The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

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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? (Goodreads)

Hey guys! This is the first of a few reviews to come today. Unfortunately is a book that I DNF’ed. I absolutely hate it when I don’t finish a book because it almost feels like I am not giving it the chance it deserves. However, I just couldn’t carry on with this book.

Probably the biggest reason for not finishing this book is the fact that I found Lainey really irritating. Unless it is a character that we love to hate, not connecting with the characters just ruins a book. Reading through the eyes of Lainey, I felt like she was a spoilt, bratty character. She was constantly whining and moaning about the fact that her long term boyfriend dumped her. I understand that she is having a tough time with the break up, but the lack of emotion that was conveyed about the break up is probably what made her seem whiny and annoying.

As someone who is not long out of the teenage years, I was expecting to be able to bond with the characters on some level. This just never happened. I feel like no teenager would willingly pick up a book like The Art of War and transpose it to their lives in order to accomplish a goal of some form. Teenagers would normally form a plan of their own in order to win someone back if that was really what they wanted. I also never felt any connection with the scenario that was written because we never get to know them as a couple before they break up. Without understanding what their relationship was like, it is almost impossible to feel any sort of sympathy for the characters.

Having said that, I quite liked Bianca as the best friend. She is basically what a typical best friend is – the comforting shoulder to cry on and willing to eat a whole bunch of unhealthy break up food just to make you feel better. She stuck by Lainey even though she is probably the most annoying character ever.

I think I was expecting more from this book based on all the hype that surrounded it for a while and this is probably what led to a major let down. I gave this book 1 out 5 stars.

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