Saturday, 26 January 2013

Good Oil By Laura Buzo Review


A wonderful, coming-of-age love story from a fresh new voice in YA fiction.

'Miss Amelia Hayes, welcome to The Land of Dreams. I am the staff trainer. I will call you grasshopper and you will call me sensei and I will give you the good oil. Right? And just so you know, I'm open to all kinds of bribery.'

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?


It goes without saying that this is a well written book. The story is engaging and the dual narration adds depth to the story and has so many subtle details that come together to create this image of what being a young adult is really like, not what people think it’s like.
Smart, sensitive, and a bit naive Amelia couldn’t possibly help falling in love with jestingly funny Chris. Chris treats Amelia like no one ever has. He pays attention to what she has to say, and it makes her giddy with the idea of where their heartfelt conversations could lead. The possibilities seem endless. But as Amelia moons over Chris, he moons over girls that are far different from Amelia. Why can’t he see that they don’t deserve even a minute of his attentions? And will she ever be able to get him to see that the girl of his dreams is standing right in front of him?

Despite the six year age difference, I found myself wanting to see Amelia and Chris have their happily ever after, but the fact that they couldn’t really, at least not at that juncture in their lives, was the best thing about the story.

This isn’t your typical love story; it’s honest, bittersweet and insightful with the characters lending you their lives to let you look into your own.