We’re rolling into Week Two of the PAST PERFECT tour with Teen Book Scene. Stop over at The Book Cellar tomorrow for a review! Today, author Leila Sales has stopped by A Backwards Story with a guest post, followed by my review!
Thank you for letting us peek into your non-writing life, Leila!
Does Leila’s post make you want to know more about PAST PERFECT? Read on!
If you’re looking for a light, sweet read, PAST PERFECT might be just what you’re looking for. Even better? The book takes place over the summer, outside of the traditional school setting. Even more unusual? It takes place at a colonial reenactment camp. When I was younger, there was a mystery novel (I forget its title now, sadly) that I read again and again that took place at a renaissance reenactment camp, and this brought back memories of that beloved book.
The main character, Chelsea, has grown up working at Colonial Essex Village thanks to her parents, who have worked alongside her. She wanted this summer to be different and was excited about working at the mall with her best friend Fiona…until Fiona decided to work at Essex, of course. Now back for another summer, Chelsea must avoid her ex-boyfriend who has suddenly started working at the camp, a toad-like guy who has always had a crush on her, AND help come up with a strategy to defeat Civil War Reenactmentland, which is located right across the street. Two living history museums shouldn’t be so close to one another, especially since their employees hate one another. Every summer, the junior members plot war strategy in private, never letting the adults in on what’s taking place. The war reminds me a bit of the no-holds approach seen in Melina Marchetta’s Printz-winning novel JELLICOE ROAD, especially since there is chemistry between members of the two opposing sides. After being kidnapped by the Civil Warriors (I love that term) the first night of war, Chelsea slowly begins falling for Dan despite being on opposite ends of the battlefield. Their relationship had a very ROMEO AND JULIET feel to it.
PAST PERFECT was full of fun moments such as a prank involving modern technology. I also like the way Leila Sales created a fun best friend in Fiona and made her and Chelsea ice cream connoisseurs. There were times when Chelsea would throw about sentences laced with innuendo that didn’t seem like something she would normally say, and they usually only occurred when boys were around. Other times, the lines are brilliant and laugh out loud funny. The ending could have also been a little more flesh-out, but that could have just been me wanting more. As with many teen romances, I wish the characters could be together a little longer before the book concludes because the characters worked so hard to get where they wind up. At the same time, the scenes Chelsea and Dan did have together stole the show. My favorite scene involving the two of them occurred on a trampoline, where for a moment, they could forget everything and just be themselves. While this isn’t a weighty book in terms of content, it is a fun read that will make you want to visit a living history museum!