drown or starve by the hundreds in the open sea, and the children of those that do make it here have to grow up behind razor wire, watching their parents slide into insanity. When houses, families, towns get washed away in a day. I disgust myself when I covet things from Ro's life. But then, we humans have always coveted each other's oxen, haven't we?" 
It get's pretty deep at times, though at one point I thought Buzo was overdoing it a little because I was getting extremely bored with the history lesson we were getting. But that was only one time, and the rest of them are honest-to-god learning experiences. I didn't expect that in here!
Chris is insanely quirky, which was why I liked him. This book was split between their pov's, her's in present day, while his are from his diary. He had his own thing going on, not caring what other people thought of him, and was pretty damn intelligent, which was evident in the discussions him and Amelia had. It was sweet.
I was a little disappointed with the climax and the way Buzo steered the plot from there. She was revving us up for this huge thing and it happened and it just was... blah. Everything from that point on was, making it feel a little flat. But since I enjoyed 70% of the book, I decided to keep the four stars instead of making it 3.5
Overall, this was a really fun and light read. Go into it expecting to float on clouds of adolescent cuteness, with some lessons in history and english dabbled here and there.

""I," he said, "am Chris, your friendly staff trainer. You'll be with me for three four-hour shifts. I will call you Grasshopper and you will call me Sensei, and I will share with you what I know. Right?"
"Okay." I smiled. It was hard not to.
"Now," he said, fumbling in his pants pocket. "Where's your...? Got it." He pulled out a name badge that said Trainee. "This baby is yours for three days, and after that, if you play your cards right, you'll get your very own to love and cherish for all your days.
He approached me and fastened it to my shirt. I wasn't sure where to look.
"Just so you know, I'm open to all kinds of bribery."
"Good to know."

(The rest of these are from his diary entires, which were HILARIOUS)

"For the benefit of the new notebook, Kathy is at present- once again- the focus of my Search for the Perfect Woman. She seems to look hotter every day, and while she pretty much ignores me at uni, I do seem to be able engage her at odd moments when we are at work. She's dropped down to two shifts per week, though, so that's a bit crappy. The upshot is that I pretty much don't have a change with her. And, you know, thank God, because if I did, I'd have to give up my life style of soul-wrenching loneliness and sexual frustration. I'm too good at it to quit now. I could brood for Australia."

"The Kathy virus has been in and out of remission for, let's see, three years now. I might make an executive decisions sometime this year to actually hit on her proper and see what happens. Kathy reserves the right to shoot me down in a ball of flames at all times. At least I'll go to my grave knowing I did not go quietly into that good night."

"There was a fire in the Wonder Bread factory last night. Thousands have been left breadless. Foul play is suspected."

""Actually, yeah. I just started seeing this guy from uni. James Lyon. Do you know him?"
James Lyon, James Lyon. Yes, vaguely. He's one of her library-lawn gang. I've met him at the uni bar a few times. He's in his last year studying commerce. Already has a paid internship at a big accounting firm. Very, very tall and alpha-race looking. He could well be the one! Good luck to 'em. Of course, what I really mean is fuck them both. But I finally feel I am "on the level" with Kathy- with who she is and what she wants. And where a guy like me fits into her worldview, which is nowhere. I could have provided strawberries, poetry, and orgasms, but James, on the other hand, will provide a house in Vaucluse and a six-figure salary.
I can see clearly now. Amelia would be proud."

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