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Vladimir Nabokov, Craig Raine
The Trouble with Flirting - Claire LaZebnik With this book I have now read a couple retellings of Pride & Prejudice, one for Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, and now Mansfield Park. With the exception of the Persuasion retelling ([b:For Darkness Shows the Stars|8306761|For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)|Diana Peterfreund|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1338529086s/8306761.jpg|13155802]) I haven't liked any of them too much. I think part of the problem is that they're treating the books as just a romance. Jane Austen often added a lot of commentary about society in her novels. Those views might be outdated now but the reason why I liked [b:For Darkness Shows the Stars|8306761|For Darkness Shows the Stars (For Darkness Shows the Stars, #1)|Diana Peterfreund|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1338529086s/8306761.jpg|13155802] so much is because the author did attempt to add some of the side commentary rather than "Here are characters with the same or similar names! Here are some similar situations that they find themselves in!" In some ways [b:The Trouble with Flirting|14813841|The Trouble with Flirting|Claire LaZebnik|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1350998452s/14813841.jpg|20467304] suffers a bit more than some of the other retellings I've heard. The idea of having Mansfield be a summer program where people could put on a play was interesting, but a lot of the characters and situations were either shallow (by which I mean they weren't explored very much) or absolutely unlikeable. I get that some of the characters were supposed to be that way but even the ones I was supposed to sympathize with were! By the end I felt that, while the main story was somewhat resolved, there were a bunch of side stories that went nowhere or had a bad resolution.I have ranted about something similar in another review of mine but a small thing that really made me mad while reading this was when a character who didn't get her way falsely accused one of the characters of sexually harassing her which everyone knew was a lie because of how she was all over him during rehearsal, and so she ends up getting punished for lying. This book is aimed towards teenage women and I think any book that has that kind of message (no matter how small!) is harmful. Sexual assault/harassment isn't lied about more than any other crime is, yet society is way more likely to accuse someone of lying for it. I have read a few books where a bitchy popular girl will lie about it to get attention/her way/revenge and that just really sends the wrong message, especially in our society. To conclude, I think that pitching this as a [b:Mansfield Park|45032|Mansfield Park|Jane Austen|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1309203298s/45032.jpg|2722329] retelling harmed this book more than helped it for me. I probably still would have disliked it for the elements that I mentioned above but at least there wouldn't be some small part of me comparing it to Jane Austen.