Selective Collective · YA

The Selective Collective: Love and Other Perishable Items


For our December book the SC chose:

loveLove and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Gone Pecan was assigned the roundtable Q & A discussion questions.

Chris writes in a diary/journal, something that plays a significant part in the book.  Do you find it helpful to write in a diary/journal of your own and is it appealing when a guy does?
I’ve tried keeping a diary many, many, many, MANY times and never made it past day 3. Yes, at times it seemed like a helpful idea, writing down whatever needed to be written down, but I couldn’t make myself stick to it. I really have a lot of admiration for people who do keep diaries/journals. I think it says a lot about them and how they are able to record their life in their own words. Sometimes I feel like my blog is a way of me keeping a journal, as I put a lot of my personal thoughts into it, but maybe not as personal as a journal could be. I think it is pretty appealing when a guy keeps a journal – I imagine Stephan Salvatore whenever I think of a guy keeping a journal – but I would never, ever, ever want to read it. I did not like reading Chris’ journals in the book; I appreciated that it gave me a better understanding of him as a person, but I think knowing a guy’s true uninhibited thoughts ruins the romantic fantasy and subjects you to thoughts you really didn’t want to be a part of. – Candice @ The Grown-Up YA
LOVE is set in a foreign country.  Do you have a difficult time connecting to a book or characters when you aren’t familiar with certain slang or customs?
I feel like I’ve had a lot of trouble in the past relating to books in foreign countries. I’m really not sure why – maybe because the only place I’ve ever been to outside of the US was over the border to Canada at Niagara Falls (sad sigh) so I have a hard time picturing places or relating to the language when I know nothing about them outside of the book.   I do have to say though, there have been a few books that I just read in these past few months that the authors have done a fantastic job of making me really feel like I’m getting to know places like London, Paris, Australia, etc as well as I’m getting to know the characters. If I’m able to make a good emotional connection with the characters in a specific place, I get an emotional connection to the place and suddenly no matter how foreign the setting was before, it’s all irrelevant. Really great writing pulls the setting into the story and that connection with the characters is so familiar that I start to get comfortable with the setting as well. – Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide
Amelia and Chris have a semi “work marriage”, someone that they can talk to about everyday life at work, someone to look out for them.  Do you think that in today’s society having a work husband/wife is a benefit or a train wreck waiting to happen?
“Work Marriages” are just another way of saying there’s someone (typically of the opposite sex) you rely on, collaborate with, and enjoy seeing every day; in general, they can be a benefit and make work more pleasant for people. If you don’t count the hours you sleep, people who work full time spend more hours with each other than they do with anyone else, so it’s only natural that they form strong bonds with their colleagues. I found that element of Amelia and Chris’ relationship extremely relatable — there are always people who are your “favorites” at the workplace, and it’s so clear why she fell hard for this older, smart guy who trains her, listens to her, and always seems genuinely interested in what she has to say. Unfortunately, because of her age and inexperience, she doesn’t quite know how to work through her feelings for Chris (and how their age difference makes her feelings inappropriate). I imagine this happens regularly among young co-workers, but I would hope that adults keep their “work wives/husbands” in the realm of the professional! – Teen Lit Rocks
Amelia’s father has what you could call a dominant male personality and believes that even if a woman has a job a woman’s place is still in the home doing all domestic work alone.  Regardless of what Amelia’s choice is later in life, how do you think seeing this attitude from her father will influence her decision?
I think that Amelia’s views about male/female roles have already been impacted by the way she sees them played out in her home.  Regarding her father’s unwillingness to help out with more domestic issues, the resentment Amelia feels toward him and on behalf of her overworked mom, is evident.  Her mom is tired, she works hard and often Amelia picks up the slack where her father won’t.  It’s no wonder she feels angry toward him. Obviously, Amelia wants her life to be different and in the future I think she’ll lean toward more equality in her own married life. But, if she later chooses a more traditional role (like a stay at home mom), I think that the division of labor will always be a touchy subject for her. I really hope, however, that the discussion she has with her mom about marriage impacts her and gives her a sense of reality that no relationship is perfect, that both partners are human and that sometimes each person has to be willing to make compromises to fill in the gaps.  Who knows? Maybe she’ll grow up to be the bread winner who’ll support a stay at home dad, or maybe she’ll live in a home with two working parents like her own, but whatever the case I think she’ll see that while this may be a huge issue to her now (which is fine), it might not seem so big later. That’s not to say that her father shouldn’t pitch in or that these jobs should belong entirely to her mom, but at the end of the day, it’s how they have decided to run their home and only they have to live with it. – Tee @ YA Crush
The ending left the story very open.  What do you think the future holds for Amelia and Chris?  Why?
Personally I hope Amelia realizes she is worth more than waiting around for someone.  Is there a chance they can be together in the future?  Absolutely!  Should she (or anyone for that matter) wait for that to happen?  No.  In my mind she moves on and at least tried to experience more in life regardless if Chris is a part of hers or not.  I think if we wouldn’t have read his journals I might have leaned more towards them waiting to be together but the excerpts were like a wake up call and made the book much more realistic to me.  -Kristina @ Gone Pecan

Liked our Roundtable Q & A discussion?  Check out all the other great SC posts about this book!

Casting Call:  Who would you cast in Love? – Sandie & Diana @ Teen Lit Rocks

Author Profile+ Giveaway: Laura Buzo -Brittany @ The Book Addict’s Guide

Review: Love and Other Perishable Items– Candice @ The Grown-Up YA

Freebie Post:  Workplace Friendships – Tee @ YA Crush

Thanks to Random House/Knopf for sending us copies for review.


4 thoughts on “The Selective Collective: Love and Other Perishable Items

  1. I was a bit surprised by his journals, but I think that was the point; when we saw Chris through Amelia’s eyes we had a skewed and rosy picture of how cool and wise and smart he was, but then we realized how heartbroken and flawed he was through his entries. Great discussion!

  2. Definitely hope Amelia doesn’t wait around for Chris. I wasn’t too thrilled that she wanted to wait around for him, but felt it was totally in character for her and was pretty realistic. However, I think eventually she’ll move on. Or at least that’s my hope!

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