Summary: Chelsea is having a tough time getting over her ex-boyfriend. When she starts working at a Colonial reenactment attraction over the summer (the same place she’s worked for almost her entire life), she isn’t expecting to find a summer romance. But when Dan, an employee of the Civil War reenactment attraction across the street, kidnaps Chelsea as part of the two attractions’ years-long feud, she ends up falling for him. But if her co-workers (and friends) ever found out, they’d be furious—it’s treason to even think about the Civil War employees.
My thoughts: Because this is a contemporary book, I’ll be switching up my review style—I’ve found it’s easier to write about contemps informally. Hope you guys don’t mind!
Past Perfect was exactly what I needed. I was completely stressed out with packing for school at the time I read it, and this book helped me relax (and better yet, it put a smile on my face!). Past Pefect is a light read, but it does cover some more serious subjects, like letting go and learning to live for today, not yesterday. I really liked how the themes tied in with the setting—a Colonial reenactment attraction. Because Chelsea is almost literally stuck in the past, and because that’s the way she’s been raised, it’s harder for her to focus on the present.
Essex (the Colonial reenactment place) was a really neat setting; I’ve always been a bit curious about historical interpreters (a.k.a. the people who dress up and pretend they live in the 1700’s), and Past Perfect revealed that they’re just regular people. Sure, there are some crazies (and boy, were they hilarious to read about!), but most people that work as interpreters are just like us. I also really loved the “War” (capital W) that went on between the Essex teens and the Civil War reenactment teens. Some seriously funny stuff went down, and I really enjoyed reading about the two sides constantly trying to outwit each other. Epic pranks were pulled!
Chelsea was a really likable protagonist. I loved how smart and quick she was (her retorts almost always made me smirk)! She didn’t really stand out as particularly unique, as far as protagonists go, but she was fun, and her narration always kept things exciting. Chelsea’s friends, on the other hand, were very memorable. From Fiona and her long-hair fetish to Bryan the toad-like history buff, Past Perfect was chock-full of fabulous secondary characters.
The last thing I’ll mention is, of course, the romance. The forbidden love between Chelsea and Dan was kind of humorous, but the moments that they were actually together were precious. Their relationship started off flirty and tentative, but later progressed into something much more passionate. I loved how Leila Sales paced their romance—it felt very real.
If you’re looking for an adorable romance with lots of laughs, Past Perfect is a perfect choice. I was hooked from page one, and found myself smiling all the way until the end.