Thursday, November 3, 2011

Girl Pick: Past Perfect

Past Perfect
by Leila Sales
Simon Pulse
2011
303 pages

Fun, quirky, and captivating Past Perfect is the latest from Leila Sales author of Mostly Mean Girls.

Chelsea has dreams of escaping her parents constant attentions and working with them in Essex Revolutionary War re-enactment village again this summer. She wants to work in the air-conditioned mall like a "normal" teen not dress in heavy, 10 pound dresses complete with petticoats and a mobcap (a weird droopy bonnet women used to wear) in the stifling summer humidity of Essex, Virginia. When her BFF Fiona convinces her to work in the village just one more summer, Chelsea gives in. She soon realizes that the only thing worse than wearing 10 pound dresses, enduring the summer heat, and working with her parents is working with her ex-boyfriend Ezra, the ONE who broke her heart.

Just across the street from the Revolutionary War village is yet another historical tourist attraction: the Civil War village. There is a heated battle between the summer hires each year for supremacy. The kids call it "war" and it involves mostly harmless and funny pranks, but when Chelsea's general is "wounded" and several of the Civil War's team is hospitalized, the war is really on! Chelsea is kidnapped by a boy on the other team, and she soon finds herself falling for him. This is treason! This is not acceptable!

The clever banter between Chelsea and her friend Fiona and Chelsea and hottie "enemy" Dan is charming. When Fiona wants to work in the village, Chelsea says, "Since she seemed to envision it as a constant Gone With the Wind experience, minus the death and destruction."

Chelsea switches "tribes" and soon finds herself without a "country." Later, Chelsea thinks over her dating relationship with ex-BF Ezra and realizes that he was the one who treated her poorly and she was guilty of allowing him to treat her so badly and she is finally ready to move on.

Brilliant teen dialog, a darling, spunky heroine, a quirky setting, and a hot guy will keep teen girls reading. Some kissing and light petting. No sex. Some talk about "doing it" and a couple of "bad" words.

Recommended grade 9-up because of light petting, language. It would probably be okay for grade 7-8 if you have other edgy titles.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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