Thursday, July 28, 2011

{Review} Past Perfect by Leila Sales

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leila Sales
Publication: 04th October 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
322 pages

My review

If I had to describe this novel with only a few words it would be: funny, cute and entertaining. I spent a wonderful time with Past Perfect and it's totally the kind of book that put you in a good mood. It's an utterly cute and lovely story, an intense read, full of excitement and romantic moments.

The first half of the book is totally hilarious, I often laughed out loud and I smiled all along. Fortunately, no one was at home when I was reading it. The second half of the novel is a bit more conventional, less original and it focuses more on the love life of our young heroine, as well as her friendship with her best friend. It deals with boys, misunderstandings, disputes and betrayals. If this second part was, for me, a little less exciting than the first, it was nonetheless totally entertaining. 

Besides the humor, the main strength of this novel is the atmosphere. I totally loved the universe of this story and the conflict, that reminds me a bit of a French book La Guerre des Boutons (that's a compliment). It was very easy for me to visualize the scenery, I could see myself lingering in the historic village, surrounded by people in costumes and authentic cemeteries. I don't know why but Past Perfect reminds me of Plymouth, MA probably because I went there last summer.

Chelsea is an endearing character, although she's still relatively young especially in the second half of Past Perfect. Indeed, her hesitations and her doubts may sometimes get a bit boring for adult readers. She is sometimes a bit egocentric and selfish. Moreover, she does not realize some things that are really obvious for the reader. However, and fortunately for us, it does not last and she realizes quite quickly that the past can be useful and avoid us to make the same mistakes as before.

I think it will be very easy for teenagers to relate to her. Past Perfect reminded me of memories of my teenage years and I would have definitively loved to read this book when I was younger. I'm sure it would have been useful to me. Chelsea gets the same preoccupations I had and every teenager could have and her advice are really wise.

The secondary characters are also well described and appealing. I totally loved Chelsea's father, he is one of my favorite characters. He often made me laugh and amused me, I really liked his personality. Each character is important to the story and all of them are likable. They feel real, they make mistakes as everyone and we can easily relate to them.

The plot is fast-paced, Leila Sales's writing is very smooth and I was hooked from the first line to the last. I read it really quickly, in only one afternoon because I totally wanted to know the rest of the story. The storytelling is compelling. Past Perfect is full of suspense and surprises. Even if some aspects of the story are a bit predictable, I nonetheless had a very good time with it. After reading the summary, I thought that that the story would focus on the romance of the characters, but Past Perfect is much more than that.

To sum up, Past Perfect is a funny and action-packed book with a wonderful atmosphere. If you're looking for a book that will put you in a good mood, it's exactly what you need. For me, it was a wonderful and delightful read. The feelings are well described, there are also some good advice for teenagers. Last but not least, Past Perfect made me smile like crazy and laugh a lot. I spent a really great afternoon and it made me want to read Leila Sales's other book, Mostly Good Girls. Past Perfect is going to be released on the 4th of October 2011.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

A copy was provided by the publisher against my completely honest review. Thank you.

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