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Past Perfect

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  5,575 Ratings  ·  578 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
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Simon Pulse
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May 23, 2011 Flannery rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Wish They Owned A Petticoat
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
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Jun 23, 2015 Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: myself :/

3 to 3.5 stars

I am an absolute fan of fluffy reads and I resort to this stuff occasionally or when the need arises. Thus, when I saw that super adorable book cover, I thought this would be the perfect pick (as the title suggests).

I learn soon enough though that the cover has absolutely nothing to do with the story and though it pains me to say this, I have to admit that this did not fully meet my expectation. :/

It has a wonderful concept about a young girl’s romantic problems particularly a
May 25, 2011 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Flannery
Shelves: ya, 2011
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
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
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. Renactmentlan
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
May 24, 2011 Limonessa rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit, chick-lit, ebook
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.
May 24, 2011 Arlene rated it really liked it  ·  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
May 25, 2011 Catie rated it really liked it  ·  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
*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

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,

- 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
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 *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
May 26, 2011 Isamlq rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 08, 2011 Skye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, ya
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
Sep 21, 2011 Heidi rated it liked it
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,
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
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
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
Jan 25, 2015 Sophia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

this book was really quick and really fun! you can fly through it in a few hours. i feel like overall, this book was so close to being great, but didn't quite reach it. it was close to bringing out the feels, but it didn't. the love interest was close to swoon-worthy, but he wasn't. the deeper messages were close to being well-executed, but they weren't really. it suffered from having this potential to be excellent, but not quite reaching that level. nonetheless, this book was cute and
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
Nov 07, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 18, 2011 Noelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yup. That cover still baffles me. Believe it or not, this book isn't about a girl in a raincoat having a chalk-induced allergy attack. And that tag line? Puh-LEASE. This is about historical reenactment turf wars! With pranks! Sabotage! Banter! Intrigue! Pithy historical one-liners! And consorting/cavorting/carousing with the enemy! That cover does this book NO justice. Past Perfect is so much fun and totally cracked me up. I also liked the tribute to relationship revisionist history. There's not ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Chachic rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: galley
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
Sep 22, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 11, 2011 Choco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Miranda Kenneally
May 10, 2011 Miranda Kenneally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this.
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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 about Leila Sales...

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“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.” 279 likes
“Nobody is so busy that they can't make time for the people they really care about.” 88 likes
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