Past Perfect (Summer Series Book Review)

Summer Series

I love summer books. I love the romance of summer. I love books about different vacation spots. I love books about road trips. I love seeing the beach on the cover of a book. To celebrate this lovely season, every Thursday I’m going to post a book and review of a summer book I’d recommend reading by the pool, at the beach, while driving across America (or whatever country you call home), in a hammock, in a cabin, on a boat, or at home as you dream of vacation. Happy Summer, everyone! 


This week’s summer book is: 
Past Perfect


 Past Perfect

Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Number of Pages: 306

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…

Past Perfect by Leila Sales is a perfectly cute book about a girl, Chelsea, who works at Essex Historical Village, a reenactment village depicting the American Revolutionary War. The book starts at the beginning of the summer with work at the village just starting. Both of Chelsea’s parents also work at the village, so Chelsea has always worked there. This year her best friend, Fiona, and her ex-boyfriend, Ezra, are also employed by the village. The action of this book follows the ‘War’ between Essex and the reenactmentland across the street, that focuses on the Civil War. The setting for this novel is fun and different and the idea of fighting reenacters is hilarious, but believable.

Chelsea is distressed when she learns that Ezra is going to be around all summer. She is still hurting from their break-up and didn’t know he would be at Essex. Things start looking up, though when she meets Dan the cute Civil Warrior who works for the enemy. This makes their romance complicated and a little star-crossed with the ‘War’ getting in the way of their developing relationship.

Chelsea’s friendship with Fiona is funny and spot-on. It definitely reminded me of some of my high school friendships. The relationship with her parents, especially her father, was also very realistic.

My favorite part of this book was definitely the inside look of working at a reenactment village. I was feel so bad for people who work at these types of places just because I can’t even imagine having to be dressed like that all summer. I loved how working at the village was a normal part of Chelsea’s family life. I really liked the description of the different jobs and getting to know the people who would chose this as their summer job.

Overall, I enjoyed Past Perfect. It is light, easy read that has the novelty of a different setting to set it apart from other YA books while also having enough depth to keep it from being too sweet.
On a somewhat unrelated side note, I can’t help but think that the white splotches on the cover look like something besides rain. Sorry, but that doesn’t look like rain. It looks like she’s auditioning for a porno.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you ever seen a war reenactment? What’s your favorite summer read? Sound off below.


18 thoughts on “Past Perfect (Summer Series Book Review)

Add yours

  1. What a great idea for a feature, Natalie! I love summer books, too, and it's kind of the perfect time for me to step out of my comfort zone, you know? This book sounds like so much fun, and the cover is adorable. Plus, I really enjoyed your positive take on this. Wonderful review 🙂


  2. I've heard that this one is really good, so I really want to check it out this summer. It sounds so cute and fun, and I'm really happy you enjoyed it. Great review!


  3. Thanks, Sandra! I think it would be a blast in a temperate climate, but where I live in the Northeast and where this takes place in the South, I can't imagine having to wear those costumes in that swampy humidity without air conditioning. Thanks for stopping by!


  4. I love summer books, too! They're the perfect pick me ups, especially after reading a book like The Sea of Tranquility. I need one of these right now. 🙂 I've actually got Leila Sales new book for review…maybe I should read this one first, though. I like to read books in the order of publication if I can, just to see how an author's style changes or evolves over the course of their writing.


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