Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Past Perfect ” as Want to Read:
Past Perfect
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Past Perfect

by
3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  4,394 ratings  ·  492 reviews
A sweet and clever novel about the woes of (boy) history repeating itself, from the author of Mostly Good Girls.

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, rea
...more
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Simon Pulse
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Past Perfect, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Past Perfect

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Flannery
True confession: I love reenactors. People who wear oldey-timey outfits for work? You’re awesome. Does your job require you to shun modern technology and to feign ignorance when someone asks you where the bathroom is? You deserve a medal. This is the first YA book I’ve ever read in which the main character works at a colonial village. (My only other experience with reenactors in a book is from Choke) There’s just something about how people having jobs at places like Sturbridge Village and Coloni ...more
Tatiana
May 30, 2011 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Flannery
Shelves: 2011, ala-ya-2012, ya
Who knew people obsessed with historical reenacting were so awesome?




(Somehow, they don't appear to be particularly cool in these pictures, do they?)

And yet, this book and its characters are A TON OF FUN!

After discovering the sheer awesomeness of Dungeons & Dragons' enthusiasts in Into the Wild Nerd Yonder and stage crew fanatics in Pink, learning about this new type of nerdery was a special, unexpected treat. Seriously, who would want to hang out with popular (=boring) people after getting t
...more
Nomes
Reading Past Perfect was reminiscent of the time I read Psych Major Syndrome. I just didn’t want to stop reading it. Not because it’s an adrenalin-fuelled, tension-filled, mind-blowing plot but because I was just having such a good time reading it that it felt like a crime to stop. So I read Past Perfect until 3am and grinned and sighed my way through it.

The first reason I fell in love with this book was because is gorgeously funny. The prose is a dream: insightful and sharp and snarky, slightly
...more
Jo
3.5 stars... rounded up.

“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
...more
Vinaya
Dear Leila Sales,

It's not you, it's me.


Okay, maybe it is you, just a little bit.

There are characters that I love to love, and characters that I love to hate. Characters that I merely despise, however, are rarely to my taste. Take Eona, for example. God, that girl frustrated me, annoyed me, made me want to scream at her and shake her till she saw sense, but I still loved the book.

Chelsea, the heroine of this book, inspired no such emotion in me. I like a little bit of perspective even in my esca
...more
Limonessa
As far as YA chick lit goes, Past Perfect is a really fun book.

Chelsea, 16, comes from a family of historical re-enactors,. She lives in the town of Essex, where this kind of practice seems to be the bread and butter of the population. In fact, not only Essex has a Colonial time reenactment village, but a Civil war one as well. And they're bitter, bitter enemies. So when summer begins and Chelsea, as every year before, starts to work in the village, the time for war between the factions is on.
T
...more
Arlene
Oct 17, 2011 Arlene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy a bit of history with their tea…
Recommended to Arlene by: Street Corner Booker - October Optional Read
There is one common thread throughout all of history, it’s that people have always fallen for the wrong people.

A boy once told me that love without heartbreak is just a pretty myth.

Past Perfect is my first literary encounter with Leila Sales, and after finding her writing enjoyable and entertaining I am eager to dive into her book Mostly Good Girls. In this story, Sales presents a unique set of characters, setting and plot that not only had me engrossed within the first few pages, but also excit
...more
Catie
Jul 23, 2011 Catie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Catie by: Flannery
3 1/2 stars

For most of my life I’ve hated learning about history. It’s always seemed so subjective and so obviously tainted by the spin of those who have written it. I remember my high school history classes being taught by the bitterest of the teachers. I’m pretty sure they resented forcing us to memorize oversimplified propaganda as much as we resented the idea that little nuggets like “Lincoln freed the slaves” and “the first settlers arrived in 1620” (never mind all those pesky people who ha
...more
Aleeeeeza
*4.25 stars*

I don’t know how many of y’all have seen the movie Sweet Home Alabama, but it is one of my All. Time. Favorites. I love that movie so much I could see it again and again and again and again and never get bored. Yep, I love it that much. The movie takes place in Alabama (as you could probably guess), and there’s this one scene where the main character’s very Southern parents are reenacting a scene from the Civil War in which they dress up like Confederate soldiers and then pretend to
...more
oliviasbooks
Hmmm.

- I liked "Past Perfect" and I think it was a really cute and enjoyable, well-tied story.
- I liked both the 16-years-old heroine, Chelsea, and her love interest.
- I even came to like Chelsea's best friend Fiona as the story progressed. She redeemed herself in my eyes at the end.
- I liked the trampoline scene. It was sufficiently romantic.
- I didn't like Chelsea's parents at all, but I think normal, but rather unlikable parents are something which can happen to anyone in real life. For inst
...more
Ariana


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,
...more
Maggie
This was the nerdiest, dorkiest book ever. And it was awesome. So awesome, in fact, that the minute I finished the book, I googled Colonial Williamsburg. (PS. Their website address is www.history.org *Russell Crowe in Gladiator voice* NERDS UNITE.)

Like the great rivalries of yore -- Montagues vs Capulets, Jets vs Sharks, Lucille I vs Lucille II -- the Colonials and the Civil Warriors are enmeshed in a decades long battle. It started when Civil War Reenactmentland had the audacity to open across
...more
Isamlq
Past Perfect = Fun!

For a novel peopled with re-enactors, it reads surprisingly authentic: fun characters, believable relationships, and a sweet love connection. Have I mentioned how easy to like the characters are? Comparable to Anna and the French Kiss, had Chelsea and Dan not veered off into their conversations of love and history. I want my fluff fluffy less sappy deep conversations. (I'm in a very give-me-something-easy mood.) And yes, Past Perfect supplies that and more. It is a feel good
...more
Ellis
The more I think about Past Perfect, the more I like it. It's a quick, fun, and entertaining read, but not until a few hours after I'd finished did I realise just how much I adored the story. It definitely has a fluff element to it, and while there is mucho adorable - looking at you, Dan - it gets surprisingly real at times, without the story every getting truly dark or heavy. This is one of those books where I would have loved another 50 or 100 pages, not because it desperately needed it to tie ...more
Jasprit
A lot of my Goodreads friends had extremely enjoyed Past Perfect, so I was really looking forward to reading it and I did thoroughly enjoy it. However what surprised me the most was discovering that I had a new found love for REENACTMENTS! Yes that’s right reenactments. Past perfect just made me want to run away and join some re-enacting group straight away!

Past Perfect tells the story of two history villages who are within walking distance of each other; Reenactmentland who do civil war reenac
...more
Tina
Original post at One More Page

Oh how this cover lies. This cover has absolutely nothing to do with the story, no matter how cute it looks. I know covers are really for sales, and I may be able to forgive this if the book gets more sales because of the cover. Still, I can't see any connection.

But anyway, in Past Perfect , Chelsea is stuck in the past -- literally and figuratively. Chelsea is back to work for the summer in the Essex Historical Colonial Village, where she dresses up as a colonial w
...more
Skye
This review is also posted on my blog, In The Good Books.

Chelsea has worked at Essex Historical Colonial Village for almost as long as she can remember, and was looking forward to finally getting a normal job when her drama club friend roped her into another summer of role-playing in sweating colonial garb. If it wasn't bad enough, her ex-boyfriend has started working there as well. If she can ever get over him, there's a cute boy from the rival civil war reenactors across the road...

Chelsea's v
...more
Heidi
Three stars: This is an easy, entertaining read that takes place in a historical re- enactment village.

This book follows Chelsea Glaser, a sixteen year old, who has spent the majority of her young life working in a Colonial Reenactment village in Essex Virginia. Her visions of finally having a job in the mall for the summer are quickly squelched when her best friend begs and pleads for her to work at the village again so they can be together. Now Chelsea's summer consists of wearing full, heavy,
...more
Heather
As a lifetime nerd, I love meeting and/or reading about individuals who are not afraid to raise their nerd flag and fly it around. The best type of people are those who are not ashamed to be who they are, imo. And no one, I mean no one, has that issue in Past Perfect. I loved so many things about this book; I’m not sure what I loved best, that is how much I loved it.

As a southern girl, I am all too familiar with visiting historical homes/villages. We
Southerners are all about our history for some
...more
Ceilidh
Sometimes there is nothing that will satisfy a reader such as myself like a good piece of sweet fluff. That is not in any way meant as an insult towards “Past Perfect” and other such books, there’s no such room for genre snobbery in my eyes. While genre fiction such as horror, romance and the romantic comedy, which is how I would classify this book, are the first to be mocked or derided, it’s worth remembering that it’s pretty damn hard to write a convincing and entertaining piece of genre ficti ...more
Susan
So, so, SO funny. I could not stop giggling my head off while I read this on the bus, on the train, and at the airport--basically, any moment I had, I devoured PAST PERFECT.

The main character, Chelsea, is completely likable, the love interest is absolutely swoon-worthy, and the secondary characters are just perfect.

But the highlight of this book is definitely the setting. It's just such a unique place for a book to take place, and the whole premise of a war between reenactment parks? LOVE IT. Ch
...more
snowplum
If only Leila Sales actually knew she was writing a farce, this book would have been delightful. I feel like the premise suggests a Napoleon Dynamite style droll, tongue-in-cheek telling more than it does an Elizabethan drama. Unfortunately, Sales took (and let her characters take) their War way too seriously, and I found myself rolling my eyes for the first 2/3 of the book when taking it seriously was ridiculous, and then sighing in frustration at the 2/3 mark where Sales apparently started to ...more
Choco
3.5 stars

Reasons for my rating (not a review!):
I can see why this is compared to Psych Major Syndrome. Although the settings differ, some of the issues the main characters go through are very similar. Problems I had with each book were similar too. There were some differences, which made rating difficult. I enjoyed the sense of humour in this A LOT more (actually LOVED it), and overall this is better written. However, there isn't nearly as much swooning happening in this one when there was more
...more
Rebecca
When I found out about this book I added it to my wishlist straightaway, knowing I had to check it out. This is my first book by Leila Sales and all I can say, is that if her other books are as good as this, I’ll definitely be reading them!

Chelsea was at times a little self-centered but was always a quirky, fun loving, relatable character. All the characters were true to life and acted like real teens with faults and imperfections, which was refreshing to read. Even though Dan was the enemy, he
...more
Chachic
Originally posted here.

So glad that a galley of Past Perfect by Leila Sales became available in the Simon and Schuster GalleyGrab because I've been curious about the author. Plus, I've heard nothing but good things about her debut novel, Mostly Good Girls, so I jumped at the chance to read this. I finished reading this a couple of weeks ago but I wanted to post my review closer to the release date, October 4.

Don't you just love that cover? Everything about it is cute - from the chalky raindrops
...more
Nancy
I have said this before. I want Leila Sales to be my best friend. Her sense of humor is stunningly funny. She writes relationships the way they are or can be. Teenage years are angst-ridden. On the other hand, they aren't as complicated as some books would have us believe. For instance, our protagonist, Chelsea, sleeps over at Ezra's house. Not THAT kind of sleeping over, she falls asleep on his bed with him all cuddled up cute. No sex, just sleep. Chelsea wakes up and watches him breathe becaus ...more
Janina
Another disappointment. Really, I had immensely high expectations for this book, but overall, it was just so ... bland. Chelsea's problems seemed insignificant, I really didn't understand how she got so worked up about minor things (view spoiler).

I used to love these kind of contemporary novels - not actual "issue" books, but lighthearted without being trite
...more
Liza Wiemer
Thank you to Talia Lakritz for recommending this novel to me!

Past Perfect kept me entertained and totally engrossed in history, since the MC works at a reenactment village set in 1774 - the Essex Historical Colonial Village. Across the way is another reenactment village, but its time period is set during the Civil War. The young adults from both reenactment villages have had an ongoing war forever, pranking each other in their own WAR.

Chelsea is a lieutenant for the Colonial Village and Dan is a
...more
Sab H.  (YA Bliss)
Past Perfect is smart and sassy realistic fiction splashed with historical awesomeness... Can you think of a better book for me? Because I can't. All the cool things I love about contemporary mixed with the most fun historical facts and plot pieces. I was a bit in book heaven.

The setting was a historical geek's Disneyland. I mean seriously, I need to visit places like this. The story is set in a colonial reenactment facility that happens to be just across the street from a Civil War reenactment
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Virtuosity
  • Girls Don't Fly
  • Sean Griswold's Head
  • Pure Red
  • The Education of Hailey Kendrick
  • The Survival Kit
  • Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver, #4)
  • And Then Things Fall Apart
  • A Pocketful of Eyes
  • Getting Over Garrett Delaney
  • Other Words for Love
  • Dreamland Social Club
  • Like Mandarin
  • Amplified (Amplified, #1)
  • Rhymes with Cupid
  • Instructions for a Broken Heart
  • Populazzi
  • Good Oil
3390621
Leila Sales was born in 1984 and grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in psychology in 2006. Now she lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works in the mostly glamorous world of children's book publishing. Leila spends most of her time thinking about sleeping, kittens, dance parties, and stories that she wants to write.


***Please note that
...more
More about Leila Sales...
This Song Will Save Your Life Mostly Good Girls Tonight the Streets Are Ours Once Was a Time Nattens fucking magi

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Well, you can't have heartbreak without love," Dan pointed out. "If your heart was really broken, then at least you know you really loved him.” 214 likes
“Nobody is so busy that they can't make time for the people they really care about.” 84 likes
More quotes…