For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her woRead Review
'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 six-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?
This book is a cute book. I love it. It is an easy read. I couldn't put it down but that might just have been me. It is a different type of romance book but it is very adorable.
“Good Oil” written by Laura Buzo is about a girl named Amelia who is 15 years old, and she has a huge crush on a guy named Chris who is 21 years old. Amelia and Chris work together at Woolworths and the novel is basically about the many ups and downs, these two protagonists go through. The story is told in the first person, from both Chris and Amelia’s point of view. The novel was published in 2010. I found the novel good and bad. The good parts were when Amelia was telling us the story from her point of view, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, but when it came to reading the story from Chris’s point of view, I did not enjoy it at all. Some of the words and events that happened on Chris’s side of the story were quite inappropriate, which I found not enjoyable to read.I loved reading Amelia’s side of the story because it showed me that Amelia is a strong character who stands up for herself, but it also shows how innocent Amelia is. The audience that I would recommend to read this novel would be 15-16 year old girls. Overall I would rate this novel a 3/5 because there were some parts that I enjoyed and there were some parts that I did not enjoy.
For readers who enjoy realistic fiction like Melina Marchetta's "Looking for Alibrandi" then "Good oil" will be a hit. An enjoyable story about first loves, first jobs and whether boys and girls can ever just be friends.
I adored Good Oil! I was able to pick out a (slightly freakish) amount of myself at the same age in young Amelia – in her personality, her changing relationship with her friends and the way she views her parents. Amelia is smart, somewhat naive (oh lordy, there were a few incidents which made me laugh – one involving a misunderstanding over‘cones’ springs to mind) and introspective and her voice is relatable and easy to engage with. Buzo does a fantastic job in writing a realistic female teen protagonist and capturing an honest coming of age story.
The narrative switches between Amelia and Chris from about half way through Good Oil, which only cemented how much I liked the book (c’mon, you know by now that I love a good dual-narrative). Through diary entries and letters, Buzo has crafted such a likeable and fresh male voice – and one I feel isn’t heard often enough (Chris being in his early twenties and is beginning to think about life outside of uni). I thought the friendship between Chris and Amelia was amazingly well-written, and there’s something so charming about Chris, that you can’t help (like Amelia and the rest of the Land of Dreams) to fall into major ‘like’ with him.
I also felt that Laura Buzo’s writing of Chris was very honest (even at times when I didn’t want it to be!) – he speaks frankly about sex and makes dumb mistakes, like any other guy of the same age and I felt it added such an authenticity to the novel (because I’m a bit over YA love interests who are flawless and two-dimensional).
Good Oil is refreshing, funny and sweet. Whilst the premise is quite simple, the well-developed characters and honest depiction of adolescent firsts (crushes, kisses, jobs and heartbreak) makes for an engaging story. I really hope that we hear a lot more from Laura Buzo in the (not-so-distant) future – especially if there’s an Amelia & Chris follow up ... pretty please?
Much like my favourite Aussie YA of last year, Raw Blue, this is a quiet, unassuming story, quite day-to-day, devoid of big events or revelations. But it’s kind of like you can feel it crawl inside of you and curl up, and then there is a delicious warmth that slowly seeps out and lulls you further and further in and then you just never want to let that little bundle of book-love go. Good Oil is a creeper, because the emotional havoc it wreaks doesn’t feel like much when it’s happening but then there will be a moment where, Wham, you know it’s got you good.
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