Published by Harper Teen on 20 May 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, War & Military, Young Adult
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Place(s) Traveled To: Hazelton, Missouri // St Louis, Missouri
First Line(s): Maybe if I’d paid more attention to my mom and her tea leaves, I would have seen it coming.
When your boyfriend of a few years dumps you in the middle of your family’s coffee shop without warning or preamble what is a girl to do? Does she accept the breakup and move on? Or does she listen to her BFF, grab an ancient guide to war, and do whatever it takes in order to get him back? In The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes Lainey is determined to win back her boyfriend, Jason, and if takes doing her summer reading and learning to understand the content of The Art of War then by gosh by golly that is what she will do. Initially I was on the fence with reading The Art of Lainey the synopsis didn’t really grab me but then a few readers I really trust read it and fell in love so I knew I had to check it out. I then read this one in its entirety on the train from New York City to Boston.
The first chapter was a little rocky and the break up scene was a little anti-climatic but once the story really got going I was totally sucked in. I loved Lainey and her friend Bee. I loved how they interacted and really meshed well with each other. They were true friends and that is a rare thing to see in books these days. Usually the BFF in a book is a false friend who is mean or who dumps the MC over something stupid and trivial. But Bee is there through it all and even encourages Lainey on some of her more wild suggestions on how to win Jason back. Then there is Micah. Oh, he is a boy that will make all the girls swoon. He’s just so sweet and real and he doesn’t put up with Lainey’s crap. He challenges her and as such they don’t always get along.
I loved all of the characters in this book, I loved how there were parents who were involved and not randomly out of town or so wrapped up in their own lives they ignored their offspring. I liked how Lainey grew and changed over the course of the book as she learned things about herself. One of my favorite quotes in the story is this:
“If you asked me whether I was the type of person who liked trying new things or preferred sticking with what was familiar, I would have told you I was the second girl. The if –it-aint-broke-don’t-fix-it girl. I also would have told you plays were lame. It suddenly occurs to me that I don’t seem to know very much about…me. It’s a weird feeling, like maybe a stranger is inhabiting my body. Or maybe a stranger was, and I kicked her out.”
The Art of Lainey is a quick read. Its fun and engrossing and doesn’t touch on any major social issues. Its a light-hearted book with a down to earth heroine that will make you laugh. This is a great book to curl up with on a hot summer day as you lounge on the beach or by the pool. It will make you laugh, it may make you cringe as Lainey says or does something you would, and it will also make your heart ache as romances play themselves out. I walked into The Art of Lainey with low expectations and left the story wanting more cute, contemporaries from Paula Stokes she is definitely an author to watch.