Review: The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

The Trouble With FlirtingThe Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Page Count: 288
Format: Paperback
Published by: Harper Teen
Source: Library

Synopsis From Goodreads:
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.

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I borrowed The Trouble With Flirting from the library on a whim. I completely forgot that this was based on Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, which I have never read. I have seen the 1999 and the 2007 movies, but I don't remember enough about either to really compare them to this novel. That being said, I really enjoyed reading The Trouble With Flirting.

The protagonist, Franny, is spending the summer at an exclusive theatre program. Despite being an actress herself, Franny is actually working for her aunt in the costume department. Franny unexpectedly runs into her old friend, Julia. Also there is Julia's twin brother, Alex, who Franny used to crush on. Franny and Julia quickly reconnect, and Franny's childhood crush on Alex is rekindled. But then Franny starts noticing Harry - he's cute and sweet and flirts outrageously with all of the girls. Franny automatically writes Harry off as harmless and makes a point of not taking him seriously since she knows he spreads flattery and smiles to any female within range. But Franny soon finds herself torn between Alex, who runs hot and cold with her, and Harry, who flirts with all girls with equal fervor.

At first, Franny doesn't know who she is or who she wants. She spends an inordinate amount of time obsessing over who likes who, and who's been wronged by someone, and who should be together. Throughout the summer, Franny learns that appearances can be deceiving, and that first impressions can sometimes be wrong. As a reader, you never know if Franny will learn to trust the right person and end up with the boy of her dreams.

I found this to be a very light and fun book, full of witty humor and fun banter, which makes for a very quick read. There was a LOT of flirting going on. There were also tons of misunderstandings, many missed opportunities, and incessant petty jealousy - but most of this was just harmless teen angst and drama. I really enjoyed the story, and all of the relationship drama seemed really appropriate at a summer acting program. I really enjoyed the sweet, adorable, and amusing cast of characters. Overall, I thought this was a great contemporary novel, and I look forward to reading more from Claire LaZebnik.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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