Sunday 22 August 2010

Good Oil

Good Oil Good Oil by Laura Buzo (Allen and Unwin)
PB RRP $18.99
ISBN 9781741759976
Reviewed by Jenny Sharp

15 year old Amelia is in year ten and thinks boys are brainless beings who shouldn’t exist. Chris is 21, in his final year of university and is recovering from a breakup. For Amelia, the supermarket job is a way of gaining independence; for Chris, it’s a dead end.

Amelia is unlike any girl Chris knows and is always amazed at how her mind works, she makes him question his own thoughts and the way he thinks. They exchange letters of things that they dislike. Amelia thinks her mum has been screwed over by feminism; Chris hates the injustice of people getting everything in life while he struggles at the bottom.

Chris and Amelia discover a passion for the classics which leads to continual chats about literature. Amelia uses this to her advantage; using certain characters’ situations to tell Chris how she is feeling as it can be taken at face value but it also allows her to tell him how she feels if he chooses to read into it. This witty banter throughout the text is entertaining and the story itself is a funny and realistic image of young love.

The story is engaging and the dual narration adds depth to the storyline and has so many subtle details that come together to create this image of what being a young adult is really like, not what people think it’s like.

Good Oil isn’t your typical love story; there isn’t a fairytale ending. It’s honest, bittersweet and insightful with the characters lending you their lives to let you look into your own.

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