Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

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Buy it at: Amazon l BookDepository l Chapters/Indigo l BarnesandNoble

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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 Non-Spoiler Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It didn’t blow me away and there were some small faults, but overall I recommend it.

What I didn’t like:

I didn’t like how Lainey’s parents were pushed aside. With her working at her family’s shop you’d think you’d see more of them involved in Lainey’s problem. It didn’t bother me too much, but it felt odd how they were sort of push-over parents.

I also found this book to be a little slow in the beginning, I nearly got stuck about three chapters in, but then things finally started to make shape and I forced myself to continue on.

Other than those two things there wasn’t much else I didn’t like.

What I liked:

Where to begin? I liked the aspect of soccer involved in this book as I myself am a soccer fan (and if you’re watching the world cup why not read this to keep with the mood). I also enjoyed Lainey as a character, she wasn’t that annoying shy you get in a lot of YA romance reads, and she also wan’t that crazy I can do anything character either, she was somewhere in the middle, sort of like myself. It made emphasizing and relating with her easy.

The book is called The Art of Lainey because Lainey is using The Art of War to help get her boyfriend back, and this really made the book. I have never fully understood The Art of War, and this novel acted as like a fun guideline to understanding it. If I ever have to read it for school, I won’t have as much trouble as I can understand it better.

The last thing I liked was the relationships of the characters. There is Micah and Lainey’s which of course I adored. But, then there is Bianca and Lainey’s which really amplifies true friendship. I even liked the way Kendall’s and Lainey’s relationship helped round the story out, it made certain characteristics of Lainey make sense.


Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who either wants something to help bring them into the mood to read The Art of War (or needs to for school). Also, if you like soccer and the World Cup just isn’t satisfying, read this. And, if you liked Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, I’d totally recommend this.

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