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Title: The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Pub. Date: May 13, 2014
Rec. Age Level: 14+
When Lainey is very publicly dumped by her boyfriend Jason and then finds out he's already moved on, her perfect summer is ruined. Not to mention her plans for the future... She's willing to do anything to get back the life she's lost, including resorting to ancient war tactics. With The Art of War as their guide, Lainey and her best friend Bianca devise a plan of action to win back Jason. Lainey's first move? Achieve equal ground by being seen on the arm of a new guy. Enter Micah, who also wants to win back an ex and is willing to play along. It's the perfect plan, until Lainey realizes that the future she's fighting so hard for might not be the one she really wants. In THE ART OF LAINEY love really is a battlefield and someone's bound to get hurt. Readers will love the quick banter between Lainey and unlikely love interest Micah and the clever use of Sun Tzu's ancient wisdom.
During the first couple chapters of this book, I wasn't sure I loved it. Lainey's personality and actions were, in my opinion, really abrasive and selfish - I honestly wasn't sure I could stand a book with her. Then, she comes up with this ridiculous scheme to win back her boyfriend and teams up with Micah. From there, I was hooked. Plus, it didn't hurt that Lainey does change (in positive ways) throughout the novel.
As a sucker for reluctant romantic tension, so Lainey's unlikely romance with Micah was like a siren song to this reader. Of course, the tough, unapproachable Micah is much more complex (and sweet) than Lainey first assumes, but, even more than that, Lainey has more depth than she allows herself to admit.
THE ART OF LAINEY is a must-read for contemporary romance readers, especially fans of Jennifer Echols.