Review Blog

Dec 09 2010

Good Oil by Laura Buzo

cover image

Allen and Unwin, 2010. ISBN 9781741759976.
Amelia Hayes is fifteen years old. She is in Year 10 and attends a private girls school. From the moment she starts her job at Woolies she is confronted with Chris Harvey. Chris becomes her number one heartthrob, her crush, no other guy can measure up. However, Chris is twenty-one and in his final year at Uni. The six year age gap is a bit of an issue but Amelia thinks it could work. Will Chris ever see Amelia as she sees him?
The characters within the story are realistic although you might not wish to know some of the minor characters. Amelia is a close representation of a nerdy private school girl, but most girls who go to schools like hers usually know something about boys. Chris is very realistic and by far the best character in the book. He is out there, a party goer, friendly, can get along with just about anyone and doesn't use too many swear words. I do warn parents though that there is a sexual scene that might not be suitable for all children to read and there is a degree of swearing within the book. The story takes place in Sydney, Australia. Mainly at parties, Chris and Amelia's houses, Woolies and at school (University/Private Girls High School).The style of writing is not too in-depth and fairly basic really except for the entries in Chris's diaries which are concise and straight to the point. The main theme is about love and chasing the guy you want but cannot have, even if you think it could work when it is so obvious that it won't. Sometimes you have to settle for friendship. There is a minor sexual theme laced into the story which makes it a little inappropriate for the target audience.
In my opinion the target audience is twelve to fifteen year old girls, if we're looking at the style of writing, however if going by the themes the target audience should be sixteen to eighteen year old girls. This book probably is aimed at the first target audience yet is not appropriate for them to read.  I found this book rather uninteresting and bleak. However, the two sections that were written as Chris's diaries were thoroughly enjoyable. I would rate this book 6/10 stars.
Amelia Kelly (Age 17)

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