Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Past Perfect
Leila Sales
YA Contemporary
Published: 2011

What a fun book! I LOVE the premise. If you ever spent the majority of your family vacations at museums and historical sites (Colonial Williamsburg, Gettysburg, Greenfield Village to name a few), you will greatly appreciate Chelsea's summer job at a Colonial re-enactment village. In fact, her parents work there too, they're the silversmiths, and for as long as she can remember, she worked summers as the silversmith's daughter dressed in Colonial-era garb to entertain tourists.

This summer, Chelsea pleads for a new assignment, just down the way at the village graveyard, and sets her sights on a great summer with her best friend who joined the re-enacters for the first time. Only at orientation, her ex-boyfriend Ezra is seated among the new recruits, which will make it quite difficult to get over him.

The Colonial re-enacters are a proud bunch, especially considering across the street from their historical village is another historical village -- the Civil War-era ReenatctmentLand. The teenage re-enacters from both sides are bitter rivals, enacting their own covert war fought with pranks and sometimes worse, all beyond the prying eyes of the adults. When Chelsea and a rival "Civil Warrior" meet and find they don't actually hate each other, Chelsea must decide if cavorting with the enemy is worth the risk.

Their allegiance to historical authenticity and cracks about era-appropriate clothing make this such a funny, different YA story. I had so much fun with it I just kept on reading and finished the whole book on one summer day.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a GUEST POST!


  1. I read this one awhile ago and thought it was fun (for the same reasons you mention). What drives me bonkers is the cover. Nothing about it hints at the fun inside. Nothing about it is even in the book. So weird that they went with that. I think it would have been fun to at least try and reflect the book a little. What do you think?

  2. I didn't mind the cover much before reading the book, but after I definitely saw it as a missed opportunity. So many possibilities! Maybe the publisher couldn't find available stock art of a teen girl dressed in Colonial garb. I guess lots of books use pre-fab photos.

  3. I've never heard of it. Sounds like a cool premise, but I agree with you and Jaime about the cover.

  4. I had no idea, based on the cover, that's what this book was about! And that's sad because the plot sounds pretty cool! Look forward to reading this one!

  5. Sounds like a fun story, since I love going to living museums. So getting a behind the scenes look would be really interesting. :-)


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