Jane Austen comes to modern-day Los Angeles in Claire LaZebnik's imaginative take on Persuasion, where seventeen-year-old Anna Eliot finds out whether there's such a thing as a second chance when it comes to first love. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, Elizabeth Eulberg, Stephanie Perkins, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic contemporary tale.
Anna is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook. Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life—and he wants nothing to do with her.
Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn't care about Finn either, but even though they've both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he's the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too . . .
In ninth grade, Anna and Finn had a sweet, secret romance. Finn, an awkward and scrawny science geek, wooed Anna with his unselfconscious enthusiasm and unusual charm. After Anna's friends ostracized Finn, Anna distanced herself from him, only to be heartbroken when Finn moved away. Three years later a buff, handsome Finn returns to town, and Anna's friends are drooling over him. Meanwhile, Finn gives Anna the cold shoulder, so she turns to her distant cousin Wade as a possible romantic interest. In her latest update of an Austen novel (following Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting), LaZebnik uses Persuasion as the framework for a story of love forsaken, then found again. While romantic entanglements between cousins may have passed during Austen's time, Anna interest in Wade however distantly related may sit awkwardly with some contemporary readers. In keeping with Austen's plot, Finn spends the better part of the novel acting coldly toward Anna, which does little to recommend him as a romantic interest for her in the here and now of the story. Ages 13 up.
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