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.
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.