Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release date: October 4th 2011
Pages: 306
Genre: Contemporary YA
Source: Won from Carmen Rodrigues - thanks!
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A summer job is exactly the distraction that Chelsea needs in order to finally get over Ezra, the boy who dumped her and broke her heart to pieces just a few weeks before. So when Chelsea's best friend, Fiona, signs them up for roles at Essex Historical Colonial Village, Chelsea doesn't protest too hard, even though it means spending the summer surrounded by drama geeks and history nerds. Chelsea will do anything to forget Ezra.
But when Chelsea and Fiona show up for their new jobs, they find out Ezra's working there too. Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. ...or will this turn out to be exactly the summer that Chelsea needed, after all?
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I'd heard that Past Perfect was an adorable and hilarious read from so many people, but I still wasn't sure whether I'd like it - humor is hard to get right in books, it's a hit-or-miss kind of thing for me. Luckily, though, the humor in this novel was just the way I like it, and so was everything else in Past Perfect - I loved it!

Chelsea was the best part of Past Perfect, for me. Yes, she can be melodramatic and kind of self-obsessed, but I felt for her; she's real, in an endearing way. Chelsea's humor is effortlessly entertaining, snarky, sarcastic, and funny in a very clever way. I just loved her so much!

I loved most of the secondary characters, too. Fiona is an awesome best friend to Chelsea, and I loved her personality; she's superficial in a funny, self-deprecating and endearing way. Also awesome are Chelsea's parents - these are the kinds of parents I want to see more often in YA! Chelsea's dad is simply the most kickass dad in history (get it? I know, I'm so funny).

The only characters I didn't love as much were the love interests, Ezra and Dan; their personalities are underdeveloped, in comparison to the rest of the cast. But I honestly didn't mind that much - the description makes it seem like Past Perfect focuses a lot on romance, but to me, it wasn't really about these boys; it's about Chelsea and her character growth, family and friendship, and I really liked how much it focused on these themes, even if it means our love interests are kind of one-dimensional. And even if I didn't love the love interests as characters, I really like how Leila Sales developed these relationships; they felt innocent and sweet, but still very realistic.

Asides from the characters, the unique setting is what makes Past Perfect so special - all the history stuff is awesome! I'm not exactly into history, but the way it's presented in the novel, with Chelsea's hilarious commentary, I loved it. And the war stuff is awesome too - weird and kind of ridiculous, but in a totally awesome way.

Past Perfect is such a cute book; both entertaining and insightful, with kickass characters and an effortlessly hilarious writing style. I'm looking forward to reading more from Leila Sales soon!


  1. Gonna try to read this. Nice review, Hannah!

  2. I completely agree with everything you said, especially about the setting. I loved reading about the behind-the-scenes things and learning terms like "farb." :)


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