Laura Buzo’s debut novel Love and Other Perishable Items was a Morris YA Debut Award Finalist, Nominee for the 2014 ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and the 2012 and 2013 Winner of the Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Book. It tells the story of 15 year-old, wonderfully awkward yet articulate Amelia and the object of her unrequited love, 21 year-old Chris. Yes, the age difference is insurmountable. No, we cannot in good conscience root for our dear protagonist. But, we can relive our own years of smelly gym lockers, inedible school lunches, pimples, and irrational intensity of feeling. We all had at least one, right? The crush that was so ridiculous, so unattainable yet so incredibly real. Buzo’s story will take you back to that time with a poetic realism that makes you think the author’s teenage daughter must’ve written this book.
Love and Other Perishable Objects takes place in the local supermarket where Amelia naively navigates the social cliques of young adulthood: the twenty-somethings half in and half out of “Uni” (it’s an Aussie novel), the chain-smoking, overly-eyelined 16 year old girl who looks and acts like she’s 35 and twice divorced, and the too pretty foreign girl with legs for days and an accent to match. How do you compete with them for the attention of the unattainable? With the quick wit and limitless passion of a girl who just doesn’t know any better.
Want to read more tales of misplaced, overwhelming teenage love? Check out Larry Doyle’s I Love You Beth Cooper, An Abundance of Katherines by John Greene or Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park. All of these titles are available at VBPL, and will have you looking up that high school crush on Facebook in no time.