Past Perfect – Leila Sales

Review

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….

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What a lovely vanilla fluffy read! I must say, after reading This Song Will Save Your Life,I fully expected some tearjerking, weighty, and meaningful story here. Instead, I got a fun, snappy, and witty rom-com. I love the banter and jokes that carry forward. I love the casual absurdity of the setting (reenactments? Yes please!) and characters (super-dedicated-to-reenactments parents? Yes please!). This was a fun and largely ridiculous romp that plays off the past on multiple levels.

I love the idea of work-wide prank wars. Competition breeds the best in us all, in my opinion. There were some fun schemes here that made me wistful of pranking done RIGHT (not that easy to come by these days). I also enjoyed anything relating to ice-cream connoisseurship. I respect such dedication to the cause (and would totally want that job too!! Sign me UP!).

I loved a certain warrior to bits. The dialogue really made the relationship to me. It’s not often that books take time to develop that “getting-to-know-you” stage. Far too often do they portray miscommunication, acting hard to get, insta-love, or choosing to skip that period all together. Relationship-development is important, and it’s refreshing to see people openly admit their affection towards each other rather than playing games. I guess they had some forbidden “Romeo-and-Juliet” type hurdles to get through, but that was necessary for a plot line (as in, that was pretty much the only substantial plot line in the book). I’m also glad that the romance wasn’t rushed at all. We got to see those tentative first encounters, flirty moments, and signals of interest. That made the payout much more satisfying. This guy was WAY cooler than a particular ex-boyfriend. Neither were perfect (we’re like, WAY past that), but I can understand Chelsea’s feelings for them both.

I wish there was a little more character development, as many of the characters were a bit two-dimensional (yes, better than one-dimensional, but still not all the way there). Dan’s in a band. Is that really all we can hear about it? It seems like something major in his life. And how old is this kid? Is he a public school guy, or did he just graduate (considering his bandmates are out on tour by themselves)? Better yet, what is Ezra into? I wish I had a bit more to grab onto about these characters. Also, things came a little too easily at times. Give me more issues than that!

Still, if you’re looking for a fun and simple read, this one is perfect.

Related Reading

  • On the Jellicoe Road – Melina Marchetta
  • The Ex Games – Jennifer Echols
  • Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) – Amy Spalding
  • How My Summer Went Up in Flames – Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
  • The Boyfriend List – E. Lockhart

Rating: 4/5 

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