Book Review: Good Oil by Laura Buzo

Rating: StarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Contemporary | Romance

‘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?

Literary Awards: Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2011), Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book for Older Readers (2011), The Inky Awards Nominee for Gold Inky longlist (2011)

*****

I almost always have problems with books ending in an open note. Good Oil is one of them. I believe the Amelia’s and Chris’ story was just starting to pick up and evolve when I encounter the finish line of the book. Sigh. For what its worth, i love Chris’ POV more than Amelia’s.

I think I might need to cut Amelia some slack. She’s whiny, and definitely too naive for my taste but i remind myself… she’s only fifteen. Yeah, so maybe Buzo wrote Amelia’s character effectively in that case, right? And she can still relate to Chris on some levels. And I kinda felt bad when she got burned. Chris‘ character is far more livelier and compelling than Amelia’s. There’s a lot of curses and bitter memories that seemed to work under the belt of such a friendly guy. I felt Chris’ strength through his angst, and ironically, i felt better when i read his POV. I can relate to him. Compared to Amelia, Chris crashed and burned in small but drastic proportions.

There are cute moments, yes, and i like Good Oil for that. It was not pretentious at all. Well, i was sure from the beginning how Amelia’s love would turn out. But i did not expect how Chris wonderfully (and sometimes, not so wonderful) responded to that.

*

*

.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

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