Jo's Reviews > Past Perfect

Past Perfect by Leila Sales
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's review
Aug 19, 11

bookshelves: guilty-pleasures, history-smishtory, oh-how-we-laugh, ya, you-got-a-friend-in-me, for-review, e, own
Read from August 16 to 17, 2011

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. 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.
History- Funeral For a Friend.
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 from the publisher.

You can find this review and other exciting things on my blog here.
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Reading Progress

08/17/2011 page 40
12.0% ""He was only cute enough to make me wish I could free my hands so that I could fix my hair. I mean, fix my hair, then punch him in the face, and then run."" 10 comments
08/17/2011 page 143
44.0% "Alright, Little Miss Overshare...reign it in, Chelsea. We don't want to scare him off with feelings and stuff just yet."
08/17/2011 page 216
67.0% ""Sometimes I feel like I am the comic relief in everyone's life but my own.""

Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Did I ever tell you that I have a trampoline in my front yard?! A huge one? One more thing to look forward to when you finally visit. :D

message 2: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Oh my gosh!

Can we sit on it and discuss really intense family affairs and secrets?

And then jump like crazy?! :-D

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Sure! :D I'll even send you a photo to see if I can lure you with it. :D

message 4: by Gloria (new)

Gloria Mundi I took A-level history and we had the most drony boring teacher ever imaginable (Professor Binns had nothing on her) who managed to put me off history for a good long time and it's only recently that I am starting to re-discover how fun history can be. So, maybe, you had a lucky escape. You never know.

message 5: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Haha, oh gosh. I can imagine loving history only if it was in the right hands.
I had a great teacher at GCSE but I heard the one at sixth form was awful.
So you're probably right.
I still love finding out about it through museums and stuff though. Best of both worlds!

Flannery Whingey--how do you say this? Win-gee? Why don't "you people" just say whiny? Why do you have to make my life more difficult?

One of my old roommates had a job concocting all the ice cream flavors for Baskin-Robbins. I thought that sounded like Chelsea's dream job:)

WHO would pick the boring guy over the lopsided grin guy? I don't like people like that.

message 7: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Win-gee is right.
I didn't know that was a British thing!

I should start doing American translations as long as Maja-translations for my reviews, shouldn't I?

OMG, screw Chelsea. That's my perfect job.

Haha, I love how lopsided grin has become synonymous with 'cute guy that every girl wants who's a bit cheeky but you'll end up with him'.

Flannery Yeah, we say whiny (wine-ee). I like it more because it actually sounds whiny. Whingey just makes me think someone is being wishy-washy.

Catie I like whingey more! I even used it in a review once. To me, it has more intense meaning than whiny. Like whinging somehow indicates prolonged, overly dramatic whining. But maybe that's just me.

Flannery You wanna fight about it? IT'S ON. (and you're goin' down)

P.S. I sent you a package yesterday. I sent you The Apothecary because I'm not getting around to it anytime soon. Also a few for you to keep.

P.P.S. I fight dirty.

Catie WOOO!!

You win. I am blinded by the prospect of future presents.

Flannery Flannery 1; Catie 0.

Catie I don't know...I am getting presents. Who's really the winner here?

message 14: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo I never think of a person whining. I always think it's what dogs do.

Oh, I don't know.

You are both winners.
*fist pump*

Nomes we say whingey in australia too :)

(we do not use whiny.)

[love the review]

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