The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

The Art of Lainey
By Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Websites:Paula Stokes – Website
Paula Stokes – Twitter
Paula Stokes – Facebook
Rating:5 Stars


The Art of Lainey was one of those books that had been on my radar for a long time, but I never had a reason or excuse to read it, as other books always ended up getting in the way. One night, I needed a fun, light-heart, cute read to distract my mind from focusing more serious matters, and Gail over at Ticket to Anywhere suggested Lainey and it was the perfect fit.

The concept of The Art of Lainey is relatively simple, but that simplicity is part of its charm. Lainey Mitchell planned on spending the summer with her perfect boyfriend Jason, until he suddenly dumps her in the middle of her family’s coffee shop. Lainey does what any teenager would do — uses her copy of The Art of War by Sun Tzu to come up with a fool-proof plan to win her boyfriend back. Using her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous, what could possibly go wrong?

Going into this book, you know how it is going to end. The formula of the plot is one that has appeared many times, but it’s the journey of getting to that ending that makes the Art of Lainey so much fun. The slow trajectory of Lainey and Micah’s relationship was perfect. Paula Stokes did a great job building up their feelings; the arc of their relationship really tugged on my heartstrings. Micah and Lainey gave me so many feels. Their banter was perfect and they just worked together. And again, SO MANY FEELS. 

Watching Lainey’s grow through out the story was one of the things that I really enjoyed. When she was with Jason, she was defined by that relationship and this ideal high school romance she built up in her head. Lainey wasn’t all that likable at first, and I really, really hated her friend Kendall. While trying to win her ex back, Lainey realizes that what she had with Jason wasn’t perfect and wasn’t the person she wanted to be. Watching her come to that realization was a lot of fun and I really ended up liking Lainey as a character. 

I have to say this: Micah is my new book boyfriend. He’s a little rough around the edges, but you can’t help but fall for him, as Lainey does. You see past his mohawk and standoffishnish and get to see a genuinely good guy who really ends up caring for Lainey. I would love to see more Micahs in books and real life!

I really loved how The Art of War was the springboard for Lainey’s plan. Most people might not have ever read The Art of War, but this book does a good job showing how Sun Tzu’s ideas are one that can be applied in many, many different situations. I consider this just a fun little bonus to the plot. 

The Art of Lainey is one of those books I know I will go back and reread whenever I’m feeling down. I’ve already read it more than once, and each time I read it, I can’t help but smile. It’s the perfect quick read that will warm your heart — and sometimes that is all you need. 

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