cover image The Trouble with Flirting

The Trouble with Flirting

Claire LaZebnik. HarperTeen, $9.99 ISBN 978-0-06-192127-8

LaZebnik updated Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in 2011’s Epic Fail; now she turns to Mansfield Park, giving the theatrics of the original (both on- and off-stage) the rom-com treatment. Standing in for Austen’s Fanny Price is Franny Pearson, a junior who is eager to find a summer job to save for college. Since Franny can sew, her grumpy aunt agrees to let her work in the costume department at elite Mansfield College, where high school–age aspiring actors hone their Shakespeare over the summer. Upon arrival, Franny quickly makes friends (and frenemies) with the well-to-do kids enrolled, including her old crush, Alex. Franny falls for this outwardly sweet boy, but Alex chooses gorgeous Isabelle instead. Meanwhile, Harry, a hot guy with questionable intentions, lavishes Franny with affection. While LaZebnik offers flirtatious entanglements aplenty, she only scratches the surface of her large cast of characters. Readers who enjoy romantic folly might bite, so long as they are in the mood for heavy banter and a featherweight plot. Ages 13–up. Agent: Alexis Hurley, Inkwell Management. (Mar.)