LOVE AND OTHER PERISHABLE ITEMS by Laura Buzo
Best of 2012
Kirkus Star

LOVE AND OTHER PERISHABLE ITEMS

Age Range: 14 - 18

KIRKUS REVIEW

A sweet and scathingly funny love story (kinda) from Australia.

Amelia is thoroughly crushed out on Chris. Chris pines for Michaela, though he does think Amelia is interesting. Amelia lives for her evening and weekend shifts at the local supermarket, aka “the Land of Dreams”; Chris lives for his post-work and -class benders and the hope of sex. As Chris says, “[Y]ou are fifteen and I am twenty-two, we have nothing in common socially and are at completely different stages in our lives.” Well, they are and they aren’t. Amelia is “in [the] no-man’s-land between the trenches of childhood and adulthood,” and really, so is Chris. About to finish his sociology degree, he still lives with his parents and avoids planning beyond university. Amelia tells her side of the nonromance in a smart, wistfully perceptive present tense, while Chris’ story unfolds in his journals, written with savage, self-deprecating, foulmouthed ferocity. These accounts are interleaved, though staggered chronologically so readers move back and forth in time as the relationship develops—a brilliant juxtaposition. Alcohol-drenched encounters outside of work are, with one exception, almost irredeemably sordid (though as funny as the rest of the book); the Land of Dreams becomes a weird haven for them both, where they discuss Great Expectations and school each other in third-wave feminism.

The exactly right conclusion eschews easy resolution, though there’s plenty of hope as they flounder into the future. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 11th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-87000-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2012




10 TEEN BOOKS ADULTS SHOULDN'T RESIST:

Children THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green
by John Green
Children THE NAME OF THE STAR by Maureen Johnson
by Maureen Johnson
Children EVERY DAY by David Levithan
by David Levithan
Children CHIME by Franny Billingsley
by Franny Billingsley

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenI’M BEING STALKED BY A MOONSHADOW by Doug MacLeod
by Doug MacLeod
ChildrenBETWEEN YOU & ME by Marisa Calin
by Marisa Calin
ChildrenBEATLE MEETS DESTINY by Gabrielle Williams
by Gabrielle Williams