Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Pages: 384 (Paperback)
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?
First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.
The Art of Lainey isn’t a book for everyone. Sure, for some, it’s cute and light and a great book to read in between heavy novels but for others, it’ll be annoying and unrealistic. This novel has both good and bad qualities and although I liked it, I wished I could have liked it more. Hopefully Paula Stokes fixes these problems with her next novel.
Like I said before, Lainey is a hit or miss kind of character yet I found myself in the middle with her. She’s refreshing with her sense of light humour but she only thinks about Jason and soccer. It’s like nothing else exists to this girl except these two things which isn’t very realistic and really annoying. Another thing that I had a problem with is the lack of history the characters have. Because of this everything felt very forced and fake to me, there are only a few examples of how things were with characters before they got dumped like the relationship that Jason and Lainey had before. It’s pretty non-existent to the reader because there aren’t many examples of how much fun they had together or many flashbacks. The book mostly consists of Lainey telling readers how much she loves him and nothing more.
Every chapter in the book starts off with a quote from The Art of War which I thought was really good because it summed up some of the chapters. I liked how Paula Stokes decided to use a quote and then write a chapter surrounding that quote, it’s well done. What I love most about cute books like this one are the relationships between the characters, the way they interact and make each other laugh, cry, scream, etc. With Lainey and Micah, it’s so much fun! Their bickering and sarcastic banter is light-hearted and cute and my favourite thing about The Art of Lainey. Moreover, I just adored Micah! I loved his whole tough guy personality because it’s actually meaningful. He’s not doing t because he’s dying to fit in, or because he’s mad. He’s the way he is because he’s comfortable with himself despite the world and I loved that. I also loved his sarcasm and how realistic he is. The ending is fairly well done, I liked how things aren’t straightforward and the many obstacles that stand in Lainey’s way of happiness.
All in all, I still found this book to be really cute. Lainey learns a few things and I liked how her character grows throughout the story, understanding the views of her friends instead of just blindly following. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys cute books with a plan to get an ex back.