Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

The Art of Lainey
By: Paula Stokes
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Series: The Art of Lainey #1

"A satisfying and sweet story." -Publishers Weekly

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?

This was one of those books where you loved to hate some of the characters, and at the same time you just wanted to knock some sense into the main ones.  There is unfortunately a lot of shallowness in this world, and this book definitely highlighted this unfortunate trait of young kids today.  They are all very me, me, me, when really they should be thinking of other people not just themselves.  The author did an amazing job at making the main character realize that maybe they just don’t want the superficial things in life, because some things, or people are just worth it.

We meet Lainey quite brilliantly as she gets dumped by her longtime boyfriend in the middle of her parents coffee shop in front of everyone, as if that’s not humiliating enough, but a great introduction to the character nonetheless.  One thing leads to another and her closest friend suggests using tactics to win her boyfriend back from The Art of War.  Now this is really quite wonderful if you think about it, all’s fair in love and war.  Using tactics from the book Lainey and Bianca devise a plan to get Jason back into her life, by perhaps leveling the playing field and finding herself a fake boyfriend.  Enters, Micah (I love that name); the Mohawk cook from the family shop who witnessed the whole thing from beginning to end.
Of course when you want one thing to go one way, you know it’s not going to work out that way because life is just not that easy, especially for Lainey who tries so hard to fit in.  Sometimes life is not about fitting in, or trying to get your life into this perfect mold that everyone expects of you, sometimes you just have to be yourself and learn to be happy with yourself and the things you do.  This I think is the greatest lesson learned in this book.  The amount of shallowness handled by her ex-boyfriend and his sister are amazing, talk about mean girls and the boys who follow.  Sure there is always one of those in high school but it doesn’t mean you have to follow them.

Lainey spends more and more time with Micah and they feel a spark between each other that even though they fight it they know it’s bound to happen eventually.  It’s adorable and sweet and can I just say, Mohawk boys are sexy as hell, throw in a tattoo and that they can bale - major, major bonus points.   I love it when he says Damn girl, it’s just part of that swagger, and you’ll see when you read the book.  Which you should definitely do.

Overall this book was again very sweet, funny at times and had a great lesson to learn.  I always believe books with lessons are the best kind because you can be entertained and learn something new.  The characters were great, fun and some major shallowness and eye rolls, but all worth reading in the end.  The cover is absolutely perfect because you don’t have some stereotypical model with a fancy dress; no you have a real person who looks like they should be playing soccer like Lainey does.  Overall go read this was a great fast read, perfect to get your mind going in different places.

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