Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Past Perfect by Leila Sales
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: October 4th 2011
My Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Find it on 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…
(from Goodreads)

Past Perfect was such a cute little read, I absolutely adored it! It had amazing characters, a fabulous setting and a great balance of humour and romance. Definitely a book for all those contemporary lovers out there.

Our main character, Chelsea, works at Essex Historical Colonial Village during the summer – a place where history isn’t just history – it’s a lifestyle. Chelsea regularly dresses up as Elizabeth Connelly, a colonial girl, and her job is to answer the questions of any visitors (varying from “Where’s the bathroom?” to “Aren’t you hot in that costume?”). It’s not the best job in the world, but at least she’s with her best friend Fiona this year. Things aren’t looking too bad – until Chelsea finds out her ex-boyfriend Ezra, who seems completely over her, is working at Essex too. Suddenly things are a lot more complex – especially since the Civil War Reenactmentland across the road (and Essex’s archenemy) is determined to make their lives a misery. Dan, a Civil War soldier, and Chelsea end up crossing paths in the strangest of situations – and it’s then that Chelsea realises maybe the Civil War guys aren’t all bad. Still, rivals are rivals – and both sides are out to win.

One of the best things about Past Perfect, I can tell you now, was the humour. This book was one of the funniest I’ve read this year– Chelsea was so hilarious! Her comments made me laugh so much – she always had something witty or sarcastic up her sleeve and the things she came out with (especially about some of the people she came into contact with) cracked me up – my stomach hurt from laughing! I really liked her from the get-go, and instantly connected to her – I found she was really easy to relate to, and even though she was still really worked up over Ezra, I didn’t find her to be whiny or annoying, which would have been an easy trap to fall in to. Sure, at times when she was confused, she did some stupid things, but overall I found her to be such a likeable character! I loved her friendship with Fiona too – they seemed to really get each other, and I definitely appreciated their aspirations to become ice-cream connoisseurs :P. I also liked the way the whole historical re-enactment was a big part of her life, and I have to admit, it all sounded like fun!

Dan was another amazing (and pretty damn smooth) character. The banter between him and Chelsea was so great to read and they got on really easily and were so funny together! From the start, they seemed to have a real spark between them, and they were both quick-witted, which made for some hilarious – and sometimes awkward – conversations. I was rooting for them the whole time, and I just wanted them to forget the fact that they were technically enemies and be with each other instead! But of course, they couldn’t without being regarded as traitors by all their friends, so there was that whole forbidden aspect that I couldn’t help but love :P. Some of my favourite scenes in the book involved Dan and Chelsea – there was this one scene that started out so cute, with Dan saying something adorable, that ended up turning into hotness and after that, I just knew, for the sake of my sanity, that those two needed to end up together. I loved the romance in this book so much – it was very sweet and fluffy, but there was also a deeper, more difficult side to it, and I think it was written really well.

I really enjoyed the way the story progressed, and with every page, I became more and more intrigued by historical re-enactment. It made me laugh, how serious everyone got about it, and I think I would definitely be willing to try it out one day! I also really liked the way everything turned out in the end, though I do think that maybe Dan forgave Chelsea a bit easily (she was a bit of an idiot to believe what Ezra said, it was so obvious he was not the great person she thought he was), and I maybe would have liked to see their reconciliation develop a bit more, instead of it happening as quickly as it did.

Overall, Past Perfect was a brilliant, witty, fun-filled book that I would recommend to everyone, but especially to those who enjoy loveable characters and cute romances!


  1. Oh I love when characters have great banter/are witty and keep things light and funny. This sounds exactly like a book I would enjoy, thank you so much for reviewing it because now I know more about it. *Goes to add it to my ever growing wishlist*
    Thanks Liz :)

  2. Awwww, it sounds Past Perfect sounds like such a fun and sweet contemporary novel! From your glowing thoughts, I can tell it's a novel that I would probably really enjoy too! Thanks for the awsome review!! :)

  3. Yay! I loved this book so much and I'm so glad other people are too :) If you haven't already, you should definitely check out Leila Sales' other book - Mostly Good Girl. Just as funny!

  4. This sounds like such a cute read! I've been hearing lots of good things about it! :)

  5. Ahh I am sold! I'm already crazy excited to see this romance between Dan and Chelsea play out and I think I love her already - witty, sarcastic, made you stomach hurt from laughing too much? I'm a fan! I know I'm going to love this, cannot wait to get my hands on it. Awesome review, Liz!

  6. OMG! This sounds soooo cute! I love the setting for it; that's so original. Great review.

    The Cait Files

  7. I loved Past Perfect SO MUCH! It was just too darn cute, funny, and smart! Excellent review, Liz; I completely agree with everything you mentioned! :)

  8. Hahaha "ice-cream connoisseurs"? AWESOME. That is a fantastic aspiration.

    I have this from GG (I've actually had it for MONTHS now) and I really should read it soon. It sounds hilarious, cute and interesting! Can't wait to get started :)


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