The first book in my February "Love Book" Reading Challenge is also the first book I read this month. If you are somewhat confused with this "Love Book" thing, here's a link to my previous post fully explaining the challenge. To sum it up, I'll read as many books as I can with the word "Love" in the title.
LOVE AND OTHER PERISHABLE ITEMS
Author: Laura Buzo
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Number of Pages: 243
Date Published: December 11, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
From the moment Amelia 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, 15, 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.
Basically, the book is simplistic in many ways. The story, the characters, the setting, the way it was written, even the cover - plain and average, nothing very special about them. There's no "wow" factor after reading it. But despite that, it was a surprisingly great read.
Since I am not really in the mood to construct lengthy paragraphs detailing what I liked (and disliked) about this book, I'll just list some of the notes I took down while reading the book.
- The two protagonist are entertaining in their own ways. They are funny, witty and quirky, especially when they are together discussing the effects of the second wave feminism and the tragedy of literary classics. They are both likable, but sometimes, they can also be very annoying.
- I also liked how normal the characters are. They are not those stereotypical fictional characters who are at it to take on the world. They do not have special talents or extremely attractive looks. They are not the chosen ones and they do not have the world on their shoulders. They feel insecure, worried, scared, unsure and uncertain, etc.. They are relatable in so many levels.
- The other characters seem to just pass by. Obviously, they are not the highlight of the story. But a little background would have helped connect with the others better. (i.e. Penny, Amelia's best friend did not feel like the best friend type.)
- I felt like the story was more on narration, and less of dialogues (except for when Chris and Amelia were talking). So, it kind of gives you the vibe that the Amelia and Chris are just relaying their story to you.
- The way it was written is something I could not explain. It was simple, yet different (sort of). But I liked it.
- The story itself did not have any climactic moment that you usually read in contemporary books (i.e. the much-awaited declaration of hidden feelings or the monumental kiss scene). But I am okay with that. Despite not having them, the story was fine. And yes, simple.
- I enjoyed reading about the growing relationship of Chris and Amelia. Since they are from two different age groups, you see (or read) and feel how these two characters struggle with their own sets of problems, their different priorities in life and how they worry about different things.
After reading Love and Other Perishable Items, there was a thought that lingered in my head for quite some time. I felt like the whole book was saying:
"You are young, and you can still do a lot of things. There are a lot of doors waiting to be opened. Don't hold back. Don't settle. Why wait for something you are unsure of?"
About the Author: