Review: Good Oil

English Cover

German Cover












‚Good Oil‘ by Laura Buzo


‚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 6-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?  (Source:

My thoughts about the book:
Who hasn’t experienced how it is to fall in love for the first time and often at the same time also unhappily? Particularly if one is at an age, while one doesn’t recognize oneself again because the own body is changing, the feelings play around and everything and everybody apparently starts to revolt.

This book begins with the story of Amelia who is telling it in the present, from which I’m unfortunately not a fan but nevertheless, after some chapters I was caught in the reading flow and it didn’t disturb me so much anymore.
Amelia has just become 15 and for her the world is upside-down, particularly after she meets Chris, who is 6-years older than Amelia, but for whom her heart beats faster but she realistically also sees no chance for them. The story is primarily around the life of these two main characters, their developing friendship and beyond.

About the first half of the book is very childish and very easy, often with very short sentences, but it is also written liquidly and hence fitting for a 15-year-old teenager. Though it seemed authentic for the situation, but nevertheless there were also some times at which I’ve felt this writing style was too simply, too jolty. But I’m already a little older than 15 and therefore I maybe don’t fit completely to the given age recommendation. 😉
However, to my luck this changed after this aforesaid half of the book and I was very glad to be allowed to read suddenly a completely other writing style. I don’t want to describe here at this point how that has exactly happened or why it has changed, because I don’t want to ruin your ‘surprise‘. But who has also already read the book, will certainly know what I mean here.

The storyline begins very slowly and the reader is led step by step to the central figure Amelia, as well as to her family and friends and therefore gets to know them and her way of thinking better and better. I must confess that I couldn’t get along with her at the start but it became better with the time. She has irritated me sometimes with her ‘puppy love’ and keenness, but if I remember my puberty right, I probably was just like that and like almost every other girl in this bewildering time. 🙂
Chris is the total opposite to her and the typical darling of everybody with a constantly loose saying on his lips and he’s always up for every fun. He’s really very likeable and charming, but only when he also has shown his negative sides and his self-doubts, he could also conquer my heart.

Who now thinks that in this book it is only told about the both of them, who hold dull dialogues than you’re wrong. Amelia and Chris, as well as the book, discuss also principle questions about the female emancipation and also talk passionate a lot about classical books.


Actually not really a spoiler, but nevertheless I wanted to mention here that I’m not a fan of open ends. Certainly this gives the reader the chance to thinks freely of the things afterwards and to create a positive exit for themselves. But I rather want books which are completely led to an end and read it to a final end, instead of thinking one up for myself. I didn’t like this point so much.

I really like it because of these two faces and the decoration on the sides. It’s particularly nice that the little flowers shine.

All in all:
This book is an homage to the first great love and describes vividly and with feeling in which whirlpool of emotions one is pulled if one falls in love for the first time with 15. It is empathetically and even so sweetly. In general the book is suitable for the age recommendation of 12-15 years, but some scenes aren’t that appropriate for this age.

3 of 5 points – (I liked it)

A huge Thanks for the reviewer’s copy to:

©Arena Verlag



Chris: „She even takes the goings-on of fictitious characters personally.“

Amelia: „I wonder briefly if I could somehow broker a deal with God whereby if I put both my arms around Chris, his suffering would be transferred to me via skin-to-skin osmosis at a rate inversely proportionate to how much I love him.“

Amelia: „Oh, well. Love is pain. Or is it beauty is pain? I wouldn’t know about the latter, but the former makes my sternum ache.“


(© goodreads)

About the author – Laura Buzo:
Laura Buzo was born and grew up in Sydney, middle of three daughters. Growing up she loved swimming, riding horses, tennis, netball, running, chocolate and above all, reading. After university, Laura worked as a social worker in various acute and community-based mental health settings in Sydney. In 2005 she took some time away from work to start writing her first novel, Good Oil. Laura is still working as a social worker and has a young daughter. She lives in Sydney.


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