Past Perfect Leila Sales
Chelsea's best friend Fiona tells her that she needs to stop living in the past and move on from Ezra, the boy who broke her heart months ago.
But, it's hard to move on from the past when Chelsea, Fiona, and Ezra are all working as historical interpreters at Colonial Essex. Working at Colonial Essex means wearing a ton of petticoats in blazing heat and pretending that you don't know what a toilet is. It also means an ongoing war with Reenactment Land, the Civil War battlefield across the street. This summer, Chelsea's second-in-command of the Colonial troops, which means she gets kidnapped by a very cute Civil Warrior.
Why is it that the one guy who could help her move on is totally off limits?
This is a wonderful summer romance that would appeal to fans of Stephanie Perkins. I liked how much Chelsea enjoyed and respected history. As much as she grumbled about her job, she loved it and felt deeply connected to Colonial Essex. I liked her friendship with Fiona and the fallout from her secret relationship and the strain it put on the friendship. The War was intense. While they described it as a prank war, it was violent and destructive. People get sent to the hospital, graves are desecrated. It wasn't fun, it was very serious, but at the same time, I think that a multi-year prank war would very easily get to those levels. (Although the more pranky parts of it were really funny, like sending the British soldiers that invade Colonial Essex on the 4th of July to go fight with Confederate army.)
I loved her quiet moments with Dan as they tried to figure out what to do and talked about the role of history and the historical communities and circles they traveled in. While there is some "OMG CUTE!" instant attraction, there is something there there that is worth the risks they take (and, unlike the war, the risks they take are all friendship based, and might hurt some feelings but wouldn't do any actual damage, nor are they unhealthy.)
Overall, a wonderful book that's perfect for a hot summer day (not because it's "beachy" but because it's also a hot summer day in the book, only Chelsea's wearing petticoats and you probably aren't.) In the end, it's a book that makes you happy. Just thinking about it makes me smile. (Much like Stephanie Perkins.)
Book Provided by... my local library
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