Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review: Love and Other Perishable Items

Love and Other Perishable ItemsStats:
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Page Count: 256
Would appeal to: Anyone who's worked retail
Favorite Quotes:
"I wonder briefly if I could somehow broker a deal with God whereby if I put both my arms around Chris, his suffering would be transferred to me via skin-to-skin osmosis at a rate directly proportionate to how much I love him."
"'Come on, you're a big girl now.'...I hate it when she makes these comments-- they are the adult version of her childhood taunt 'Don't be such a baby.'"

Why You Might Read This:
  • It's a love story most of us have experienced. The he's-out-of-reach-but-I-still-want-him crush. The author does a great job of painting a tortured young fifteen 15 year old girl who can't stop obsessing over her 21 year old coworker, Chris. He's philosophical, intelligent, good looking. Amelia could show him all the love he's been missing from the other stupid girls who don't appreciate his gifts.
  • It's told from dual perspectives. Amelia and Chris both get a chance to show you their lives. The majority of the novel comes from Amelia, and I found myself looking ahead to see when the next Chris bit would come. I was anxious to see if Chris would do anything romantically that might get him in trouble with the law. The way he views things is such a contrast to Amelia's views, yet they have a ton in common.  
  • Events were realistic. Because we see the life of a girl at school, work, and home, enough events happened to keep me reading. I've worked at a grocery store and could relate to the different groups of friends and the annoying heirarchy of management when kids your age are your boss. I did like that Amelia named the other 15 year old at Land of Dreams "Street Cred Donna." That gave more dimension to Donna's daring behavior. Also, while Amelia was busy spending so much time thinking about Chris, she completely missed what was going on with her best friend. Plus, there's a great example of what happens at a party doesn't always stay at a party. I mostly felt sorry for Amelia because her family life is awful, especially the way her mom is constantly exhausted and her dad has a temper. I remember that time in life when everything was the end of the world or crazy drama, and that's Amelia's life. It was nice to read about a father who was a play director, though; I haven't really seen that in YA.
  • It takes place in Australia. Seasons and the school year are different than the U.S. I learned a few new words. Tried to imagine the characters with Aussie accents but failed miserably! 
What Bugged Me:
  • I didn't sigh at the end. Normally, I enjoy a good love story, no matter what the ending. This had potential, but something fell flat in its execution. I don't think I'll remember this book for much longer, except for the fact that I put it down and wasn't satisfied.
  • The writing was only okay. The author's name is Buzo, and I was hoping to be blown away so I could spread the buzz about this story:) I was disappointed. I usually have to narrow my favorite quotes down because there are some deep, thought provoking moments or some amazing descriptions. I only found two stand out sections, and they were short.
  • Knopf published it. I'm not sure how many of you look at publishers, but I expect top-notch quality work when a Knopf agent has put his or her stamp of approval on a book. Although that didn't play a part in my choosing this book, I was kind of disappointed they took it on.


Kelley Lynn said...

Thanks for the review. I really appreciate the honesty, and the balance of both sides (good and bad.)

Sophia said...

When I first read the summary for this, I was like, "Holy crap. A 15 year old going for a 21 year old. This can't end well." I'm sorry this book fell flat for you, Jenna. I hate when that happens! Especially when the idea is great, but the execution isn't. Wonderful review, Jenna! I love the review format, with the list of pros and cons. :)

Bookworm1858 said...

I really liked this book although I was initially skeptical about the age difference, thinking they actually acted on it. Sorry it didn't work better for you and better luck with your next read.