Title: The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Source: ARC borrowed from fellow blogger
Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, and Susane Colasanti, The Art of Lainey tells the story of how, with the help of The Art of War, Lainey plots the perfect plan to get her boyfriend back. But is getting him back really what she wants?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, nor warnings, 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 Lainey and Bianca stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, the girls are 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. Can fighting for what she wants help Lainey figure out what she really needs?
You guys all know how much I love reading fun and adorable contemporaries. This time of year especially, I pretty much crave them. They just go so well with summer. Paula Stokes’ The Art of Lainey was just what I was craving and it quickly became a favourite.
Lainey Mitchell had her summer all planned: she would work at her family’s café, play in a soccer summer rec league and spend all her spare time with her amazing boyfriend, Jason. But that plan quickly falls apart when, out of the blue, Jason breaks up with her for no reason and in front of everyone in the café. Lainey isn’t about to let a break up stop her though. With the help of her best friend, Bianca, she starts plotting how to get Jason back. Inspired by The Art of War, Lainey decides that was she needs is a fake boyfriend to make Jason jealous. Enter Micah, Lainey’s co-worker and Jason’s complete opposite. Who better to be a fake boyfriend? After just a few days, things seem to be working great. But the more time Lainey spends with Micah, the more she starts to think that maybe she’s been going after the wrong guy all along.
I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved and enjoyed Paula Stokes’ The Art of Lainey. When I picked it up, I was just in the mood for a fun and adorable contemporary story, and on the surface that’s just what I got with The Art of Lainey. When I started reading, it didn’t take long for me to get completely sucked in. I loved the way The Art of War was woven into the story, realizing just how much it can be applied to everything beyond just war. And of course, in the context of this story, it led to some pretty amusing moments. Let’s just say that Lainey had a tendency to take things quite literally, making things that much more amusing. But what I loved about The Art of Lainey more than anything was the romance. This wasn’t your typical love at first sight story. The romance here, was definitely more of a slow burn between Lainey and Micah. If anything, they didn’t even really like each other when this whole fake dating thing started. But right away, I could tell that things would change and that Micah was who Lainey really belonged with, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Here’s the thing about Lainey. For almost half of the book I didn’t really like Lainey, to the point where I started wondering whether this would affect my enjoyment of the book. She just bothered me. She was so focused on trying to get Jason back that she didn’t see what was right in front of her, and don’t even get me started on her behaviour. She was just being that girl who couldn’t seem to figure out who she was outside of her boyfriend, and it bugged me. But there was character growth. Once Lainey started spending more time with Micah, she started changing for the better. She was still the same person, but she became much more likeable and actually started to understand who she was. And then there was Micah. Micah was so not who I expected him to be. He was SO MUCH BETTER. I loved the way he pushed Lainey and challenged her, trying to get her out of her comfort zone. But he wasn’t a jerk. Those glimpses I saw of him with his younger sister completely melted my heart. There was just so much more to him than met the eye. And I can’t wait to to read his story in Infinite Repeat.
In case you hadn’t guessed it by now, I absolutely loved Paula Stokes’ The Art of Lainey. It was a fun and totally adorable story that kept me turning the pages with a big smile on my face. If you’re looking for the perfect contemporary read for summer, The Art of Lainey is just that book.