Love and Other Perishable Items

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

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Fifteen year old Amelia’s life is pretty mundane. School is boring. Home is boring, especially since her old sister left for college. And it seems that the only exciting thing about her life is her Saturday night hangouts with her best friend.

That is until she takes an after school job at the local Woolworth’s, aka the Land of Dreams.

It may only be a boring store, but within a few days of working there, Amelia already know that the employees who fill the check out lanes are anything but boring. They all seem older and hipper, even the kids that are Amelia’s age. But of all her fellow employees, there’s one she likes best of all: Chris.

Chris is older, wiser, and way cooler than Amelia. She doesn’t necessarily understand why he seems to have taken an instant liking to her, but she doesn’t question it. Each night they talk about books, about movies, and about feminism. The more they talk the more Amelia starts to fall head over heels in love with Chris.

There’s just one problem. Chris is older than Amelia – six years older. Amelia can easily look past it, but can Chris?

Love and Other Perishable Items, written by author Laura Buzo, is a contemporary romance that will let readers experience the roller coaster ride that is first love.

Buzo’s writing is simple yet strong.  Her words engage readers. So much so that the readers will instantly be invested in, not just the characters, but the story as a whole.  What really stood out, writing wise, is Buzo’s dialog. The back and forth banter is authentically real. Amelia sounds like a fifteen year old, instead of sounding like an adult stuck in a teen’s body.  Beyond that, there’s an ebb and flow.

The dialog was a great aspect of Love and Other Perishable Items. But an even greater aspect is main character Amelia. She’s an unconventional character that is wise beyond her years, yet innocently naive. She’s guarded, yet vulnerable. She’s honestly flawed, and real.  Fifteen year old Nicole would have seen so much of herself within this character. Heck! Thirty-three year old Nicole (sometimes) sees herself within Amelia.

But as much as I loved Amelia, I truly could not stand her male counterpart Chris. Truth be told, I kind of hated him. I found him to be immature, pompous, and at times mean-spirited. I didn’t like how it felt as if Chris was leading Amelia on in some way.

Honestly, my hatred for this character brought down the book as a whole for me. And I know it shouldn’t have. But he was such a key aspect of the plot, I couldn’t look past it.

But Chris was not the only aspect of Love and Other Perishable Items that brought my reading experience down. This book is written from dual perspectives … and it didn’t work for me.  Both Amelia and Chris have the chance to share their unique perspectives  and feelings for the same situations. I found this to be a bit repetitive. And I found myself only really caring about Amelia’s perspective, while skimming over Chris’s perspective, because ultimately this felt like it was her story, and Chris was just a good looking, fancy talking intruder.

Buzo’s Love and Other Perishable Items as a whole, for me, was an okay book. Going into it I expected more and when I didn’t get what I wanted I was let down. Even though I didn’t love this book I will say this about it: it offers a lot to readers. It’s funny, it’s realistic, and it’s chock full of romance.  And if that’s what you’re looking for in a book, than this may be a book for you! Reader it! And I’d love to chat about it!

(Cover image from GoodReads)

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