Author: Laura Buzo
Publication Date: 8/10
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Blurb (GR): 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?
Amelia Hayes works at the “Land of Dreams,” also known as Woolworth’s. (which isn’t American Woolworth’s but instead a Australian grocery store. Who knew? I just read about it on Wikipedia) For a large part of this book I was picturing them working in a Rite Aid/CVS type deal and I couldn’t figure out how they could have so many registers. *facepalm* Also, they wear bow ties? Anyway, she works there a few times a week to earn money while she finishes up high school. Most of her co-workers are vacuous drones but she develops a crush on the 21-year old who trains her. Chris, who is 6 years her senior, chats books with her (and we all know what a turn-on that is. This is Goodreads—book lover central!) and they discuss issues while the rest of their coworkers are gossiping.
There was only one singlet sighting in this one. I’m always on the lookout since I started my Aussie YA binge. For those of you who are not hopelessly addicted to Australian YA books, a singlet is a cami or tank top. And the title of this book is a reference to an Aussie slang saying that means “useful information.” So, I’mma give you the good oil on this book…
It’s worth the read. It flips back and forth between Amelia’s point of view and Chris’s journal. I actually really enjoyed the change back and forth because it was rather large chunks of time and pages. The author will play a month or two through with Amelia and then give you Chris’s half of the same time period. I know most people reading this would probably reconnect with their memories of being a lovestruck 15-year old girl but I really identified with Chris’s point of view. He’s almost finished with uni but has no clue what he is up to. Just add on a few more years to his age and change him into a girl and he could’ve been talking about me. I especially enjoyed hearing his take on what other people are up to. I’ve mailed the book off but thankfully the lovely Arlene kept the quote I wanted to include: “I can’t run my own race. I’m constantly checking what’s happening in the other lanes.” Luckily, most of the people running in the other lanes in my life aren’t reading my reviews on Goodreads.:) It is depressing, though, to not have a clue.
Like every other Aussie book I’ve read, I definitely recommend this one. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the queen of YA’s books or another recent read (Pink) but it is solid. It is funny and fast-paced but I just wanted more from it. I was annoyed at the ending