Author: Paula Stokes
Provided Synopsis: 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?
Review: When Lainey Mitchell pictured her epic summer and subsequent senior year, everything centered on her relationship with her boyfriend, Jason. But then, suddenly, Jason dumps her without warning — in public no less — and with no information to go on as to why things have deteriorated as fast as they did. Lainey is convinced she and Jason are meant to be together, and when she refuses to move on, her friend, Bianca, introduces her to a book titled, ‘The Art of War.’ Together Lainey and Bianca devise a plan to win back Jason’s attention and affection in accordance with the book’s guidelines for war; along the way they enlist the help of their co-worker, Micah, to pose as Lainey’s boyfriend so he might win back his ex, too. If you think you know exactly where this book is going with this storyline, then you are most likely spot-on. But where The Art of Lainey moves beyond the predictable is in the authenticity behind the growth of the main character.
At the beginning of the story, Lainey is so convinced she needs her boyfriend to exist in the world she has fashioned for herself. There can be no other option for her, nor does she care to look beyond the shallow to see what has become of herself and what she has sacrificed in order to become the ideal. Away from Jason and his twin sister, Lainey finds friendship with others and begins to expand her horizons. She begins to realize she held back from doing things because of what others might think. She begins to realize that she has thoughts, tastes, and opinions that are completely her own. There are some things worth fighting for and there are others that have run their course to the point they need to be let go. I enjoyed journeying with Lainey as she realized this lesson in terms of friendships and love.
Filled with plenty of hilarious moments The Art of Lainey is a quick read with the ability to worm its way into the reader’s heart. I will admit to being baffled to the point of exasperation at Lainey’s initial attitude, but she grows on you over the course of the storyline. There are some characters that do nothing more than represent the cliché of what we will find in high school, but in a way I think it worked here as Lainey learned to look beyond the image to find the worth held inside.