Shelf Life, by Robert Corbet

Louisa can’t believe she has just been named employee of the month. She already struggles to balance her studies, night shifts at the hospital, her dependent mother and this supermarket job – now she’s been made a sitting duck. Adam is not impressed when his Dad tells him he’s got him a job – at the local supermarket. He doesn’t want to do anything except watch television. Why would he want a job? Still, it shouldn’t be too hard to get himself sacked.

Shelf Life has an unusual format which teen readers will love. Each chapter is a self-contained story focusing on a different employee in the supermarket. From Chloe the promiscuous check-out chick, to the disappearing frozen foods assistant, from managers to shelf-stackers, the whole microcosm of the supermarket is explored. Characters come and go, as do the customers, but the two central ones – Louisa and Adam – keep reappearing as they move towards getting to know each other.

Each chapter represents an aisle on the supermarket – stationery, fruit and veg, frozen foods, meat, hardware and more. There are also smaller chapters in between some of the ‘aisles’ for other parts of the store – the tearoom, accounts, the loading bay and so on.

Corbet’s style is casual yet sharp – he has a keen eye for the world around him, and his characters are very real. Whilst the story meanders up and down through the aisles, readers will find themselves with a trolley full of insights, laughs and experiences.


Shelf Life, by Robert Corbet
Allen & Unwin, 2004

Fifteen Love, by Robert Corbet

When Will sees Mia Foley he is captivated. He thinks she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. But how will he ever get to talk to her and, if he does, what will he say? He has no idea what girls talk about.

Mia is also watching Will. She thinks he might be interesting. She sees him lying on the grass, staring at the sky, and wonders what kind of deep thoughts he might be thinking.

Being in the same school, Mia and Will do cross paths regularly, but it always seems to be awkward. Does a tracksuit-wearing, tennis-playing boy have anything in common with a beautiful viola-playing girl? And where do Mia’s dog Harriet and Will’s wheelchair-bound brother Dave fit in to all this?

When Will is picked up by Mia’s sexy friend Vanessa, it seems there’s no hope for them.

Fifteen Love, new from author Robert Corbett, takes an insightful look at the differences between the sexes and the tricky world of teenage friendship and romance. The novel use of alternating viewpoints allows Corbet to capture the emotions, the confusion, the highs and lows of both Mia and Will.

This is a great fun read for any teenager who has ever fallen in love or who ever dreams of falling in love.

Robert Corbet is a Melbourne author who fell in love with many girls before meeting a girl in pink overalls and eventually settling down and having three children.

Fifteen Love, by Robert Corbet
Allen & Unwin, 2002