Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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?
Discussion Review by Melanie and Celine
*This review is spoiler-free*
Melanie: How awesome and adorable was The Art of Lainey? I. LOVED. Every. Bit. (Well majority of it, anyway.)
Celine: It was SUPER awesome and adorable! It was just so fluffy and cute and MICAH. But more on that later.
Melanie: Eeep that name just makes me want to get up from my desk and do a mini fangirly dance 😛
Melanie: Lainey was a brilliant protagonist. She was so fun and I liked how we got to see inside a popular girl’s head.
Celine: I’ll admit, I wasn’t too fond of Lainey at first. She seemed a bit too much… I didn’t really like her spray-tanned, overly dramatic personality at first. And of course the way she mooned over her ex, Jason, who clearly wasn’t the right person for her. But she got a great amount of character growth and I loved the way she turned out! I really grew to love her.
Melanie: Yes that’s true, however I think I clicked with her a little quicker than you. The spray tan did irk me because gosh, could you get any more phonier but it’s a pretty realistic portrayal of some teen girls these days.
Celine: I also loved Bianca, Lainey’s best friend. This friendship, guys. I loved it.
Melanie: BIANCA IS AMAZING. She’s one of my favourite best friend characters and she had her own life, if you know what I mean. Some books have a best friend who shows up whenever the MC calls on them–which is great–nevertheless here, Bianca has her own life and there’s one or two instances when Lainey asks if Bianca can come over but she can’t because she has her own family plans. Best friends are not toys. They have their own lives to deal with and I like how this book suggested that here.
Celine: Yes, it was made clear that Bianca had her own life. However, that didn’t mean she wasn’t there for Lainey. On the contrary. They could call each other in the middle of the night, they helped each other out… This friendship was just amazing.
Melanie: Agreed! They are so fun together. >.<
I guess in some ways this was also a coming of age story. Lainey always saw herself as Jason’s girlfriend and when she was dumped, she was completely and utterly lost.
Celine: Yes, it took her a while to find out who Lainey was, exactly. Lainey always saw herself as Jason’s girlfriend or Bianca’s friend, but never as Lainey. The way she slowly grew into herself was great.
What did you think of the way The Art of War was incorporated?
Melanie: I thought it was very quirky and a fun idea! I loved how Lainey used it to help guide her, but not form who she was. What about you?
Celine: I have to admit I thought it was a tiny bit random. Can you imagine breaking up with your boyfriend and then having your friend say, “ooh, we could use this age-old book I just happened to have read”? Because I couldn’t. However, I did like the way it was incorporated into the story and how the girls used the tactics.
Melanie: Yeh, it was a little weird and random hence I say it was quirky but it was a fun addition.
Celine: Though let’s be honest – I was reading more for a certain EXTREMELY SHIPPABLE romance than for The Art of War. *coughs*
Melanie: EHEHE. CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE ROMANCE NOW I WANNA TALK ABOUT LAINEY AND MICAAAAAAAAH
Melanie: *makes song about Micah*
The romance. Oh my, it was SO shippable. Micah + Lainey = perfection. It was so slow burn and it used the fake dating trope, which I really love.
Melanie: Yes, I insta-shipped them from the second Micah was mentioned in this book. They are absolutely wonderful and perfect for each other and their chemistry was so REAL.
Celine: It’s just so obvious that they BELONG together. My ship. *hugs them both* *makes them kiss*
Melanie: SAH MANY SHIPPY FEELS.
Micah: *breaks cookie* oh whoops cookie broke can’t sell it now *gives to Lainey*
Me: ASDFGJKL; *flails*
Celine: YES THAT WAS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SCENES! They’re just so adorable and asdfjkl;
Melanie: I KNOOOOW RIGHT? ALL MICAH AND LAINEY SCENES WERE AMAZING.
Celine: Basically, if you love shippy feels and adorable romance, pick up The Art of Lainey NOW. Oh, and if you’re looking for a good friendship, of course.
~Thank you HarperTeen for sending us a review copy!~
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