The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

TroubleWithFlirtingTitle: The Trouble With Flirting

Author: Claire LaZebnik

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 336

Rating: 4/5

Franny’s supposed to be working this summer, not flirting. But you can’t blame her when guys like Alex and Harry are around. . . .

Franny Pearson never dreamed she’d be attending the prestigious Mansfield Summer Theater Program. And she’s not, exactly. She’s working for her aunt, the resident costume designer. But sewing her fingers to the bone does give her an opportunity to spend time with her crush, Alex Braverman. If only he were as taken with the girl hemming his trousers as he is with his new leading lady.

When Harry Cartwright, a notorious flirt, shows more than a friendly interest in Franny, she figures it can’t hurt to have a little fun. But as their breezy romance grows more complicated, can Franny keep pretending that Harry is just a carefree fling? And why is Alex suddenly giving her those deep, meaningful looks? In this charming tale of mixed messages and romantic near-misses, one thing is clear: Flirting might be more trouble than Franny ever expected.

I’ve probably mentioned this (multiple times), but I’m not a big fan of the classics, especially Jane Austen. This is partially because I have friends who are, and I’m kind of sick of hearing about the books, but it’s also because I just prefer modern English over 1800s English any day. So, I was a little unsure about this retelling of an Austen story (Mansfield Park? Is that the one?), but I knew it would probably go better than reading the original, and I was probably right: drama that might have annoyed me in the original book was delightful and adorable in this one.

Franny was a delightful protagonist. Even when she was unhappy with the way her summer was going, she was never too whiny and it was pretty understandable. She had plenty of quips and fun moments, and even when she was kind of juggling a few too many romantic relationships, I never really got frustrated with her.

The only time I was really frustrated was when she was too busy judging Harry to realize that he might be a bit different and that their adorable relationship might be able to work. I know a book needs some drama to have a story, but that doesn’t change the fact that I kept thinking about how much needless drama could have been avoided if Franny had just taken a moment to really look at Harry and realize that he might have had his flaws, but he was still a great guy. It also would have helped if she took a closer look at Alex, but I didn’t care about that drama as much because I was much more invested in Franny and Harry’s relationship.

There are multiple love triangles in this book, but they actually seem necessary for the story, and I’m sure they were a part of the original story in some way. I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, but in this case I didn’t mind too much because it really did add to the story. Most of the romantic drama did, so even if you don’t like romantic drama, it can still work for you. Of course, if you don’t want to read a book that has romance as a main focus, then this probably isn’t the book for you.

So, even though the romantic drama got to be a bit much at times, this was a very adorable book that I was happy to read. I’m quite interested to see what else Claire LaZebnik can do with Jane Austen retellings, such as her Pride and Prejudice retelling, Epic Fail.




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