Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Past Perfect by Leila Sales [Review]

Past Perfect3 out of 5 Robots!

Past Perfect by Leila Sales
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release: October 4, 2011
Hardcover:  306 Pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
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….

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
In an effort to clean up my TBR list, I am making an effort to read through all the books I own.  This one has been on my Kindle for well, longer than I would like to admit.  I know Sales' This Song Will Save Your Life was very popular last year, so I was looking forward to reading this one.  But I was kind of disappointed.  I would alternate between being annoyed and then being on board, but then find myself annoyed again.

Here is what I liked:
**The setting:  I loved that Chelsea works at a historical reenactment village.  I loved all her little quips and "insider" knowledge about what it was like working at the park.

**I love the running gag between Chelsea and her best friend Fiona about becoming ice cream connoisseurs.  It was funny and lighthearted.  It reminded me of something my best friend and I would do.

**Dan.  He was perhaps the best character.  Although, I can't say I know much about it, but he was the least annoying one out of the bunch.

**I also liked it when Chelsea would drop her "over it" attitude and embrace history and show off her knowledge.

Here is what I didn't like:
**Chelsea.  Chelsea was just not a protagonist that I gelled with.  I found her to be immature, angsty and sometimes really rude.  I didn't like how she handled anything.  But it was really her attitude towards other people that really turned me off.  She was so judgmental.  She had a "holier than thou" attitude towards everyone, even her best friend, which leads me too...

**The weird friend dynamics.  Chelsea's best friend Fiona is basically Chelsea's opposite.  And Chelsea reminds the reader of this constantly.  But instead of embracing the differences, Chelsea spends much of the her time sneering at Fiona.  She thinks Fiona is dumb and flaunts her knowledge of history over Fiona several times.  She doesn't trust Fiona and gets a lot of important things from her.  And worst of all, Chelsea CONSTANTLY points out how "loose" Fiona is...despite any actual evidence.  For example, Chelsea will think about kissing a guy and then immediately state how at least she hasn't kissed as many guys as Fiona.  UGH!  I hated this so much I almost DNF.  I am so tired of "best friends" in YA where one is a "prude" and one is "slutty" and the protagonist spends all her time looking down on her best friend's behavior.  Which leads me to...

**Slut Shaming!  NO.  JUST NO.  Why are YA female characters so concerned about the sexual exploits (or lack thereof) of others?  There are way more important things to be concerned about then whether or not you've kissed a "slutty number of guys".  What would be a slutty number anyways?  What does that even mean?!  I need a Valium to deal with this.

**The War.  Meh.  I just didn't care about the rivalry between Essex and the Civil War reenactment park across the street and was a little disappointed that a large portion of the book resolves around it.  I've never been involved in a rivalry so it didn't interest me.

**Lastly, I think this cover is cute, but it has nothing to do with the story.  I think it would have been much cuter to see Chelsea in her colonial dress and Dan in his Civil War costume eating ice cream or something.

Overall, I found this book more frustrating than fun.  I am still interested to read some of her other books.  But I hope they will be less judgmental.

1 comment :

  1. The cover is a bit weird considering it doesn't match the blurb...I wondered if it had hidden meaning. But no? SO WEIRD. Grr. Good covers are a must for me. *sigh* So I DID adore This Song but I've only ever seen 3-star or less reviews for this and it's not enticing me to pick it up. The MC sounds perfectly bratty and I hate it when books condone all that slut-shaming. Enough already. It is so so wrong!! I probably won't be picking this one up anytime soon just because my TBR is. so. dang. huge. BUT! I'd like to read it eventually. ;-) Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!



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