Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
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?

MY TAKE:
I usually like stories wherein people pretend to date each other and end up really dating each other, so I figured this was worth a try, especially with its use of The Art of War.

In The Art of Lainey, Lainey's boyfriend breaks up with her, and Lainey wants her back. Using the principles of The Art of War, based on her friend's suggestion, she recruits Micah, whose girlfriend also broke up with him, to be her pretend date to make their former significant others jealous. However, just as their plans begin to succeed, Lainey realizes that she may have started developing feelings for Micah.

I thought this was a cute, fun read that's perfect for a beach day. The story itself isn't groundbreaking or anything, but if you're looking for a sweet, light story, this one is a good bet.

It was kinda funny to see Lainey and Bianca trying to interpret lines from The Art of War and try to fit it into dating and relationships. Some lines and comparisons work better than others.

While I liked the story, sadly, I wasn't really a fan of Lainey. She was shallow and she had melded her identity with Jason to the point that she couldn't imagine senior year without him. She really needed some sense shaken into her. Now, with heroines like these, usually I end up disliking them more and more until I hate them by the end of the book. With Lainey, that didn't happen, and that's all thanks to Micah. I thought he was an interesting guy. Physically, he's not my type, but he's the kind of guy who I can easily be friends with, so it was a little bit like watching a guy friend date. It says a lot about Micah, I think, that he was able to make me like Lainey more. They had good chemistry, and their relationship progressed at a relatively normal pace.

I actually liked Bianca much more than Lainey. I just wish she figured more prominently into the story.

THE GOOD:

  1. Lainey and Micah have chemistry.
  2. It's not insta-love.
  3. There are plenty of likable supporting characters. 

THE BAD:

  1. Lainey can be pretty shallow and stuck on her fantasy future senior year. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Standing up for yourself is about more than flinging barbed-wire insults around. Its about picking your battles, knowing when to fight, knowing exactly what and who is worth fighting for. 
READ IT IF:

  1. You like stories about pretend relationships that become real.
  2. You like heroines who are athletes.
  3. You like bad boy/punk rocker love interests. 

RATING:
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