Thursday, November 3, 2011

Up and Coming: Past Perfect by Leila Sales

One of our favorite books of last year was Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales. We were really rooting for it to get a Morris Award nomination, because it was so snappy and awesome. Katie got the jump on this review because she snatched up an e-galley... The rest of us are chomping at the bit to get our hands on this one.

 Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Need to ease your way back into thinking about history as the summer comes to an end but not quite ready to go full out historical fiction yet? Enter Past Perfect. This contemporary teen story is laugh-out-loud funny, poignant, and romantic... and just so happens to take place in the fine Commonwealth of Virginia, in a little community called Essex, which is not so different from Colonial Williamsburg.

Chelsea is wrapping up her junior year of high school, still hurting from a break up, and getting ready to return to her summer job as Elizabeth Connelly of Essex. Chelsea has been working as a historical reenactor for pretty much her whole life. Her present is the past and her future is a little murky, especially after she is elected Lieutenant for Essex and becomes a major player in the War. Not the Revolutionary War, mind you, but the war between Colonial reenactors and Civil War reenactors that has waged in this town every summer for pretty much as long as anyone can remember. Chelsea suddenly finds herself getting kidnapped by a rather dashing Civil Warrior, unexpectedly working with (and getting rescued by) her ex-boyfriend, keeping secrets from her completely awesome best friend, and maybe... just possibly... winning the war once and for all. But at what cost?

I knew as soon as I read the summary of this book that I would love it--I did after all spend a good chunk of my childhood as an aspiring Laura Ingalls Wilder reenactor (don’t judge; I practically grew up on the prairie). But I had no idea how much I would love it. I spent large portions of this book either laughing out loud on the Metro or wishing I had a physical copy (rather than an egalley) so I could highlight the really poignant insights about friendships and relationships and the past, present, and future, all couched between the humor and romance and history lessons.

Say good-bye to summer fun and hello to your history books with this fun read.

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