Past Perfect- Leila Sales.

Synopsis from Goodreads
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….

“What can I say; I have a thing for guys in period dress, okay? That’s just who I am.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.
This book was like the younger tag-along sibling of Jellicoe Road and Frankie Landau-Banks. Very cute, a bit silly, surprisingly funny, sometimes annoying but ultimately, wholly charming.

High Points.
Chelsea. Fiona. Ice cream connoisseurs. History. Original and hilarious setting. “Pony tails are just a deal breaker to me.” YES. Essex Village. Renactmentland. Secret loves. Kidnapping. Pranks. Petticoats and bonnets. Trampolines. Redcoats. Cheerleaders. Telephones. Family secrets.

Low Points.
Chelsea started to grate on me a bit.
I don’t like it when fictional best friends fight.
There were a lot of unnecessarily long paragraphs about METAPHORS and HIDDEN DEPTHS and LATE NIGHT LIFE CHATS and it sometimes got a bit BORING.. I mean boring sorry… got carried away with the capitalisations. I liked what Ms Sales was saying but I didn’t think it really fit with the tone of the book on some occasions and it often felt quite jarring. Like I was laughing one minute and then something serious was mentioned and I felt guilty for laughing and I had to be all serious all of a sudden.
Chelsea, mate, you’re sixteen… there’s plenty of time to have angsty boy times and intense talks with a boy you have only just met. Please, just enjoy jumping on a trampoline with said cute boy.
And that’s not a euphemism… *clutches pearls*
Also, there is a bit at the end that really reminded me of the bit in Mean Girls when Cady gets Prom Queen and the principal says “You know, winners aren’t required to make a speech.” Which made me laugh and think I need to watch that film again soon….

Well, when I say you started to grate on me… I mean that I wanted to you to stop talking about Ezra and just call Fiona and eat ice cream and tell you to shut the eff up.
Because Fiona and I pretty much had the same mind.
You were funny, appreciated history (sometimes I wish I had taken A-Level history) and you love ice-cream. BUT…You were a bit whingey and you were a bit stupid when it came to the people of the male disposition but you get Brownie points for wanting to get over McDouche. Even if you dragged your heels in actually doing it…
And also you can work a historically accurate costume. Praise needs to be given for that. It takes a real woman to look good in a historically accurate costume.

Best Friend.
YES. I loved Fiona. Although she did let Chelsea get away with a lot of her whinging. If I were ever to moan that much about a boy I just know my friend would throw a dollop of ice-cream at me which I would proceed to eat anyway…. Waste not want not.
But I liked their ending.

Love Interest.
Ezra= yuck. Why was he even still in the picture? He had absolutely no personality and he was definitely not someone who is worth all the pining he got. In a word… yawn.
Dan= OK, now we’re getting somewhere. Although, I feel I don’t really you well enough. I would like to have had a bit getting to know you style flirty conversations (But not about difficult family situations…. Because we’ve only just met. And it would be intense.)

So… what’s your favourite colour?
Why do you like the Sex Pistols so much?
Why don’t you brush your hair?

Although why there was even a competition between a boy who wears historically accurate costumes (It actually reminds me of when I visited Warwick Castle and there was a bloke in a powdered wig who was pleasing to look at but he was, I repeat, in a powdered wig and it was confusing to say the least) and a boy who doesn’t like sledging… I don’t know.

Theme Tune.

See, we were having fun weren’t we? Talking about boys in period costume and messy hair and crooked grins and stuff and then BAM… I hit you with this song. About metaphors and history and love and ANGST.
Kinda ruined the mood, did it not?
This is how I felt about this book a little.
FUN FACT: FFAF are from Wales which is where I first encountered people who thought it was socially acceptable to dress in chainmail and walk around the streets re-enacting things with blunt swords and beards and dressed like wizards.
Yeah.. the jury’s still out on this one.

I’m going to shake these reviews up a bit from now on to make things a bit clearer in determining the sadness of the book and the amount of love-related angst.

Boy/Girl Angst Level.
9/10. Jeez. OK. Well… this book had the usual amount of boy angst you can expect when the heroine is confused about which boy she loves. I mean… I guess I need to cut Chelsea some slack. It is difficult to choose between a complete loser who doesn’t have a personality and treated you like crap and a cute boy with a bit of a rebellious side but actually truly cares about you and he’s a great big brother and he looks good in tweed pants and braces.
It completely needs a bajillion pages to work it out.

Sadness Scale.
2/10. This book was very tame in the sadness scale because it was mostly funtimes all around so I didn’t get choked up about anything.
I did like the part where Chelsea was looking through the memory box and remembering her relationship how it really was as opposed to the rose-tinted view she had before.
I thought how Ms Sales depicted that bitter-sweet feeling of looking back into the past and being almost afraid to move on was interesting and realistic and almost excused the way Chelsea was behaving towards Ezra.

And also, Dan’s history was interesting… would have liked to have explored that a bit more.

Recommended For.
People who like history. People who would choose the boring boy over the cute boy with a lopsided grin. People who are wondering what the girl on the cover of this book licking rain has anything to do with this book… SPOILER: Nothing. People who are wondering how one would go about becoming an ice-cream tester. People who think that trampolines are for jumping on, not oversharing on. People who want a surfer soul connection. People who always wonder whether the people in museums/history villagers are hot under all that material. People who want to know where the toilets are.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.

2 thoughts on “Past Perfect- Leila Sales.

  1. “Chelsea, mate, you’re sixteen… there’s plenty of time to have angsty boy times and intense talks with a boy you have only just met. Please, just enjoy jumping on a trampoline with said cute boy.
    And that’s not a euphemism… *clutches pearls*”


    Yay for the low rating on the sadness scale! But bah. A very angsty novel? And arghhh, the fictional best friend fight in contemporary novels gets on my nerves. It happens way too often and over far too stupid of things.

    “People who want to know where the toilets are.”

    LOL. Your review is hilarious! Also, when I right clicked that to copy it to here, I accidentally clicked on “search bing for: …” Great, look what you made me do ;p.

    Thanks, Jo :)!

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