Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo
By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
Category: Young Adult (YA) Fiction
Author: Laura Buzo
Format: Hardcover, 252 pages
Publisher: Alfred Knopf Canada
Pub Date: December 11, 2012
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo is a light, young adult (YA) novel that begins in a local Coles supermarket sarcastically dubbed, “The Land of Dreams.”
It is there that an unlikely friendship occurs between a naive, but intelligent, and articulate fifteen-year-old girl named Amelia—and Chris, a charismatic, popular, but secretly lonely, 22-year-old, young man who eventually becomes not only a focus of her attention, but the center of her infatuation.
The two spend time together, first as trainer and trainee, working alongside one another as part-time employees at checkout and then evolve into confidants who share witty conversations on the topic of books, movies, feminist philosophy, and eventually their personal life stories.
THe narrative is written in first-person by both characters, Amelia from her point of view and then Chris by narrative in diary form.
While Amelia’s obvious youthful naivity and well-earned focus, intelligence, depth, and maturity deem her an outcast in the social world of the Coles supermarket, it’s these very traits that attract and uphold Chris’ respect for her.
And though the infatuation seems prematurely one-sided and potentially superficial, the two characters’ playful banter and dialogue shows both a natural rhythm and chemistry deemed of a flirtatious friendship with a potentially long history filled with comfort, and ease.
The pacing of the book is easy, while the story is light enough to be enjoyable, yet serious enough to be appreciated.
The characters are likeable, while at times and for me, sometimes difficult to believe that Amelia is merely (and realistically) a fifteen-year-old girl based on her acquired literary taste.
It is a story of youth and its inherent self-consciousness, its uncertainty, yet its reckless bravado and ambition in trying to attain great sexual experience and essentially acceptance into the adult world.
It is also a story about the sensitivity and awareness held by the youth that is often overlooked or misinterpreted.
And of course, it is a story about first love, forbidden love—or rather, inappropriate love and therefore, unrecommended courtship and the often blurred and emotional boundaries between.
A special thanks to Random House of Canada for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an unpaid, honest review.
My husband and I are seven years apart in age.
How large of an age gap do you think is inappropriate between couples and why?