Monday, June 2, 2014

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Title: The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Classification: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Source: ARC- Won From GoodReads FirstReads Giveaway. (Thank you GoodReads and HarperTeen!)
Read: May 2014
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? 

**I received this book from a giveaway that was part of GoodReads First-Reads.**

Oh my goodness! This book!
I could not put this book down!
I kept telling myself "Just one more chapter then I'll pick it back up tomorrow and read some more."
That did not happen. I kept telling myself, yet I could not tear myself away from the book to put it down.
Then the next thing I knew I was almost finished and it was 3 am! I stayed up anyways and finished the book.
I lost some sleep over the book, which I do not regret, because I loved the book very much!
The Art of Lainey also gave me a book hangover. I think I am going to get some non-contemporary books on my TBR list read.

The Art of Lainey is one of my favorite YA contemporary books that I have read so far!
I am looking forward to the next book that Paula Stokes writes, and I know that after this I will be watching to read her future books.

The Story:

I love the story. Teenage girl gets her heart broken by her first boyfriend. (In a mean front of so many people!) At first she is upset and sad. Which is completely understandable. After some grieving, with the help of her best friend, they come up with a plan to get her boyfriend back based on The Art of War.
I really think this concept of the story is original. I don't think I have read anything quite like it.
The whole fake boyfriend/girlfriend is entertaining and funny. And I really enjoyed the situations (dates) that occurred.
I liked the pacing and the story as a whole. I think that the story was well written and the characters are well-developed.
I especially loved the friendships and the back and forth between characters.
I love that there isn't insta-love.
And I especially love that this isn't just a love story, but also a self-realization story.

The Characters:

I feel that I could connect with the characters in this book.

Lainey: She is popular, athletic and confident. Which is different from a lot of main characters I have read from before. My favorite thing about Lainey is the realization (and personal growth) that she achieves in this story.
Micah: *Swoon* Micah is awesome. He is the type of boy I would be crushing on/dating if he was real and I was 16. I love the mohawk. Definitely a sweet bad-boy. I liked seeing Micah challenge Lainey.
Bee: The award for best friend ever goes to Bee. I LOVE the friendship between Lainey and Bee. So realistic. Bee is so sweet. I really think they are the perfect fit. They have things in common, but they also are different.
Leo: He is such a sweet character. I liked that he became a friend to both Micah and Lainey.

I also enjoyed the scenes that involved Lainey's family and Micah's family.
I had a like/hate relationship with Jason and Kendall.

My Recommendation:

If you enjoy reading YA contemporary, I think you should read this book. I enjoyed it very much and it is a book that I will end up re-reading in the future.

My Title Acrostic: 

Title Acrostic

Tactical: Since Lainey is using concepts from The Art of War to win back Jason, I'd say it is safe to say she has to be tactical in her execution.
Heart-breaking: There were some parts of the story that felt a bit heart-breaking for me. Including Lainey becoming a bit heart-broken because of Jason.
Entertaining: This book was very entertaining for me. There were parts that made me laugh and smile. I wasn't able to put the book down.

All-Star: Lainey is a wonderful soccer player.
Realistic: I found the characters to be realistic and relatable.
Tattooed: Micah is tattooed. (Enough said, right?!)

Opposite: I love that Lainey and Micah are opposites.
Friendship: One of my favorite things about this book is the friendship between Lainey and Bee.

Lovable: Most of the characters are very lovable! The story is also lovable.
Adorable: So adorable. I found many things in this story adorable.
Interesting: Very interesting. The book reminded me of parts of a couple movies, but overall I think the entire story was very interesting. It hooked me quickly.
Nice: Micah is very nice. (A lot of the characters are nice!)
Envy: There is some envy in this book.
Yummy: Micah bakes some yummy treats.

I mentioned above that the story reminded me of a couple movies. (Not because they have the same story or anything, it was just passing thoughts I had while reading). So I thought I would share the two movies with you really quickly.

The first movie is Drive Me Crazy. It is a movie from the late 90's with Melissa Joan Hart.
And the second movie that popped into my head was She's The Man with Amanda Bynes. Simply because there is soccer in both the movie and The Art of Lainey. 

I hope that you all like my title acrostic! And if you haven't read The Art of Lainey, I highly recommend it!

My Rating:

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