Love and Other Perishable Items

Buzo, Laura

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Love and Other Perishable Items
A fifteen-year-old Australian girl gets her first job and first crush on her unattainable university-aged co-worker, as both search for meaning in their lives.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2012], c2010
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780375870002
Branch Call Number: FIC B
Characteristics: 243 p. ; 22 cm


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Mar 15, 2015
  • FindingJane rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Wry, occasionally heartbreaking in tone and drily humorous, “Love and Other Perishable Items” shows that growing up is fraught with difficulties, no matter how young or old you are. Chris and Amelia’s “voices” are so precise; you feel as if they’re people that you met at a dull party and fell into conversation with, enlivening matters immensely. Amelia is an especially sparkling personality to read. She’s just 15 and yet already thoughtful beyond her years. That doesn’t save her from the usual adolescent perils: a wrongful crush, judgmental attitude and the near-crippling fear of being left alone while others get on with their lives.

Chris is 22 and his playful attitude towards Amelia avoids the threat of statutory rape that might otherwise have given this book a grimmer mood. Instead, we have two people struggling along to make sense out of their lives and their own treacherous emotions. Chris’s advanced years give him little social advantage over Amelia. He’s also floundering, stuck in his own hopeless crush, a dead-end job and still living with his parents.

The book takes an epistolary theme, with journal entries and letters revealing the inner hearts of its two main characters. It also has Chris and Amelia discussing various literary works. This doesn’t deaden the book by any means—just the opposite. The two argue in a way that makes these classics fresh, absorbing and rather pointed in their connection to their own modern problems.

As a look at adolescence and twenties adulthood, “Love and Other Perishable Items” is scintillating and insightful. It’s one of the best books about growing up that I’ve ever read and definitely more than a Young Adult novel.

Jan 27, 2014

Exceedingly charming and real. It's incredibly difficult to be both those things at the same time, but this book accomplishes it and makes the feat look easy. One of the best YA books I've read in recent years.

Mar 05, 2013

"From the moment Chris first teaches her to use the cash register at her new after-school job, Amelia is head-over-heels in love with him. But Amelia is 15, and Chris is 21 and a university student, so Amelia knows they'll never get together... but she can't help how she feels. This debut novel from an Australian author is realistically awkward, sometimes hysterically funny, and occasionally heartbreaking and will delight readers who like large casts of quirky yet believable characters, genuine emotion, and stories told from multiple perspectives." March 2013 Teen Scene Newsletter

Jan 16, 2013
  • CRRL_AngelaCritics rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Fifteen-year-old Amelia gets a job at the local supermarket and finds herself falling in love with her 22-year-old co-worker, Chris. As if the age difference wasn’t enough of a problem, Chris is still in love with the girl who dumped him. But this is more than a story of unattainable love. Amelia is a smart, strong person struggling with feeling awkward in social situations. She and Chris discuss literature, feminism and family roles as they become friends and deal with an attraction both know is unrealistic. This book is set in Australia and it is interesting to see the characters having Christmas during their summer vacation. An interesting read for someone who wants a bit more substance to their romance.


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Jul 05, 2014
  • my_milkshake_is_better rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

my_milkshake_is_better thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Jul 19, 2013
  • JCLCharlouL rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It's a year of firsts for Amelia. She is in the no-mans-land between the trenches of childhood and adulthood. She is in love for the first time. She is 15. They both work at a grocery store. He finds her different than the other girls he knows. He is Chris. He is 21.


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Love and Other Perishable Items
Buzo, Laura
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