Past Perfect

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 8:30 am

Reserve now!

Past Perfect

Leila Sales

2011

reserve now!

Christiana C

Teens

General fiction

humor, summer, historical re-enactors

In brief

4

Want a summer read that'll make you ignore your friends? This is it.

Now that I've started your education in summer reads-- see part I: road trips-- it's time to move on to our next teen summer staple: the summer job. Summer jobs were the best!

I've thought a lot about the ideal summer job:
- Approximately 20 hours a week (enough that you don't have too much time on your hands, but not enough that you have to turn down fun summer plans all the time);
- You get a uniform of some sort (don't mess up your summer clothes!);
- Your friends work at the same place;
- There's the opportunity to meet people you wouldn't normally run into (including kids from other schools); and
- Is it too much to ask for a summer romance??

I thought I had it all figured out, then I read Past Perfect. I realized that a summer job could meet all these criterion and maybe still have its lumps.

On paper, Chelsea's job should be perfect, but she tells us that working at the Essex Historical Colonial Village as a historical re-enactor is pretty ugh (I don't care how much you like history-- wearing polyester and a bonnet on your head outside in the hot sun? No bueno). To make matters even worse, Chelsea's ex-boyfriend Ezra? The one she was hoping to get away from (while nursing her broken heart) this summer? He works at EHCV, too. Double ugh. And yet, when pranks with the rival re-enactment site start back up, Chelsea is in for so much more than she could have ever imagined.

This was such a sensational read! I wanted to read this book all of the time (which is perhaps more fun for me, and less for my friends who try to hang out with me while I'm buried in a good book. The nerve!). I think part of it was the right book at the right time, but the other part combined good writing, an excellent story (especially crush-to-other-plot-points ratio), sneaky historical facts (I learned about colonial times and wasn't even mad about it!), funny jokes and a lovable heroine teen Christiana DEFINITELY would have befriended.

Even though this book has been out for a bit, don't be fooled: it is best read in the summer, so you experience Chelsea's summer in real-time (which is right now). And afterward, add some historical stops to your summer vacation. You'll look at those re-enactors in a whole new way!