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Book 28: Past Perfect by Leilia Sales

Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leilia Sales
Page Count: 303
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: Young adult

Rating: 8/10

Chelsea wants to find a normal job at the mall and get over Ezra, the guy who broke her heart. Instead, she ends up working at the same Colonial reenactment village that she’s been a part of since she was a small child and trying to ignore the fact that Ezra works there, as well. She hopes to distract herself with the on-going war between the Colonials and the Civil War reenactors across the street. But what happens when she starts to develop feelings for the enemy?

I really enjoyed this story. I thought about giving it a 9/10, but there were a few facts that will bug me a lot more later, once the newness of the novel has worn off, that I figured should factor in. I don’t want to give away too many details, so I’ll just say that there was a scene/fact with both Ezra and Dan that I found a bit unrealistic and unexplained, and that took a bit away from my enjoyment of this story.

Overall, though, I loved the book. It was easy to read, and the characters were very realistic. I could relate to Chelsea a lot. She was a funny and sympathetic narrator, and Sales did a great job at getting me to feel what Chelsea was feeling. When she was suspicious, I got suspicious. When she got self-righteous and angry, I was right there with her. When she realized that she had made a huge mistake, I felt that emotion change, as well. I’ve read so many stories where I can’t understand the character’s feelings at all, or stories where I can understand why they feel that way but can’t really relate to them because of it, but this is one of the few novels where I both understood and felt the same way she did – or where the author did a good enough job of explaining her feelings that my feelings changed to match those of the narrator.

Some parts were a bit obvious, and – as mentioned above – there were a few parts that seemed off and unrealistic, but it was still an enjoyable novel, and I feel like I learned a bit of history along the way, which was an added bonus.