YA Book Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes


From Amazon:

“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 warnings, 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 Lainey and Bianca stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, the girls are 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. Can fighting for what she wants help Lainey figure out what she really needs?”


Often times when I read YA, there are moments when it’s obvious that the story is being written by someone who hasn’t been in high school for a long time. There are so many YA heroines that don’t drink and don’t have sex, and even when they’re at a party they’re totally fine drinking soda. Not drinking and not having sex is certainly the high school experience for some, but I liked how this book casually included both of these. Stokes approached drinking and sex in a way that felt very real to me, and I was impressed.

As far as the characters are concerned, I liked Lainey a lot. She’s spunky and fun but also insecure and even selfish at times. She struggles to be honest with the people she is close to, and that’s something we can all relate to. I liked Micah; I just liked him a lot less than Lainey. In the book he’s in the stereotypical “different/punk” box. He has a mohawk and wears a ton of black and jewelry. It was just very cliche  “the-weird-punk-guy-who’s-secretly-a-sweetheart”. This was the one part where I feel Stokes just didn’t quite get it right. However, Micah did grow on me and I ended up liking the character a lot by the end.

The story was interesting, and I had a hard time putting the book down once all the drama hit. It was a fun read.

In a few words…


All in all, The Art of Lainey is a solid, kind of quirky and off-beat romantic comedy. Read it!

If you liked this, try…

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris & The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West. Both are books about fake relationships that become complicated… 🙂

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger. It’s also a little more adult (drinking & sex) and the writing feels similar.


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