Metaspinster's Reviews > Past Perfect

Past Perfect by Leila Sales
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I would feel proud to have written a YA book like this. It's funny, with a likable heroine who is not perfect but trying her best--which is all any of us can do--a girl who messes up in believably teenage ways and in turn gains a measure of self-awareness in equally buyable fashion. And it (this book) uses its living history museum setting as a metaphor for these "lessons learned" but not in a overly preachy-teachy-pedantic way. There's a sweet romance, a real best friendship, a motley crew of nicely-drawn (even when they're only sketched) secondary characters, and love and life lessons learned. The story makes you think about how history is constructed--both national and personal--and, if you squint hardly at all, there's lessons about war that are applicable beyond the "pretend" conflict between the adolescent "Civil Warriors" (ha!) and the "Colonialists."

Also, the title is wonderfully apt even if the cover art bears no apparent connection to content of the novel.

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