Sunday, July 17, 2011
"Shelf Life" by Robert Corbet
"Listen," she said, "to be fired from this job you'd have to run naked through the deli with a string of gourmet sausages round your neck. You'd have to cover yourself in cream cheese and dangle a smoked trout between your legs. Even then, they'd just move you to the dairy section. Nobody gets fired form this place. You leave when you're ready to, or else when you die."
Louisa is holding down two jobs, and works every moment. She also happens to be employee of the month.
Adam is a slacker who likes the idea of anarchy and who wants to get fired the moment he arrives at the supermarket.
Jared and Dylan are sharing a secret with a customer in the candy isle.
Chloe might be pregnant, but doesn't know who the father would be. She also quit what would have been her dream job, except for one detail.
Stephen is gone.
Tessa doesn't fit in with the girls, but can't hang out with the guys.
Abdi is finding out just what it feels like to be respected in America.
Rahel is marrying someone she doesn't even know.
Wyn is a human database, who doesn't tell her secrets.
Life working in the supermarket might not be the perfect job, but these teens know how to survive. Yes, that means surviving customers who can't understand why light bulbs keep breaking, or who don't get why long life milk still goes bad. And, yeah, that includes dealing with how to get a girl flowers.. when she works at the flower check out. And maybe it also includes the teens' crazy home lives, though the reasons for those being in the supermarket vary from teen to teen.
All in all, maybe the supermarket is actually giving the teens the "important life skills" they need.
Another worker stopped to see what was going on.
"Andy, this is Andy," said Jared, introducing them.
"My name is Abdi."
Each glanced at the other's name tag and nodded. Then, together, they all stood and stared at the old man.
I really liked this book. It was funny, witty, and just all around entertaining. After I finished the book, I still wanted to keep reading. Some of the situations in the book that the workers run into were just so completely outrageous, and yet, at the same time, completely plausible.
The only part of this book that I didn't especially like were some of the weird endings for people. Like the fact that you don't ever find out if Chloe is pregnant or not. It's just... kind of weird.
But besides that, I think this book is one of my favorites, and I'd definitely recommend it to most teens.