Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leila Sales
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse (S&S imprint)
All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, enjoy the air-conditioned mall, and get over her ex-boyfriend, Ezra. But it's back to the Essex Historical Colonial Village for another summer (yes, really), which sucks even more when she finds out Ezra works there now, too, when makes moving on a lot more complicated. Maybe Chelsea should've known better than to think a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past.
Amusing and heartfelt and thoughtful, Leila Sales gives readers a character who wants to move on with her life, who doesn't want to be trapped by the past every summer, but she can't seem to move on if she doesn't learn. An intriguing look at friendship and teenage romance while looking at perceptions of history, how we look at history in the 21st century, and how wearing long dresses in the summertime really sucks.
A historical reenactment village. When was the last time you visited one of those and you weren't 8 and on one of those family vacations when your dad drove all of you around in a car packed with suitcases? It's such an unexpected setting, something you don't come across unless you live somewhere with historical significance.
Chelsea was refreshing, totally flawed, stuck in different pasts, the Colonial past, her own past of working at Essex year after year, and her past with Ezra. Sometimes I wanted to stop her talking and tell her to stop and think. She wanted to move on, but she couldn't when she kept focusing on what went wrong in the past.
An interesting book. Not necessarily the sort of book I would read, but an interesting story nonetheless. Seems like it would suit fans of the author's previous book, Mostly Good Girls, perhaps other loyal contemporary YA readers of Sarah Dessen.
(I found an e-galley of this book in the Simon & Schuster Galley Grab newsletter.)