Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

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The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes
Published on May 20, 2014
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy this book from Amazon

I read this book on paperback.

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“‘I liked being with him, but there were things that scared me.  Then one day none of it seemed to matter anymore.’…’Nothing changed, and yet things were different.’  She shrugs.  ‘Maybe I changed.'”  pg. 347

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In an attempt to win back her ex-boyfriend’s heart, Lainey, a popular, soon-to-be-senior soccer star, utilizes Sun Tzu’s The Art of War to map out her plan but doesn’t realize how ill-prepared she is when it comes to her heart and a certain mohawk boy she gets to know more and more.

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There has been no buzz about a movie adaptation for this book.

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I was on Goodreads one day and came across this book.  Immediately after reading the synopsis, I wanted it…badly.  So I got on Thriftbooks and bought myself a copy.  It had not even been 24 hours since I received it in the mail and I had already finished it.

Because this was what I needed to get out of my reading funk.  Something light.  Something fun.  I needed a break from heroines who had the world on their shoulders.  Or teenagers that faced bullying in high school.  I wanted something–for lack of a better word–shallow.

And before you think I’m being completely judgmental of this book, I don’t think you can read The Art of Lainey and not have the word “shallow” pop up in your mind.  Because Lainey, the protagonist, was highly superficial for at least 75% of the book.  That didn’t bother me as much as you would think because…I get it.  Lainey was a popular girl in high school and the entirety of the book took place during the summer before her senior year.  So, of course, popularity was important.  What bothered me more was how looooong she took in realizing how shallow she really was.  But I’ll digress for now.

I really liked how Paula Stokes tied in The Art of War in Lainey’s plan to get her ex-boyfriend back.  Because isn’t that how our minds work?  We have to at least attempt to apply books, movies, or TV shows to our everyday situations.  In this case, it gave Lainey a bit more dimension and depth.  But just a bit more.

Another plus side to this book were the characters outside of Lainey.  But that also worked against it for me.  I found everyone in this book FAR more interesting than the heroine herself.  And I mean everyone.  From Bianca (Lainey’s best friend of 10 years), to Micah (the unexpected love interest), to even Lainey’s mom had much more appeal to me than Lainey.  I found myself wanting to shut Lainey up and have the other characters have a go at first person narration.  I even wanted to hear more from Kendall and that’s saying a lot.

In terms of the love story, it was typical.  It did have some great parts (the concert Micah takes Lainey to and the soccer game) but I kind of wanted to get a little more of the feels.

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2stars
2 OUT OF 5 STARS
The Art of Lainey is cute and a fast enough read but my desire to hear from anyone but the protagonist is enough for me to admit that I’m not all about it.

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Want to read the final chapter that was cut?  Click here.

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