June 23, 2014

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

The Art of Lainey
Picture courtesy of Goodreads
The Art of Lainey

Author: Paula Stokes
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Pages: 384
Review by: Tessa

Lainey is almost the most popular girl in school. Her friend Kendall pushed Lainey to the top of the social food chain, and hooked her up with the most popular boy in school, Jason. Lainey and Jason have been blissfully dating since freshman year of high school, and Lainey has already planned want will be the most epic senior year of all time.
But that all changed when Jason dumped Lainey over the summer, at her parents' coffee shop!
Lainey is devastated, but refuses to plan revenge. She just wants her perfect boyfriend back. And to do that, she has to go to war.
When Lainey starts to read The Art of War by Sun Tzu for her required reading, her plans come into place. She convinces Micah, the strange boy from the kitchen, to join in her plan so he can get back at his ex-girlfriend too. Lainey and Micah being to bond over revenge and the words of a deceased Chinese thinker.
Even though this dude has been dead for centuries, he just might have the advice to help Lainey win back the heart of the boy she loved.

The Art of Lainey is the epitome of summer reads. If you are looking for a light-hearted, fun book, then this is the book for you. The plot is fluffy and cute. This is not a world-changing book. My only thought after reading the book was "that was cute." There were no revelations or hidden messages to decipher and think about. It was just cute (and a bit cliché).

On the other hand, as a romance, this was pretty good. There were sweet moments, and frustrating moments, which created a good balance. The best part was that the romance never seemed soppy or fake.  It reminds me of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, which I loved. Both of the main characters are trying to make someone jealous, they both have incredibly smart best friends, and both of their mothers read tea leaves (I do not believe in coincidences). The Art of Lainey is in the same league as Lola and the Boy Next Door.

I found myself gradually liking Micah, but Lainey completely snuck up on me. At first I could not stand her and her shallow-ness. All she cared about was reuniting with her ex-boyfriend who was somehow even more shallow than she was. As the book progressed, she stopped being so snotty (I like to think that Micah was the positive influence that started the change). She actually grew a personality and started to care about others.

The characters were very relatable, especially the secondary characters. I would have loved to see more of Bianca and Trinity. Since they were so close to the main characters I think they should have had more development. I also wanted to see more of the dynamic between Kendall and Jason. I got a glimpse into their lives and I want to see more.

I wished I would have seen more from The Art of War incorporated into the book. The bits that were there seemed to be misplaced. Lainey goes from complaining about her ex-boyfriend to quoting Sun Tzu. Talk about awkward timing.

In general, The Art of Lainey is the perfect, light summer read to keep you occupied while you are at the beach or stuck at home for the day.

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