The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes Author: Paula Stokes
Published: May 20th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Categories: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
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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?


The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes didn’t have the most original plot out there. But as I always say, when it’s done right, it doesn’t matter to me. And although as a whole I still found it a very nice read, I wasn’t completely sold. I was so sure I knew where things were heading the moment I read the summary. But I’m an optimistic person, I never will know if I like it or not if I don’t read it, right? So try I did, and as I predicted, things headed in the direction I knew it will be.

Operation get the ex-boyfriend back by using Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as Lainey’s guide sounded promising; but that wasn’t what I felt. In the end her plan was just simple: make him jealous, remind him what he has lost by showing him she was with someone else. And not just a simple someone else—the opposite of her ex. Micah was every bit of bad boy and polar opposite of her ex, Jason. But Micah agreed because he wanted his ex back, too. But as I foreseen, things while it might be heading towards their goal weren’t going to be as easy as they thought. Spending so much time with that person might lead to something…else.

Ok, so maybe I was banking with her plan which I assumed would be a gold mine because she based her plan on that famous military book. But that’s not what happened to me. Yes, there was mention of the book. And yes, there was mention of the strategies inside, but as a whole, the plan was simpler than what it was trying to convey. It was deceivingly plain. And that is what disappoints me. I’m pretty sure that Micah and Lainey will get themselves tangled in their own plan and possibly backfire their original idea because of their shifting feelings for each other. And while I like Micah over the ex, the chemistry of two to me didn’t have enough spark.

So when the objective was achieved, both weren’t exactly happy. Jason wasn’t the person Lainey thought. Being with him for two and a half years made her think that she knew the guy and their relationship. But when she confronted him, in turned out they hardly knew each other. That relationship was actually shallow. Plus, the sister who tried to change her: to be her clone. So the distance between these people actually made her see who she really is.

It’s a very simple story with a bit of charm. I wasn’t completely impressed and there were parts that I found boring, but it doesn’t take the fact that if I sum it up, all of it was still a pretty good read. This a type of book that you’ll enjoy it for what it can offer rather than expecting to be blown away.

Format: Advance Reader’s Copy
Preview Quote: “What do you do when you’re knee deep in the battle and don’t want to fight anymore.”