Tuesday, April 24, 2012

[Review] Good Oil by Laura Buzo

Title: Good Oil {goodreads}
Authors: Laura Buzo
Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/08/2010
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Source: Bought
Precautions: Violence | Sexual Content Profanity
Pages: 285
My Rating:
Amazing read
'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?
Coming to US in 201
My thoughts: 

~ Final thoughts ~

This book had me at "I will call you grasshopper and you will call me sensei and I will give you the good oil". What a brilliant read!


Good Oil is written in dual perspectives between Amelia and Chris: two co-workers at Woolies. From day one, newcomer Amelia has had her eye on Chris, twenty-one year old trainee. He's not like the potheads or the jerks at school - he's a thinker, a fellow arts/literature aficionado. And so, an unlikely friendship forms, where the two have heated discussions about life and love and literature and the world, and so on... but will he ever feel the same way she feels about him?

Boy, have I been there before. Age differences suck, especially when you're not even of legal age and therefore ethical and legal issues come into play. This relationship is doomed from the beginning, and it should not have shocked me - nor should it shock you or be classified as a spoiler - but when it hit the fan, the tears still came.

And why did the tears come, you may ask? Personal stuff aside, I grew to love Amelia's character. She's a bit awkward and has flaws and complexities, and so she felt like she could have been a friend. I grew to care for her, and so when everything goes wrong (romance, family, school, work), I just about flipped.

That is NOT to say that this book is a downer, there were lots of funny moments. It's just that, when I put down the book, most of the memories that I walked away with were the sad, heart-achey moments. More importantly, I'll remember. I'm compelled to give this a re-read right now, and hope that there's a really happy ending. I'm actually hoping for a sequel or even a short story... *crosses fingers*

I'm sorry if you feel that I've spoiled the main plot points, but I called it from the first page. Heck, I called it when I read the synopsis. Did that detract from the impact? No! Because, to me, that arc wasn't important to me. What I wanted most from this book was all the interactions, and relationships that develop and collapse throughout its course, which I found were done really well.

If you're looking for a light-hearted, but still achey contemporary YA book to read on a chill summer day, pick this one up. 


First lines

"'I'm writing a play,' says Chris, leaning over the counter of my cash register. 'It's called Death of a Customer. Needless to say, it's set here.' He jerks his head towards the aisles lined with groceries and lit with harsh fluorescent bars.
It takes me a moment to place the reference, but then I remember Death of a Salesman from when Dad took me to see the play last year. " (Chapter 1: Lights up)


"Maybe this is just drunken ramblings that will never be read by any living soul. Even if my diaries are discovered after the apocalypse, people will trawl through the first few pages and say, 'Who is this loser?' then, more importantly, 'Who cares?', and chuck them on the post-apocalyptic scrap heap. Either way, I've digressed." 

(p. 113, The Purple Notebook, Chris POV)


* cheapest Australian e-store price



Love and Other Perishable Items - US release: 11 December 2012

All links from Booko, because I'm too lazy to search each individual store anymore.


I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

Challenge: ---

Related Posts with Thumbnails