Review: The Art of Lainey

Saturday, January 16, 2016
16068910Title: The Art of Lainey
Series: The Art of Lainey #1
Author: Paula Stokes
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Publication Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Purchase Links:

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? 

Picking up The Art of Lainey, I was more excited to see on how Art of War will be incorporated to the story, as compared to how the romance will turn out. I felt disappointed about it. After Jason and Lainey's break up, Bianca offers Lainey Sun Tzu's Art of War as a way to plan on how to get back Jason. I thought that there would be something that triggers the act, so I felt in anti-climactic that Bianca just suddenly gives Lainey a copy of it. It felt forced, and didn't sit well with me. Also, Lainey came off as shallow, petty and bratty-ish. It felt like she always felt like she should get what she wants. I started off thinking that I'm in for a 3-star book, but I kept going because my friend said it was a great read.

I have never experienced a break up, or have a boyfriend for that matter, so I wouldn't know how it feels like. I presume it's something entirely heartbreaking or what, but when one starts to think that life is over after a break up? NUH-UH. Reading The Art of Lainey has kept me thinking back to what a professor of mine has said: that we shouldn't even need someone to complete us, and that we should be able to stand on our own without a boyfriend or a girlfriend. We shouldn't be defined by others, rather, we should be defined by what we do and who we are.

So what made it a 4-star read? Oh bloody hell.
But in case you haven't notice, I'm remaking myself. And I like the new me better.
By the end of the book, she grew a lot and it was wonderful to see her development. She became this strong person who realized a lot of things and even admitted them to herself, which is admirable. There are some things that even most of us will just most probably shove to the back of our minds.
But the reality is that everyone cares about what some people think.
AND, definitely because of the relationship between Micah and Lainey. Oh my gally! IT WAS SO CUTE! *squeal!* I love their interaction, the way they tease each other, their banters, EVERYTHING. They were just so adorable! I especially love the slow development of their relationship, allowing us and themselves to actually see them for who they really are.

The romance and friendship just made up for the introduction of Art of War. And, as I read, I guess the way Art of War was used in the story grew on me. Rather than viewing it as a war strategizing material, there were some parts that seemed cool on how they were associated to romance.

Above all else, I totally love Bianca on how she is the sensible and caring friend of Lainey. She keeps Lainey on the line so that Lainey won't do some things that will make her look pathetic or feel bad or regret. And sometimes, she just lets Lainey do it but continues to stand by her. There was just so much love and support, and it was really amazing. She's a wonderful person and a friend one would absolutely want to have. Really, this is how best friends should be.
Any crisis of mine is a crisis of hers, and vice versa. That's just how we roll.
Truly an amazing and fun read: great characters + cute romance + awesome relationships. You should definitely go check this out! :)

Paula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She started out writing historical fiction under a pen name and is now branching out into other YA genres.

When she's not working (rare), she's kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She's petted tigers, snuggled snakes, snorkeled with stingrays, and once enjoyed the suction-cuppy feel of a baby elephant's trunk as it ate peanuts from her palm. Her future goals include diving with Great White sharks, learning Krav Maga, and writing a whole slew of novels, not necessarily in that order.


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