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Posted February 28, 2013
Love and Other Perishable Items takes me back to the days of pup
Love and Other Perishable Items takes me back to the days of puppy love when you think so-and-so is perfect and beautiful and you're unworthy of him or her. You do everything you can think of to attract this person's attention and prove that you're awesome, that you're The One. That's what Amelia does. Honestly, I didn't have much to think about Chris at first, especially after reading from his perspective; his journal is filled with a lot of mundane activities; on top of that, he's in a slump and complaining about a lot of things (using a lot of bad words while he's at it) without doing anything to change his situation. I often found myself skimming the pages. Amelia is a good girl, on the other hand. A bit quiet, into English, and insecure about herself. She reminds me of me when I was her age, a bit. I was that quiet book nerd studying in between classes.
Amelia is starstruck with how sophisticated he is because of his age; she doesn't look at him like he's another human, but more like how one views an idol. And he's showing her this other world, one that pushes her out of her comfort zones. She's trying to fit herself into his world instead of thinking about how maybe she doesn't belong there, or at least compromising with him. I don't feel as though I have the right to judge her, as it took me a while to find where I belonged as well, but it isn't fun watching her go through all this either, especially since I know how destructive such behavior can be to one's self-concept. In a strange turn of events, I ended up sympathizing more with Chris than Amelia, namely because of their decisions at the end of the book and how they decide to move on with their lives after realizing their feelings towards each other. (Though I still don't like him all that much.)
On the writing style/general formatting: While I can appreciate multiple perspectives told in third person, I cannot read multiple perspectives told in first person. It's just too weird for me switching from one to the other. Another issue I had is with the formatting of the letters that Amelia and Chris write to each other. Italics would work just as well and would be easier to read. After a long day of class and looking at my laptop, it was just too much of a strain on my eyes to read the cutesy font used for the letters. In addition, I feel as though we're giving too many details about unimportant things (like Chris's mundane life) and left out on other details (like more character depth, especially with secondary characters).
Warning: Heavy use of cuss words, alcohol, drugs, mentions of sex
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