Book Review: The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

Posted July 22, 2013 by Stormy in Books / 3 Comments

The Trouble with Flirting

by Claire LaZebnik

The Trouble with Flirting

Original Publishing Date: February 26, 2013
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Obtained Via: Bought as a Kindle daily deal
Format Read In: Kindle e-book
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from the back of the book:

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.


Ways to know if your book might be for me(a checklist):

  • Is your book a Jane Austen retelling?(YES!)
  • Is your book a retelling of one of the not-so-great Jane Austen novels, such as Mansfield Park, and is MORE fun with a better heroine?(YES!)
  • Does your book take place during a summer drama camp for teenagers?(YES!)
  • Is your book fun?(YES!)
  • Is your book The Trouble With Flirting?(YES!)

As you might be able to tell, The Trouble with Flirting was a complete winner for me. It’s a fun retelling of Mansfield Park, but I don’t think you’d have to be knowledgeable about the Austen novel to appreciate this one. It’s definitely in the “just-for-fun” category of contemporary, but it was a great light summer read.

I liked this Franny a lot. She’s a bit funny and sarcastic, and while sometimes prone to fits of woe-is-me(more so at the beginning of the book), her story was really charming. Even though the ending don’t go quite how I had hoped it might, I thought Franny really showed she was a formidable character in her own right and while at the heart of this story is her torn feelings between Alex and Henry, I never got the impression she was there just to be torn between the two boys. She liked them, but she had interest and talents of her own.

As for the boys themselves, I have mixed feelings on both of them. There’s realistically flawed, and while I’m not sure either was the best match for Franny, I liked them both on their own. Both kind Alex and flirty Henry had their own strengths and weaknesses, which all led to some pretty interesting(and sometimes entertaining) situations. I can’t say the story went in the direction that I wanted, but I really liked Franny for making some of her own decisions.

Also, the setting for this book was incredibly fun. A summer theater camp for high-schoolers? Even though Franny’s not actually in the summer program, I really liked the glances of the program the reader got through her eyes and the way LaZebnik drew all her characters together with this common talent. It was such a fun and different setting that I hadn’t really seen explored before. Plus, using the drama program as the setting of a Mansfield Park retelling was a great choice.

Final Impression: A great YA retelling of Mansfield Park. Perfect for a fun summer read. Some of the situations got frustrating by the end of the book, but on the whole I really enjoyed this one, especially Franny’s character! The love triangle’s all there in the summary, but fair warning if you don’t like them. I recommend this one to people who just like light contemporary and/or readers who are fans of Austen’s novels. 4/5 cupcakes.



4 Stars

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3 responses to “Book Review: The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

    • stormydawnc

      It was so fun! It’s probably not a book I would typically pick up if it HADN’T been a Mansfield Park retelling. I loved the setting!

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