ARC Review: The Art of Lainey

Title: The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: May 20th, 2014
My Rating: 4.5 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?

  The Art of Lainey has more than 300 pages, but it felt like a quick read because of how enjoyable it was!

  Soccer star Lainey Mitchell just got dump by her boyfriend, Jason Chase, in her parents' coffee shop in front of everyone. Lainey was sad and devastated at first, but soon picked herself up and was determined to get Jason back no matter what. With the help of her best friend Bee and an ancient Chinese war book, The Art of War, Lainey goes through a series of plans to win Jason back. Part of this plan is getting her co-worker, Micah, to pose as her boyfriend to make Jason jealous.

  When I got the ARC copy from Harper Collins, I was really excited! I have been wanting to read this book for quite a time now, and I'm very happy to say that it didn't disappoint. From the start of this book, I was glad to see that Lainey was a strong girl. I admired her because after getting dumped, she immediately got on her feet and was determined, unlike other girls who don't eat or wallow in self-pity. Seeing that, I immediately felt that I would love this book.

  Following Lainey through her adventures, I saw how Lainey grew from being stalker-ish, to bashing the other girl Jason is with, to finally accepting that there's nothing wrong with the other girl. I loved how Lainey wasn't naive. Instead, she was wise and ready to defend the people that she cares about. That's what I love about this book, aside from the romance. I loved how Lainey's character grew.

""Jason isn't a dick, he just found some other girl he likes better." It's the first time I've actually put that thought into words. It hurts, but it's also freeing."
"But in case you haven't noticed, I'm remaking myself. And I like the new me better."

  Micah, on the other hand, is simply just a perfect character too! He's charming, cute, sweet and humorous, and it was really admirable how his family meant so much to him. I won't talk about him much anymore because he's getting his own book - Infinite Repeat - because this is gonna be too long.

  As a teen, this was the perfect book to read because it is relatable and I also learned a lot from reading it. The writing was really good, the plot and pacing amazing. To be honest I just wanted to give this 4 stars at first, but as I was writing this review, my mind flashed back to all those situations that made sense, and all those lines that were worth remembering forever, and I decided that this book deserves more than 4 stars, so I give it 4.5. :)

  I am excited to read more Contemporaries by Paula Stokes, because I believe that they would be equally amazing!

“I go through memory after memory, looking for reassurance that nothing has changed, but it's like flipping through a book of stories I've outgrown. Everything has changed.” 

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