Love and Other Perishable Items was a realistic (and well-written) look at young love. Rating: 4/5
*This is book #12/28 for my 2014 book challenge. You can take a look at the reading challenge here.
From the moment 15-year-old Amelia begins work on the checkout at Woolworths she is sunk, gone, lost…head-over-heels in love with Chris. Chris is the funny, charming, man-about-Woolies, but he’s 21, and the 6-year difference in their ages may as well be 100. Chris and Amelia talk about everything from Second Wave Feminism to Great Expectations and Alien but will he ever look at her in the way she wants him to? And if he does, will it be everything she hopes?
This was a book that I took one look at in Barnes & Noble and thought, “This sounds really dumb”. I wasn’t even going to read it, but I was bored and had time to kill while I waited for my dog to finish getting groomed. I went to the café and sat down and I started to read the first few pages and I knew I was hooked, so I bought it. It was not at all what I was expecting – which was a fluffy little romance piece about two people that weren’t supposed to be together but ended up together anyway. I was so pleasantly surprised.
One thing that is interesting is that the book is actually a dual-perspective, which I normally hate. It works though, because each perspective is kind of like reading a diary. They fit really well together, and they didn’t swap every other chapter or two (which drives me crazy). Instead, you read about Amelia’s time throughout certain months and events, and then you read it from Chris’ perspective. It added to the story instead of taking away from it.
I also really loved that the book didn’t have a “happy ending” necessarily . Not everything tied up with a pretty red bow, the characters didn’t get everything they wanted. It was real. Life isn’t all sugar and rainbows and unicorns, and we don’t always end up with the people we want to be with or in the places we want to be in. As much as I loved both of the main characters, they were flawed. I had moments of being angry with how they handled things, moments of rolling my eyes at them. I really don’t have a complaint. Not about the writing, which was amazing. And not even really about the characters either, because a reader should never fault an author for writing real characters. Not ever.
Love and Other Perishable Items was a very quick read. I could have, and wanted to, read the entire book in one day. It’s one of those books that just felt right in my hands as I was reading it. It’s also from an Australian author, and I have a soft spot for Australian books and the different words. As a side note, I don’t like American English very much, but I suppose that is a conversation for another day.
If you’re interested in reading my GoodReads updates from this book you can do so here. I must say, they’re quite entertaining. It will tell you exactly what I was thinking on certain pages.