Book Review | Past Perfect
Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leila Sales
Leila Sales won me over completely with her second novel, Past Perfect. It has a totally unique setting–two warring reenactment colonies–blended with the right doses of comedy and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
Chelsea Glaser has worked at Essex Historical Colonial Village since before she was old enough to collect a paycheck. Ready to assert her independence, Chelsea wants nothing more than to work at the mall this summer instead of at the reenactment colony. Unfortunately, her best friend Fiona can’t go to her fancy theatre summer camp this year, and decides that they will both work at the historical village.
The summer was supposed to be about moving on and reinventing herself, but Chelsea’s past catches up with her when her ex-boyfriend, Ezra, also gets a job at the colonial village. Having Ezra around makes it even more difficult for Chelsea to move on, especially when he becomes involved in the War with the Civil War Reenactment Land across the street. When Chelsea is kidnapped by their enemies, she meets Dan, and begins to fall for him. But the memory of Ezra and what they had together is so strong, and Dan is taboo because he is the enemy. Will Chelsea ever be able to leave the past behind, or is it all she really has?
Chelsea reminded me so much of how I thought and the things I went through with my first heartbreak as a teenager. She is believable because she is stronger than she knows, but also has weaknesses and flaws that everyone can relate to. We tend to re-write history and remember things other than the way they actually happened, just to suit our own needs. Chelsea’s history with Ezra is revealed slowly instead of all at once, and how everything unfolds is simply perfect.
Dan is incredible, and exactly what Chelsea needs if she can just get past the idea that Ezra is who she is meant to be with. I was so impressed with Dan, especially with his insights on love and heartbreak during a conversation he had with Chelsea. I can’t imagine any reader not falling for him, too.
Past Perfect is that rare gem of a book that you will be unable to put down until you have reached the very last page.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*