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A Reader of Fictions: I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself - Dusty Springfield

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself - Dusty Springfield

Past Perfect

Author: Leila Sales
Pages: 303
ARC Acquired from: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Brief Summary:
This is war. There will be casualties, betrayal, romance and lessons learned. No, this isn't a historical fiction novel or a contemporary novel about the horrors of war; it's a story about rival living history communities. Chelsea Glaser (Elizabeth Connelly - her Colonial name) works at Essex, a Colonial period community (think Colonial Williamsburg). Essex is across the street from a Civil War Reenactment place. Every year, the teenage workers battle it out in an epic prank war, which sometimes escalates to physical violence; the adults (like Chelsea's parents) are generally none the wiser. This year, Chelsea's ex (Ezra) and best friend (Fiona) are working at Essex too. Can she get over her ex with him right there all summer? Maybe with the help of the cute Civil Warrior across the way...except that that's not allowed!

Review:
I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted! Yikes. I've been on vacation and expect to resume posting regularly, although this month is a busy one, partially because of my birthday (:-D) and because of another trip (to NY) at the end of the month.

Anyway, back to the book. Generally, I really enjoyed this. It was fun and cute, keeping things light but with a pretty good message on the interpretation of historical events, be they last week or 300 years ago. The ending, which focused on these aspects, was definitely awesome.

The premise, a completely original one so far as I know, amuses the heck out of me. Rival historical reenactors and a forbidden romance between the two camps sounds rife with humorous possibility. At the same time, though, it was rather difficult to take any of the drama seriously because of the inherent absurdity. Also, a lot of what they did was super not okay. I just kept wanting to shake the characters and tell them to get a grip.

Chelsea was sort of an indifferent main character. She wasn't particularly bright and tended towards moping, not to mention wishing for the past. Ezra is so obviously a skeeze, but she just won't see it. Dan was definitely my favorite character. None of the kids are particularly well-defined or deep, but they do come off as fairly realistic teenagers, if exceedingly petty.

So yeah, a fun read, if not quite what I was hoping for (something a bit more comedic). I am definitely looking forward to trying Sales' Mostly Good Girls, which I just happen to own. On a side note, what does the cover have to do with anything?

Today's song is dedicated to beginning of the book Chelsea:

"Baby, if your new love ever turns you down
Come back, I will be around
Just waiting for you
I don't know what else to do"

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