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? For ages 15+.
Favourite Quote: He didn’t move straight away. He looked at me and, with full eye-contact for maximum impact, said ‘You are the real thing, youngster. I hope you will never change’. Before moving slowly back to his own register.
I know a compliment when I hear one, even if I don’t fully understand the nature of it. The hammer shot that last nail in one strong blow.
Wow. This is such a honest and heartfelt coming of age story. It brought back so many memories of being 15. trying to figure out the world and of course having a crush on someone out of my league.
This is not a cute and fluffy read. There is definitely a lot of funny moments but this book is also a little bit heart wrenching at times. The writing is effortless to read and it is easy to get caught up in Amelia and Chris‘ lives. I enjoyed the dual points of view that allowed us to really get a feel of what both characters were thinking. With Chris' point of view, it never felt like a female author was trying to write what she thinks a male would be feeling. His point of view surprised me with it's raw honesty.
You can’t help but fall in love with both Amelia and Chris. The both show so much growth throughout the book. My heart went out to Amelia. Such a hopeful character. Mature for her age in some ways but also naive. But most of all very relatable. It brought back both the joy and agony of being 15. I loved Chris even if he did make some poor choices. He is a flawed character but has a good heart. His side of the story allowed us to see that guys can be just as confused and vulnerable when it comes to love as us girls.
I liked the ending, it was realistic but I would have loved it more if there was an epilogue of a couple years down the track to see what was happening in Amelia and Chris' lives. This book doesn’t need a sequel but I want one.
Overall, a stunning Australian author debut and I hope we hear more from Laura Buzo.