Past Perfect

Past Perfect

by Leila Sales


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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To make it clear, it’s a little bit more than 3.5 stars 🙂
AND I think I’m becoming more and more exigent when it comes to the books I read, and I’m also becoming lazy when it comes to my reviews.
This is no exception.
So here come some random thoughts:

When I think about PAST PERFECT I think about myself in high school. It’s not that I miss being in high school, but I miss some parts of it, and you’ll get some glimpses of that inside this review too.

#1 The cover
I really love it – it’s beautiful, and simple.
Look at that beautiful girl, with that smile, and the flower in her hair, looking so happy.
It’s not particularly related to the story, but it’s gorgeous anyways. And it’s a tiny part of my “past perfect” because I miss the rain, I miss dancing in the summer rain. I have a lot of memories that come back to me only by looking at it, and it brings such a big smile on my face.

#2 The heroine
Chelsea has a great funny voice and PAST PERFECT it’s a laugh-out-loud kind of book, full of irony.
Even though sometimes she seemed a bit naive, I could connect with her, understand her. She reminded me of my younger self and she made me smile a lot. I could understand why she wanted to please her friends, and why she needed to be loved again – off course she did some mistakes and from time to time I wanted to shake her and make her realize how silly she was, but some other times I just wanted to hug her for being such a sweetheart.

#3 The setting
Who said history is boring?… Well I would have said it in high school probably, but only because I didn’t like my teacher (he didn’t like me either so I’m fine with it).
Chelsea’s job is to get dressed in historical clothes and pretend for the day that she leaves in the past. I would love such a summer job. And this is not even the most interesting part. Because there is a war going on behind the scenes (between the people working at Essex, and the people working for the competition). And that really is something fun to watch.

#4 The love story
Chelsea + Dan = ♥?
Well their story was sweet for the first half and strange on the other.
First let’s meet our sweethearts:
– Chelsea (behind the scenes) the Colonial lieutenant at Essex Historical Colonial Village
– Dan, the enemy, a civil warrior (from the competition)

So I liked the way they met, in the middle of that war (who wouldn’t like to be taken hostage by a good-looking guy?). And they were cute together (most of the time). And I loved their first kiss, it was sweet. I have a soft spot for first kisses – in the way some people collect stamps I would collect first-kiss-memories if I could ;))
BUT – there’s always a ‘but … ,’ right? I didn’t really understand Dan, I couldn’t get him.
He loved to sing and he didn’t enjoy that much working for the Civil War Reenactment, but why did he care about what people thought about him being with Chelsea? It didn’t make sense.. and what about the “tomb stone” – did he know or did he not?

#5 The triangle wanna be.. or not so much?
Chelsea + Dan – the Ex = ♥?
Ezra (sounds like a strange name but maybe is just me), Chelsea’s ex boyfriend, was another character that I didn’t quite understand. I don’t really know why did Chelsea like him so much, but at some point or another in the past I might as well have liked some guy without deserving it, so maybe I’m just being a little bit hypocrite.
I didn’t like him. He seemed to be manipulative, and he had an ego the size of mount Everest, and in the ‘full memories’ he acted like a big-fat-jerk.
BTW, I liked how she kept remembering parts of her past being perfect, but when she really looked into them she realized how not-so-perfect her love story really was. Because we all keep our good memories when it comes to the past relationships and forget the bad ones, it felt so damn real (in fact this is probably true if you are the dumped one, if not it’s more like it to go the other way around).
Anyways, I must say that if something is over it happens for a reason, you should keep that in mind in the real life, it might save you from a heartbreak.

#6 The war game
It remind me a tiny bit of “Jellicoe Road” (really, really tiny) but I don’t know why it worked better in that story.
Here it just got a bit out of control. It awed me to see how far could they go with this war- a black eye, a strained hand, kidnapping, cow poop, not to mention the fake documents incident?! – it was just too much.

Now, there would be a lot of other things to talk about, but as I said I am too lazy to put them into words. There were some things that really bothered me and I had to lower a bit the rating, but somehow I just couldn’t leave this book behind.. it made me think about a lot of things from the past, because we all had our past perfect.. and it was perfect (right?) while it lasted.

Happy midnight reading!

Music of choice: Taylor Swift – Last Kiss

(i feel that it goes well with Chelsea’s feelings)

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