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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leila Sales

Release Date: 4th October 2011

My Rating: 3/5

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….

In a Nutshell:
Past Perfect was a quick, light-hearted and fun novel that I read in an afternoon. It’s the kind of book that makes you grin and while there is a bit of teenage drama, it does end the way you want it to. And everyone needs a happy romance novel from time to time.

My Review:
Chelsea, aka Elizabeth Connolly, has spent every summer since she was six working at the Essex Historical Colonial Village with her parents. Now sixteen, she is ready to get a job where she doesn’t have to curtsey and dress in petticoats throughout the summer. But her best friend, Fiona, has other ideas. Caught up in the romanticism of a summer-long acting role, Fiona convinces Chelsea to return to the village for another year. But for Chelsea, it doesn’t look like it will be just another standard summer working as the silversmith’s daughter.

Much to her horror, Chelsea’s ex-boyfriend is now working at the village. And Chelsea has been nominated as Lieutenant of the annual secret War waged by the teenage summer casuals of Essex, against their counterparts at the Civil War Reenactmentland located across the street. While Chelsea takes the position seriously, as it is a great honour amongst the summer employees, it turns out to be more trouble than it’s worth when the enemy kidnaps Chelsea within a minute of her being appointed the position! Nothing is ever simple and Chelsea somehow ends up falling for the enemy, guitar playing, book nerd Dan, of the Civil War army. Unfortunately, both Essex and Civil take ‘War’ very seriously and Chelsea and Dan know their potential romance would mean all hell would break loose.

Past Perfect was a quick, light-hearted and fun novel that I read in an afternoon. It’s the kind of book that makes you grin and while there is a bit of teenage drama, it does end the way you want it to. And everyone needs a happy romance novel from time to time.

I really like the friendship between Chelsea and Fiona. They understand each other the way only best friends can and even in the middle of a fight they can still side-track to continue their rating of the best ice-cream on their summer mission to be ice-cream connoisseurs (apparently it’s all about the mint in choc mint, and there is no way strawberry ever beats chocolate!). Adding to this, the witty banter between Chelsea and Fiona, as well as the rest of the characters, was one of my favourite aspects of the story.

There was a good dose of American history, which is to be expected since the story is set in a historical Colonial village. I don’t know a lot about this subject, nor am I that interested in it to be honest, but I felt there was enough for people who like history, yet not too much that the rest of us felt like we were being bombarded with information.

I’d also like to point out that while I love the book’s cover, it has absolutely nothing to do with the story. Absolutely nothing...

Past Perfect would be the perfect summer read for fans of Jennifer E. Smith.


  1. Ahh, great review! This looks like the perfect book for me to read right now because I'm looking for a light read! :)
    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor

  2. I really didn't enjoy this (I've actually never had much luck with Leila Sales books. Huh)
    What infuriated me right off the bat was that the reenactment village setting is such a gem of an idea, yet it's not at all reflected in that cover. That's the most generic YA cover I've ever seen.

    1. I've never read any of her books but they seem to get good reviews so i'm not sure if i'll actually end up reading the others now. I mean, I liked it, but it was lacking, similar to how I have found Jennifer E. Smith's books :/

      And I know. Even if all the designer did was read the blurb, there are still a million other covers that could have been designed that related in *some* way to the story. *sigh*

  3. I fell like this is the sort of book I would need to start with absolutely no expectations, otherwise I would pick it apart. I wasn't a huge fan of Jennifer E. Smith though...

    Great review Jess :)

  4. Sounds good! guess i might be picking this one up next time i indulge on a book sale


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