Title: The Trouble With Flirting
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Published: February 26th 2013 by HarperTeen
Source: Finished copy received by the publisher for an honest review
"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."
First line: "When Jasper Snowden's parents divorced, Jasper got to sta in his bedroom in the big house he'd always lived in, while his parents took turns living there with him."
Thoughts: Looking for an adorable, good, clean, and fun read? Toss in some humor and angst, and you've got THE TROUBLE WITH FLIRTING. Did I also mention that it's a modern retelling of the Jane Austen classic MANSFIELD PARK? I believe the word you're looking for is "Whoa".
Franny is spending the summer with her aunt and helping her sew costumes for the attendees at Mansfield Summer Theater Program (Mansfield...cute!). She'd rather be attending the program instead of working behind the scenes, but c'est la vie. Even though the room is cramp and hot and her aunt is extremely strict, at least she's there. It's not until she runs into her old friend, Julia, that things start to get interesting. You see, Franny has had a crush on Alex (Julia's brother) for as long as she can remember. It seems as though he actually got cuter over the years and on top of that, he remembers her.
Problem? Alex, though sweet, seems to be interested in the gorgeous and just too cool Elizabeth. Elizabeth is also handsome Harry's best friend and possibly something more. Franny can't tell, but it definitely starts to get interesting once Harry starts flirting with her and Alex starts flirting with her, too. I guess the real job this summer is finding out who's genuine and who's not.
Something I loved about this book is how lovable each character is. There wasn't one person I couldn't stand and hated. All the characters were easy going and while there was drama (literally), it was all out of good fun. Needless to say, this book didn't stress me out like so many other books do.
The romance was sweet, subtle, and clean. I really appreciated this because in a world of 50 Shades, it was refreshing to read a YA book that can make me giddy with something as simple as a gentle touch or a wink from across the room. Out of both Alex and Harry, I adored Harry more. I felt like his feelings were more genuine and really liked how he treated Franny. He made her feel like she was the most beautiful girl in the room, and that's how a guy should make a girl feel. While I didn't completely swoon over him, I did make a lot of "Aww" sounds.
Overall, I would recommend THE TROUBLE WITH FLIRTING to all fans of cute contemporary novels and modern Austen adaptations. This book is great for people of all ages and not just the older YA crowd. If you're looking for a book that reminds you of those quirky early 2000's movies (Ten Things I Hate About You, Clueless, She's All That, etc), this is the book for you.