Tuesday, May 20, 2014

[Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes]

"The Art of Lainey"
Author: Paula Stokes
Series: None
Pages: 384
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Date Published: May 20th, 2014 (TODAY!)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


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 Thoughts:

An Open Letter To The Art of Lainey,

Yay, I can officially say that you are one of my favorite "break-up books" ever. You're over the top, but also really relatable. Maybe a tad too relatable. Reading you made me think that Stokes hid in my closet and spied on me for awhile, but it's oddly charming. And who doesn't like reading a book that makes you feel like you're not the only one in the world who is trying to figure out break-ups and make-ups and date-ups. All the ups really. Thanks for being so much fun and for giving me all the swoons and even more laughs!

-The White Unicorn

The Art of Lainey is one of those perfect contemporary novels. The thing I like about it is that it doesn't try to hard. So many break-up books try to be so many things and the actual point gets lost in all the drama. Stokes managed to write a break-up book that has very little drama covering up it's main plot. I mean, of course there is drama, but it's realistic and you understand it. It makes reading this book a total joy after reading so many that haven't hit the nail on the head.

Lainey is a perfectly flawed character. Nothing about her is perfect. She thinks she's got herself and her life figured out, but when her a-hole of a boyfriend dumps her at work, her life starts to unravel. I loved how she didn't wallow. Lainey jumped into action, formulated a plan to get a-hole back and goes for it. Instead of what she wants she gets what she needs (cue the Rolling Stones music). She starts learning about herself with the help of her best friend Bianca and mohawked Micah. I loved that this book is just as much about Lainey's self discovery as it is about all the swoons and shipping!

Speaking of shipping, it's been awhile since I've shipped a couple as hard as I shipped Lainey and Micah. They have this witty banter that is amazingly honest and the sexual tension is perfection. As a reader you know where this is going all along and you just want to shake Lainey so that they can be together and get on to the kissing. Micah is one of the coolest dudes out there in contemporary lit. He's real. He's got issues, but he's not crippled by them. In fact he uses them to be a better person. I can't get over how awesome he is. I might have a bit of a new book boyfriend crush on Micah and his tats and mohawked head.

Stokes weaves a story that's got a ton of layers and lots of really cool details. The places that Micah takes Lainey on their "fake" dates are places that I would love to go to. Also she focuses on much more then the romance. She give her characters real problems, real reactions and tons of snark. And even though they didn't play a huge role in the book she gave us glimpses of the characters home lives and families. I loved these little bits and found Lainey's mom to be pretty fantastic.

This is one of those books that I would recommend to anyone. Yep, pretty much anyone. If you like books, you should read this. 

4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!


Nicole said...

I am so excited to read this! I really think I will enjoy it being the contemporary fan that I am. And yay witty banter and sexual tension! This one sounds like all kinds of fun :)

Natalie Natflixandbooks said...

I've been hearing great things about this one, and I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed it, too. Lainey and Micah's relationship sounds fun. I love me some witty banter and actually have this one. I'm excited to read it. Great review!