Love and Other Perishable Items

Love and Other Perishable Items

by Laura Buzo


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Love is awkward, as fans of Rainbow Rowell and E. Lockhart well know. Funny and heartbreaking in equal measure, this grocery store romance was a Morris Award Finalist for Best YA debut.

"Smart, honest and full of achingly real characters. And it made me laugh. What else would you want in a book?" —Melina Marchetta, Printz Award-winning author

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.

"A sweet and scathingly funny love story." —Kirkus, Starred Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307929747
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 12/10/2013
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 442,460
Product dimensions: 5.47(w) x 8.15(h) x 0.55(d)
Lexile: HL810L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

A life-long resident of Sydney Australia, LAURA BUZO is a social worker and mother to a young daughter. Love and Other Perishable Items is her first novel.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Smart, honest and full of achingly real characters. And it made me laugh. What else would you want in a book?" —Melina Marchetta, Printz Award-winning author of Jellicoe Road

"Charged, authentic, and awkward  . . . The realistic situations and questions will stay with readers." —Booklist

Customer Reviews

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Love and Other Perishable Items 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Some_Reading_Required More than 1 year ago
I have conflicting feelings towards Love and Other Perishable Items. On one hand, this story is incredibly raw and honest. Buzo’s writing style really captures the spirit of adolescence. On the other hand, this book’s execution had my mind spinning. Because of the nonlinear narration and dual POVs, everything just seemed so discombobulated. For a two hundred and fifty page book, it sure took me a heck of a long time to finish this one. If I hadn’t become so enamored with Chris’ POV and dedicated enough to finish this one before its U.S. release, I might have marked it DNF. Amelia, Amelia, Amelia… What can I say about Amelia? Well for starters, I spent the first quarter of the book despising her. Her whiny and at times, snobbish behavior, drove me berserk. I couldn’t connect to her at all. For me, Love and Other Perishable Item’s saving grace was the introduction of Chris’ POV. The premise didn’t really indicate this change up in narration so when it first came I was hesitant. Not only do I normally dislike multiple POVs, I also tend to dislike male perspectives. (I guess there’s a first for everything.) I ended up adoring Chris’ POV, even more than Amelia’s. (Go figure.) While reading, I’d actually get depressed whenever it’d revert back to Amelia. Luckily though, through Chris’ perspective I actually began to see a different side to Amelia. I started understanding and respecting her character more because of Chris. He saw a different side to her, one that was masked because Amelia herself felt so self-conscience and small. I liked Love and Other Perishable Items because it was realistic. Bruzo does a great job of portraying a young girl navigating her way through high school (and life) by experiencing a multitude of “firsts”. I also thoroughly enjoyed following Chris along his own path of self-discovery. Like me, he has recently come to the end of his college journey and is struggling with the “what’s next?” dilemma. I loved being able to relate to Chris on this level. It made my connection to his character and the book as a whole, stronger. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. The story was great, having left off on a bittersweet ending, but I couldn’t get over the timeline confusion. I also found this book very repetitive because every time the POV would switch off, we’d get a replay of what had already occurred. Unfortunately I’m not a fan of this style. Regardless, if you like cute and quirky contemporaries that are leaning towards the New Adult genre, you’ll enjoy Love and other Perishable Items.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really author? That ending sucked so bad. Why couldnt you just have Chris return?
RaeLynn_Fry More than 1 year ago
This book had its moments. It was good, but in the end rather un-impressionable and somewhat forgettable.  It’s about the Amelia, who’s just turned 16 and has fallen in love with an older boy she works with, Chris. The thing is, it will never work between them. Chris knows this, and Amelia knows this, but part of her still holds out hope. And part of him is sort of interested.  I think what appealed to me most about this book was the fact that the author was able to capture that part in a young girl’s life with such realistic accuracy. Falling for the older guy, knowing nothing’s going to come from it, but holding out hope for it anyway.  It’s told from two different points of view, Amelia’s and Chris’, so we get both sides of a situation and what’s going on inside their heads. In the end, you cheer for, somehow--beyond all socially accepted and legal odds--that they would find a way to be together. But that’s not realistic. The ending that the author came up with, is. Happy reading, my friends!
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you want to read something uplifting, funny and romantic, this is not for you. There is barely a dose of romance. The girl obsessively thinks about the guy. And the guy is... well... a guy. There are many aspects of life that weigh down these two characters and the book borders on depressing. It is healthy to have such a dose of reality every once in a while. But know what you're getting into.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
ives a unique flavor to the book. I got a sense of both of the characters but not so much of how their stories meet. This was the point of the story that didn't have me enraptured. I didn't have the patience to really see how they connected at the beginning, it felt like I was slushing through, especially the sections from Chris.      Amelia showed us a young and impressionable mind but a setting one at that. I like that she had other interests and that she wanted to think for herself. As for Chris, getting in his mind was also entertaining. Seeing what he dealt with and how he processed things, as well as how he actually saw Amelia compared to how she thought he saw her.       I also like how this book captured being young and in love, especially in a love that you know you can't have.       You could see Amelia growing and learning in front of your eyes, and the character development was great to watch.       While this wasn't my favorite contemporary it was a pleasant enough read.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Amelia is fifteen and chafing under her stunning lack of control over her own life. She is also painfully and completely in love with Chris who works checkout with her at the local supermarket. Chris is twenty-one. Amelia is a smart girl and she knows that Chris is a smart guy. She knows that Chris talking to her about literature doesn't mean much beyond the fact that no one else working at the Land of Dreams actually reads. She knows that being his confidant about his studies at university or even his partner for witty banter does not magically mean she'll ever be his girlfriend. But somehow when Amelia is with Chris, anything seems possible. Especially when, as time passes, it starts to feel like maybe Amelia isn't the only one feeling the effects of this crush. In a year filled with a lot of change and a lot of new things for both Amelia and Chris, this improbable pair will learn that friendships--and sometimes even more confusing feelings--can blossom anywhere in Love and Other Perishable Items (2012) by Laura Buzo. Love and Other Perishable Items is Buzo's first novel (published in 2010 in Australia before making its way to the US in 2012). It was a nominee for the Morris Award for YA Debut Fiction in 2013. Love and Other Perishable Items is an incredibly smart book with not one but two introspective narrators who are as approachable as they are authentic. Amelia is sharp and clever as well as utterly endearing. The first part of the novel, called "Spheres of No Influence," aptly highlights the breadth of her world as well as its limitations in a way that makes sense within the context of the plot as well as for an actual teenaged girl. Spending so much of this novel seeing Chris through Amelia's rose-colored glasses, it's hard to view him as anything but perfect. In the frame of Amelia's adoring descriptions, who wouldn't fall in love with Chris just a little? Buzo brings Chris into sharper focus by presenting parts of the story through his journal entries. Chris is broken. He is lonely. He hurts. He is, like many young adults, lost and trying to find his way to adulthood in whatever form that may take. The incredible thing here is how well Amelia and Chris's stories come together. Their frustrations and hopes, on many levels, mirror each other as both characters struggle to figure out who they want to be and how to get to that version of themselves. Love and Other Perishable Items is a melancholy, buoyant novel about looking for love and finding oneself with equal parts letting go and holding on. Nothing in this book is especially neat or clearly defined, but neither is real life. In many ways this story is only the beginning, for both Amelia and Chris, as readers are left to imagine what other marvelous things life has to offer these two well-realized protagonists. Highly recommended. Possible Pairings: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg, The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee, To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last by Susan Juby, The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord, Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aug 3 Bills vs Giants Hall of Fame Game