Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Past PerfectPast Perfect by Leila Sales

Hardcover, 306 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Simon Pulse
Contemporary YA
Source: Library

Synopsis From Goodreads:

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

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I needed something on the light side after the last few books that I read. Past Perfect was a great book to lift my mood. It was a pretty cute read, a little bit silly at times, and I didn't have to take it so seriously.

I personally love history, and this book has plenty of it. It is primarily set at Essex Historical Colonial Village where the protagonist, Chelsea, works every summer as a period reenactor. Chelsea works with her parents, who are also reenactors, and this summer her best friend is working there with her. Unfortunately, Chelsea's ex-boyfriend, Ezra, also got a job there. Chelsea has had a difficult time getting over Ezra because she somehow believes that their relationship was perfect, and she can't understand why they aren't together anymore.

I loved the unique setting and thought it was perfect for this summertime story. The teen employees at Essex have been waging war with the Civil War Reenactmentland across the street every summer. Chelsea and her coworkers meet after work to plan their escapades. Plenty of hijinks and pranks ensue! When Chelsea is 'kidnapped' by one of the Civil Warriors, she meets Dan. Fraternizing with the 'enemy' is forbidden, so Chelsea and Dan must keep their potential relationship a secret.

Chelsea was pretty likable, a little bit naive, but easily understood. She also had the right amount of snark in her. She does some really stupid things, and makes some terrible decisions, but she was able to learn from her mistakes. That just makes her more real to me.

Chelsea's best friend, Fiona, seemed like a really good friend to have. One that would do anything for you and would have your back when things got tough.

The romance between Chelsea and Dan was really cute and sweet. The trampoline scene was the best scene in the book. A touch swoony and I loved it! Dan seemed like such a great guy that I wished we could have gotten to spend more time with him and get to know him better.

Being around her ex-boyfriend, Ezra, for an entire summer isn't easy for Chelsea. It took her some time, and some wise words from her friend Fiona, to finally figure out that her relationship with Ezra wasn't exactly as 'perfect' as she remembered it. Once she started to figure that out it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for her.

Past Perfect is a wonderful contemporary story that I highly recommend.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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  1. The Civil War reenactment pranks sound kooky and fun! Excellent review.

  2. I heard so much about this book last year and somehow I forgot all about it! :O I'll definitely be moving this back up on my TBR list.

    Thanks for the great review!

  3. ooh this sounds good. I love history too and that aspect excites me. I like that this is a light, fun and at times silly read. Plus I named my oldest daughter i love the protagonist being named that..LOL Great review :)


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