Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

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?

I coveted The Art of Lainey for a while. I was after a contemporary YA with plenty of swoon and fun and easy/predictable drama that did not require much of me but to go along for the ride. Also -- it did not escape my notice that this title was getting consistently favourable reviews from trusted sources. 

Here's what you should know:

Swoon -- definitely, yes and yes

Drama -- high school style (although set over the summer break) with one of those toxic best friends that really bug me (why can't the protag see through all that and move on?) (but also features another best friend who is one of the best kinds...)

Predictability -- the blurb gives it away a little, you know where it's headed, but you don't know the details along the ride. It's a fun predictability where you will be rooting, swooning and holding your breath for the slow burn pay-off. Also -- some of the popular-style crew were pretty shallow and one dimensional. Are people really like that? 

The MC -- Lainey is a little hard to take at the beginning (persevere!). Definitely her character arc: snobby, insecure and self-indulgently shallow -- she wrestles with teenage immaturity and identity-- reminiscent of teens I know, haha -- but she comes out all right, guys ;)

Fun -- so many dates and cool scenarios, a cool cafe setting, and breaking free of a whole peer group and discovering something so much cooler instead.

Micah -- I already mentioned the swoon. I am mentioning it again because it was my main covetous motivation and this contemp YA brought the goods, and I was one smiley, happy reader. 

The gang -- I love when assorted misfits end up gathering and getting all BFF through time with these awesome in-jokes and grin-worthy banter and fun. So, there's that :)

The verdict -- This was a good fun read with a hot YA guy to crush on. It was exactly what I ordered. And I am most definitely looking out for more Paula Stokes :)

The Art of Lainey @ goodreads


  1. I'm glad that you enjoyed this book Nomes, the reviews I've read had been a mixed bunch, especially when it came to Lainey's character. But I think you've definitely convinced me to give this book a go, I really like the sound of Micah and can't wait to meet everyone else! Fab review! :)

  2. Sounds really good! It's pretty high on my to-buy list and you just bumped it a little more :D

  3. The cover makes this one look MG-ish/younger that the case for the voice/writing style and content as well? I'm also a little leery about a protagonist that starts off rather shallow and dislikeable, lol. But gangs of misfits are always fun, and it does look like a light, breezy sort of read that's good for lazy summer days :D

  4. I haven't read a YA like this in a while. But I love the idea of a gang of misfits. It always works as a deal-sealer for me. Haha.

    I think you channeled the breeziness of the book perfectly here. Adding this to the wishlist :)


Thanks for the commenty love :)