Amelia is a fifteen-year-old high school student and part time grocery store cashier. Chris is a twenty-one-year old part time college student and grocery store trainer. The overlap in their potential mutual interests is minimal. And yet…Chris is the only one who really gets Amelia’s earnest disappointment with feminism. And Amelia, despite her tender age, is honestly the only one in Chris’s circle of stoners and dropouts who he can have a real conversation with about philosophy or the failed love lives of famous fictional characters. Together, they make the long boring shifts at the store bearable for each other. Chris helps Amelia forget about her cold home life and Amelia helps Chris believe in himself again. “I really like talking to her. I like how she turns everything over in her mind and she doesn’t censor herself. Being with her is easy. I seem to laugh.” There’s just one problem. Amelia is in love with Chris. “I’m not even sure what ‘getting’ Chris would involve, all I know is I want him…To have unfettered and exclusive access to him all the time…To know that he loves being around me too.” And Chris, besides being way too old for Amelia, is still deeply, unhappily in love with his ex, Michaela. I know what you’re thinking—but this isn’t that book about an Inappropriate Hook Up. Instead it is a nuanced and sweet portrayal of an unusual friendship and how two people with busted up backgrounds help each other through two of life’s hardest transitions: first broken heart and first time leaving home. The easy banter and witty conversation in LOVE reminded me of two other titles you might like that employ similarly droll intellectual stylings. And debut author Laura Buzo nailed the setting and feelings of The First Job, with a howlingly funny set of slacker employees that will be instantly recognizable to anyone who ever clerked a 7-11 or worked a big box store register. I just wish I had picked it up sooner as there is a strong possibility that it may have wandered onto my 2012 Top Ten.
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo