Jo's Reviews > Good Oil

Good Oil by Laura Buzo
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's review
Aug 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: boy-crush, down-under, gorgeous-prose, good-grief, ya, you-got-a-friend-in-me
Read from August 29 to 30, 2011

"I can’t run my own race. I’m constantly checking what’s happening in the other lanes"

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
YES, AMELIA, YES. *nods in approval*.

High Points.
Amelia. Check-out girls. Intellectuals. Aimless drifters. Wanderlust. Literature. Drunken house parties. Blushes, butterflies and tingly toes. Late night phone calls. Swapping letters. Grey’s Anatomy. Phew.. that was close. *shifty look* Half-off flowers. Plenty.

Low Points.
Hmmm, I go into my minimal problems in my heroine/hero sections so it would be ridiculous to go through them twice.
I’m just hankering for a sequel now… hankerhanker.

Heroine.
As I read this book I started seeing Amelia as this sort of little sister figure. Basically I started foaming at the mouth if anyone mistreated her....
I loved how Ms Buzo wasn’t interested in making her this perfect Mary Sue that the reader will fall head over heels in love with. Because even though I did love her, I recognised her flaws.
I sympathised with Amelia, but her constant belief that Chris was the be all and end all just upset me because I just wanted to give her a cuddle and tell her he’s not worth it.
But I think my adverse reaction just proves how fantastic Ms Buzo is at characterisation: Amelia is an honest and painfully realistic teenager and when I was reading it I honestly felt every stomach flip and blush and frustration she felt.
I also loved that she was very mature for her age without being over the top. And also she’s extremely clever. More YA books need clever heroines who enjoy going to school.
But, a word of advice for you Amelia.
NEVER READ THE BELL JAR FOR A BOY.
Read it for your own soul.

Hero.
Oh Christopher. You are Australian. You are a bit of a loser. You have a tendency to drink instead of dealing with your problems. You are in love with an unattainable girl. Sound familiar?
Yes.
Chris Harvey has a lot of Mackee-avellian qualities.
He’s Mackee-lite.
And from anyone who has ever met me, you will know that Thomas Mackee is my favourite boy, ever. I go crazy over that sexy train wreck.
So you’d think I’d love Chris, right?
Well… I did…. From Amelia’s perspective.
But from his own? No.
I understood him and related to him in a “He’s just completely described my life/anxieties/need to jet off somewhere exotic” but I didn’t think it excused his actions towards Amelia.
I found it very difficult to sympathise with him and there was a lot of times where I just wanted to throttle him for being a patronising pillock who takes advantage and just makes his life worse by making silly decisions and then he just whinges about it and badmouths Dire Straits.
WHICH, by the by, I did not appreciate.
Because that song is amazing.
I know I’m probably being unnecessarily harsh, but I went into complete protective mode with Amelia and I just can’t tolerate oblivious so and sos who are set upon destroying themselves and don’t care about how people they genuinely care about feel even if they are really cute and can talk to me about literature all the live long day.
Unless they are Thomas Mackee, he is the exception to that rule.



....

He is the exception to every rule.


Theme Tune.

Ten Days by Missy Higgins.

OK, I am in love with this ladies voice and I’m glad to have discovered her because I’ve never heard her before. I have such a weakness when bands/artists don’t lose their accent when they sing a song. (*ahem* )
But yes, this song is lovely and I think it captures Amelia’s feelings perfectly.
*Mutters something about Chris not deserving Amelia’s lovely feelings*

Strictly Savage Garden Story Song.

To the Moon and Back by Savage Garden.
A personal favourite of mine.
“I would fly you to the moon and back
If you'll be, if you'll be my baby
Got a ticket for a world where we belong
So, would you be my baby?”


Sigh.
One day the right kind of pilot will come, Amelia. Just listen to Darren. HE’S NEVER WRONG.


Boy/Girl Angst.
10/10. Jeez louise. Although, for a book which is basically all about boy/girl angst, I only rolled my eyes and got annoyed with Amelia once and it was only because I felt very protective over her and wanted to shake some sense into her.
But Chris. GOSH… He me to shame. And I'm the Queen of Whinge.
This guy could fill a box full of diaries with all his girl angst… oh wait.
HE DID.
Pfft.

Sadness Scale.
This book kind of reminded me of the times when you and your best friend are reminiscing about past crushes and they say: ‘Oh my GOD, remember when you used to fancy that guy? You remember. That awful guy. The one who broke your heart. The one who trampled all over it. The one you cried over for a whole afternoon. You know, what’s his name. The one who destroyed your self-esteem. The one who RUINED YOUR TEENAGE YEARS.’
And you both laugh and roll your eyes and cringe and laugh some more because it really doesn’t matter now.
But when you’re fifteen you wear these kind of boy blinkers and you don’t see that he’s a complete and utter douche and yes, you can be a bit whingey and yes, you can get a bit out of your depth… BUT, I have ultimate faith that in the sequel… the sequel…. the sequel….(Did it work? Damn. A sequel for this book would be gooooooooood)… that Amelia will look back and cringe as well. While shacking up with a smokin’ rugby player. YEAH.
And I know a lot of people will be a bit miffed with the ending. But I absolutely adored it and I think it was the only way it could end without it being too cringe and/or illegal. :-S

Recommended For.
People who like realistic YA fiction. People who have ever had an unrequited crush. People who don’t mind going back to the most awkward days of your life. People who are disgruntled by the end of Great Expectations. People who like to polish furniture at parties.

This review is part of AUSTRALIA WEEK on my blog... you can find out more here.
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Reading Progress

08/29/2011 "I've read one page and I'm already mourning the loss of Woolies over here. Pick 'n' Mix and tiny fizzy drink cans that contain approximately one gulp... I will always love you."
08/29/2011
10.0% "This book is going too fast."
08/29/2011
22.0% "Chris is such a jammy bastard... and I'm hoplessly in love. Swoooon."
08/29/2011
39.0% ""She even takes the goings-on of fictitious characters personally." Pfft... what a loser. *shifty look*"
08/30/2011
73.0% "Oh honey, no." 5 comments

Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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Catie Subscribing to your comments thread :)


message 2: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo @10% Oh Catie, I feel like I'm reading my own diary. (view spoiler)


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey wait up :S I'll catch up tonight can't wait for Chris


Catie I know. Poor Chris is very confused, but I really felt like I could relate to both of them.

Don't worry about the ending. I actually thought that it was a happy one.


message 5: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo I didn't know you wanted to read this Trinity! Sorry, I'll be stopping soon for bobies so you'll have time to catch up.

OK, Catie. But if I start feeling things... I'm gonna come for you! Grr.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Haha that's ok :) I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to read properly in the next couple of days so you go ahead x


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Also what's bobies?


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Also you lost your woolies? That's unfair


Catie Ha, "if I start feeling things...I'm gonna come for you!"

You mean so I can repair you when your positronic brain pathways start to overheat? Just like last time...I've gotta stop giving you these books.


message 10: by Jo (last edited Aug 29, 2011 02:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Bobies= sleepytown.
Haha.
Yeah. Credit Crunch *shakes fist*.

But actually, the more I read the more I realise that your Woolies wasn't like our Woolies.
Ours sold stationary and toys and pick 'n' mix and CDs/DVDs. No food.

But still.... sad times.

And Catie, don't you dare! I love the books you recommend me. Even if they turn me into a big puddle of girl.
Oh... and I have no idea what positronic means. :-| It's too late for big words.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

That sound more like our Big W. Woolworths the fresh food people lalalaa. Hmm I can tell I'm going to love this, stupid real life.


Catie That, my dear, was a Star Trek/Isaac Asimov reference.

You can expect that kind of nerdery when I show up in your threads.

I just thought that it was funny that you were threatening me about "feeling things."

And so I surmised that you must be a robot. Obviously.

Our Woolworths is like yours Jo; the Australian one sounds more like a grocery store. Trinity you're going to read a lot of great books if you follow Jo this week!


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I had no idea about these other Woolworths, feels kinda like they've been going behind our back and moonlighting as a fancy pants nonfood store (my brain doesn't know what they're called right now).
I know Catie I've seen the list but alas I have read all the others but very very excited none the less :)


Catie I think that "fancy pants nonfood store" is the perfect name.

Ah, me too Trinity, otherwise I'd be joining in. You and I can content ourselves with stalking. I'm glad I won't be the only pair of creepy eyes peering out from the dark.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

*laughs nervous creepy stalker laugh*


message 16: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Haha... our Woolies wasn't fancypants. More like... um....... non-fancy pants.

Here you go.

You two are strange. But I'll make sure I leave sandwiches/delicious treats on my roof for you to snack on while you stalk.

Also, Catie. I am a robot when it comes to....*shudders* feelings. Surely you know this by now, silly.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Ooh 4 stars I'm excited :)


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

NEVER READ THE BELL JAR FOR A BOY.
Read it for your own soul.


Jo I think this is my favorite thing ever.

Also. Chris urgh. (view spoiler)
Also. I often am found serenading my child with that particular SG tune.
Also. That's the first time you've heard our missy? She reminds me of your Lilly but less crass.


message 19: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Really?
That's interesting... I'm not a fan of Lily (You do mean Lily Allen, right?) but I like what I've heard of Missy. And yes, she's never released anything over here I don't think.

Much love for Ms Plath.

I think it could be my favourite Savage Garden song... although, who am I kidding, I love them all. :)


Jasprit Awesome review Jo, I can't wait to read this! :)


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

My brain connects them through an iconic feminine voice in pop culture. So says my brain. It's 1am, my brain says a lot of stuff at 1am.

Also. (and I have no reason for my full stops after my also but it makes me feel kinda formal) I forgot to mention my appreciation for your love of Mr. Mackee. This is a new thing I have learned about you and my opinion of you has thus risen higher.


Catie Lovely review! I'll have to check out that song, as I've never heard of her.

(view spoiler)


message 23: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo (view spoiler)


Catie (view spoiler)


message 25: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo (view spoiler)


Catie "Boys suck."

Indeed. It's definitely Amelia that I fell for in this book.

I love "Mackee-avellian" BTW. :D


message 27: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Thanks ;-)

Yeah. I think (and I believe you said something similar in your review) Amelia and I are birds of a feather.

Except I was not nearly as cool as she was when I was fifteen.... or now.


message 28: by Catie (last edited Jan 27, 2012 09:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catie Yeah, I relate to her quite a bit. I think that I was a lot like that when I was fifteen. Now I feel more like Chris, haha.

Although not as cool, obviously.


Devyani You mention 'Someone' and you with your review win my heart .


Emily "I go crazy over that sexy train wreck." LOL. I love it.

Awesome review Jo!


message 31: by Jo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jo Thanks Emily ;)


Marie You write the best reviews. Period. Whenever I need a laugh or a serious dose of honesty about a book, I seek out your reviews.


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