Confession time: I wanted to read this book since it was an indie published under the title “Good Oil”. I was thrilled when I learned it was going to be published in the states under a new name and then it showed up on NetGalley several months ago and I was absolutely ecstatic  Of course I had to read it right away, and then I let it simmer in the back of my mind until it grew closer to the release date, which has now passed. Basically, I let time get away from me. BUT, I’m trying to redeem myself by writing the review now.

Warning: I couldn’t help myself. I kind of spoiled the end. Don’t read the last paragraph if you haven’t read the book.

Love is awkward, Amelia should know.

From the moment she 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, 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.

Do you remember that crush you had on the absolutely unattainable person back in the day? It might have been a friend’s older sibling, or someone you worked with, or whatever. Mine was a co-worker who was several years older than me and he seemed so cool and sophisticated. I’m sure you have someone like that in your past (or present?).

This is where Amelia currently is. She’s crushing hard on her co-worker, Chris. They have so much in common! And he’s so cool! And older! How could a girl resist?

Throughout the course of the book, it switches POV between Amelia and Chris. Honestly, I think it would’ve worked better as a book written purely from Amelia’s POV, but it also works with Chris’s, mainly because it shows Amelia barely knows him. There’s so much more going with him, and he’s just as lost as she is, even though he’s so much older than her. In some ways, he’s more lost and literally has no idea what he’s doing with his life (something I can, sadly, relate with).

Over a year of interaction between Amelia and Chris is laid out for us to explore. Even though there is a significant age difference between them (for them, anyway), they actually do have a lot in common and become good friends. Chris recognizes a kindred literary spirit and Amelia has someone who finally treats her like an adult.

In some ways, Chris is seriously messed up and needs to get his act together. He makes a number of stupid decisions, which lead me to sighing loudly and referring to him as THAT BOY in my notes. (As in, ‘He just got drunk again. SIGH. THAT BOY needs to get it together.’) My opinion of him spiraled while reading, and then he sort of redeems himself at the end. Sort of.

While I wanted the book to end in a certain way, mostly because I’m a die-hard romantic, I like the realistic approach Laura took with how things turned out for both people. When it comes down to it, Chris is 21 and Amelia is 15. There’s no “right now” for them, but there might be a “one day”, which is what I’m hoping for them.

Love and Other Perishable Items is now available everywhere, so go read it.

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