By Leila Sales
Oct. 4, 2011
Simon Pulse, 320 pages
A summer job is exactly the distraction that Chelsea needs in order to finally get over Ezra, the boy who dumped her—and broke her heart to pieces—just a few weeks ago.
So when Chelsea’s best friend, Fiona, signs them up for roles at Essex Historical Colonial Village, Chelsea doesn’t protest much, even though it means being surrounded by drama geeks and history nerds. Chelsea will do anything to forget Ezra.
But when Chelsea and Fiona show up for their new jobs, they find out Ezra’s working there too. Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past—or maybe this summer is exactly what she needs for her future….
— Amazon.com description
Before I even talk about this fantastic book, can we discuss how my interests as a very young girl are affecting my current reading choices? I’m not talking teenage interests; I’m talking straight-up childhood. Mermaids? Obsessed. Jewel thefts? Couldn’t get enough of ’em.* Greek mythology? Bring it on! Think about how many of those themes are in the books I’m still reading and loving: Forgive My Fins, Heist Society, The Goddess Test, etc.
What does this have to do with this book about colonial reenactments? You’d think, “No, no 8-year-old would be into that.” WRONG.
|Why, yes, that IS me.|
When I was about 8 years old, my family took a trip to Colonial Williamsburg. I loved it so much I was a colonial girl for Halloween. It probably didn’t help my obsession that the “Felicity” American Girl books were really popular at the time.
Anyway, back to the point: Clearly, American Girl-wannabe me was born to love this book. It’s quirky and refreshing and lends itself to many hilarious and sticky situations, which are deftly executed by Leila Sales. And you don’t have to be a dork like me to enjoy it.
What I love so much about this author is that she’s able to take some pretty absurd and unlikely situations and make them seems so…normal. In the midst of all the wackiness of Essex Historical Colonial Village, she somehow captures the teenage experience perfectly. Her humor is spot-on, the romance is sweet and the girls are undeniably likable, despite their mistakes.
Bonus points, via Amazon: “Leila Sales had the idea for Past Perfect after working as a costumed Colonial guide on Boston’s Freedom Trail.” Leila! Pictures, please!
*I am aware that I was a strange child.