Author: Claire LaZebnik
Publication: February 26, 2013
By: Harper Teen
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.
Thank you YABC and HarperTeen for this ARC. I haven't read Mansfield Park nor have I read all of the Shakespeare plays these characters perform but that didn't keep me from thoroughly enjoying this book! It's light-hearted, funny and the romance is heart-achingly sweet.
What I liked: This story is filled with a cast of characters who are entertaining and enjoyable but Harry Cartwright stole the show in my opinion. He is hilarious and his interactions with Franny were my favorite parts. All of these characters learn that flirting may seem harmless but isn't without consequences especially when someone's feelings get hurt. (Or a lot of kissing is involved.*) Like any good contemporary romance, a few will have their hearts broken but things get resolved by book's end, even if it's not the way one expected.
What left me wanting: Aunt Amelia is a little odd but she gives Franny a lot of freedom for a teenager and there were many times I felt Franny's disrespect was unnecessary. *The make-out scenes were mild, however, there are a LOT of make-out scenes. (Parents of younger teen readers may have an issue with this.) A small part of me felt like this story wasn't quite finished. I wanted to know what happened after the summer was over, for instance, did the boy who stole Franny's heart keep his word? Did she continue performing and what was the deal with Aunt Amelia anyway?
"Your body is fine now, but give it twenty, thirty years. Gravity and time do horrible things to a woman."
He pulls his hand away. "You've hurt my feelings," he says with a mock sniff. "All that racist talk---"
"Racist? I'm pretty sure you're not using that word right."
"Wealthist, then." He curls up in a fetal position against the sofa arm. "Whatever. I'm all bitter and unhappy and worked up now, thanks to you."
Final verdict: The Trouble With Flirting is a fast read, laced with humor that packs a romantic punch.
Review also posted at YABC.