Friday, July 11, 2014

Review: The Art of Lainey

The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Published: May 20th, 2014
Paperback, 384 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?

Normally when I read break up books, they are about the girl trying to get over the guy who broke her heart. I like those one. I like when the girl can see that the break up was probably for the best and that she can now move on with her life. I like reading about girls overcoming the loss and finding something better. What I normally don't expect to read about is the girl trying to win back the guy using tactics from The Art of War. This was the best play for a novel and it made this a really fun read. Lainey is shocked when Jason dumps her while she's at work in front of her friends and family, but when Bianca suggests using age old war tactics to win him back, Lainey is down and ready to rumble. One of these tactics is to pretend to date someone else and Lainey chooses Micah, the rocker who works in the kitchen at her parents's cafe. He's not someone Lainey would ever go after, but after a few fake dates, Lainey isn't so sure if she really wants to be with Jason after all. But Micah is trying to win back his ex-girlfriend too and maybe everything they're feeling is just part of the plan and Lainey's heart may be in more danger than she's ever thought possible.

This. This book is everything I look for in a YA Contemporary read. Lainey and Bianca are the best characters and I love that they have a really strong friendship. Lainey makes some dumb decisions, as we all do, but I was rooting for her the entire time. We watch Lainey grow throughout the novel, maturing with every war tactic she tries. She's focused on parts of her life that would be better off out of her life (like Jason) but soon finds out what's really important. Micah is the perfect swoon-worthy guy. He's got a bit of a rocker edge to him but without the horrible attitude that most authors give guys like that. He treats Lainey really well and I was hoping and praying that things would work out for them at the end of the novel. They were both in such different places when they started fake dating and the amount of maturity they both achieve throughout the novel is wonderful. Both their character developments were fantastic and realistic and I fell in love with them as they fell in love with each other. 

The Art of Lainey is the perfect light hearted summer read that everyone looks for. It will make you feel warm and fuzzy and maybe give you a few revenge tactics for those who piss you off. I learned a thing or two from a classic book of literature that I've never read while having fun watching Lainey weave her way through life and love. Stokes ha perfected the debut and I'm sure she'll quickly become a well known name in the romantic YA Contemporary genre. I love myself a good, fluffy read and this hit the spot completely. This is the kind of book with wonderful characters that you can root for, realistic situations you can relate to, and a happy ending you can get behind. A must read for anyone looking for a sweet quick read.

“I've been thinking that when people break up there's usually a reason, and whatever it is, it's still going to be there even if we do get back together.” 

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