Thursday, February 23, 2012

Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category:  Contemporary Romance
Release date: October 4th, 2011
Pages: 306 (ebook)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Pulse It

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….

Past Perfect isn't what I was expecting it to be, but it was refreshing.  I enjoyed that it was about more than a girl and a boy; it was about friendship, loyalty, and trying to choose the right path when you come to a fork in the road.  Since Chelsea was raised by two parents who focus on history, it seems as though she can't stop focusing on her past in order to take advantage of the present.  Through her mistakes, you learn that looking at life through rose colored glasses doesn't always turn out for the best.

Though Chelsea has worked at the Essex Colonial Village with her parents every summer since she was a child, she wants to change it up and work in the mall with her best friend, Fiona.  Instead, she gives in and agrees to work at Essex, yet again, only because her parents want her to, Fiona wants her to, and Chelsea's never been much good when it comes to change.

When war begins between Essex and the Civil War Reenactmentland across the street, Chelsea finds herself between a rock and a hard place when she begins to fall for one of the civil warriors.  On one hand, this could be her chance to be happy again, to help forget about Ezra, but on the other hand, it would mean betraying her friends and family at Essex.  Though they begin to see each other secretly, this doesn't stop the pranks from coming until the fight between the two historical villages gets a little rough.

The characters were easy to relate to, especially Chelsea.  She was intelligent with quick wit and snarky comments, which made her a fun person to read about.  Her friends were equally as interesting, but the characters weren't what made the story stand out.  The hidden messages are what made an impact, and some definitely made me think about what life was like when I was her age.  Chelsea always looked at her ex as though they had the best times together, but when she really dug deep into the memories and thought about it, what they had wasn't all that special.  The odd thing was that I could relate to her 100% as I thought about my old high school boyfriend.

Overall, the romance is sweet and the summer Chelsea spent at Essex was a blast to imagine.  Watching the characters grow over the span of a few months was comforting, knowing that they made some mistakes and fixed them, learning not to regret a thing.  Though the ending was a bit of a miss for me after all of the excitement that took place, I still recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance, a bit of history, and a quick read.


  1. Great review, I really want to read this since someone recommended it to me a few months ago.

    Tag you're it!

  2. Maybe this should be a book I should consider reading. I am not a big YA fan--it all depends. I do enjoy history though. Thanks so much for the review--very well done!

  3. I really liked both of Leila Sales' books. I like to recommend it to readers looking for a cute romance. Have you seen the author's blog about all of the texts she gets? It is hilarious!