Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

August 25, 2014 Book 29 ★★★★

Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula StokesThe Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Published by Harper Collins on 2014-05-20
Source: Edelweiss
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four-stars

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?

Review: 

The Art of Lainey was so original! Using a classic book such as: The Art of War to win over your ex seems pretty… out there. However I loved seeing Lainey and her best friend Bianca going over the book and creating strategies to win over Lainey’s ex; it was quirky and fun.

At first I thought I would hate this book because I couldn’t really believe Lainey. Her boyfriend dumps her in a very mean and callous way, and she wants to win him back? Why? Because her life was perfect with him in it? But then, thanks to Lainey’s awesome best friend, her parents, and Micah… well Lainey learned to grow throughout the novel.

Speaking of, I was so impressed with the way the female friendship was in this book! Bianca was so supportive of Lainey, however she wasn’t afraid of telling her if she thought Lainey was wrong.

[Lainey] “I don’t even know who I would be without him.”
“You would be my amazing friend, Lainey,” Bee says.

She had an amazing relationship with her parents, too. Her mom was always so honest with Lainey and always gave her great advice. She even made me laugh sometimes when she came up with quirky ways to give Lainey advice. Even Lainey’s brother, who wasn’t even physically present in the book, was so supportive for her via emails and texts.

What made this romance so fun to read was the fact that Micah and Lainey had to fake date each other. They both have some misconceptions about each other and seeing them discover that these weren’t true was so cute!

Micah is seen as a bad boy because he has piercings and a Mohawk. But GOSH he is so not what everybody believes! And I am so happy that he got to show his side. He was so funny and cute and actually really helpful to Lainey’s journey of self discovery. (Also, there’s a novella about Micah called Infinite Repeat which I am DYING for.)

Micah and Lainey’s interactions were so lovely and smile inducing! Even as a fake couple they had loads of more chemistry than Lainey and her ex.

I really like how the story was paced and that Lainey had really amazing character growth. The Lainey at the beginning of the book is a completely different person from the Lainey at the end. I loved seeing her change and grow throughout.

Overall this is a book about much more than strategizing to win back someone’s ex. It’s about a girl’s journey to self-discovery, with wonderful friendships, cute romantic situations, and a swoony male interest.

Did you like my review? If so, please consider voting for it on Amazon or liking it on Goodreads! 🙂 
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I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • The Art of War is a GREAT way to approach relationships. NOT! Hehe But, I imagine that it’d make for one heck of a fun read. I love the idea of fake dates; it reminds me of that episode of Big Bang where Penny and Leonard submit bug reports. Hehe Wonderful review!

  • I’ve seen a lot of hate at GR. I really want to read this and I’m hoping that Lainey won’t annoy me. The plot looks original, I agree. I don’t think I’ve encountered a concept like that. I’ll give it a shot since you said it’s more than winning her ex. I’m a sucker for cute friendship as well.

    Lovely review, Marianne! 🙂

  • Everyone seems to love this book! I can’t seem to bring myself to read it though. Sigh. Maybe someday.

  • I had originally decided that I didn’t want to check out this book because the whole ‘revenge on the ex’ theme seems a little immature. But hearing about the great relationships Lainey has with her family and best friends is encouraging, and I feel like experiencing Lainey’s character growth could be satisfying…

  • Character developpment os always welcome…but it’s still better when the MC is realistic in her way of thinking at first too lol. It’s seems like a light read and fun. Not heavy at all. Will consider it. Love the review, Marianne! 🙂

  • The thought of trying hard to get his ex back who sounds like a big time jerk makes me want to slap Lainey but the plot sounds so much fun. Ill probably read this one of these days…

  • Woo, fantastic review, Marianne! I’ve wanted to read this book for such a long time (mainly because I love her young adult trilogy, Secrets of the Eternal Rose, written under the pseudonym of Fiona Paul), so I’m glad you enjoyed it! I can’t wait to finally get my hands on it.

  • I really wasn’t sure about randomly using The Art of War as a plot in a contemporary and how that’d even work lol, but it seems like it’s actually made for a pretty fun, sweet romance! So yay 😀

  • I didn’t love this as much as you did, but it was definitely a fun read! And I so agree that the friendship here was fantastic! I wasn’t that into Micah, but he’s different from all the other YA heroes and that’s great. 🙂

    Lovely review, Marianne!

    • I’m loving Micah a bit more in his short story novella, Infinite Repeat he definitely shines much more on his own. 🙂

  • What a great review. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Oh, I am so glad you liked this one! I have been wanting to buy it for some time now, but I keep hearing mixed reviews. I LOVE that there is a solid female friendship, that is so refreshing to read about! Definitely going to be picking this one up soon, great review!

  • Aw, I’m so glad you loved this! Wasn’t it adorable? It took me by surprise, too. I liked how everyone’s preconceived notions about Micah based on his appearance were changed as well. 🙂 I hope Paula Stokes writes more of these–we need more YA with humor! And adorableness, can’t forget the adorableness.

  • This sounds like such a cute book, Marianne! I can totes see the feels in this one. In the Philippines, we call it kilig (pronounced as kee-leeg). There’s no direct translation to English, I think. It’s that…giddy feeling you get when you see your crush/loved one and you’re just smiling and feeling all up in the clouds…

    Anyway, I can feel that from your review, and I love it! Plus, the inclusion of The Art of War is very original. I am very intrigued. Thanks for the review! 🙂

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