22 May 2014

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

The Art of LaineyBook:The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Release Date: May 20th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

synopsis: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?

I...uh...don't get it.

I don't get the art of 'getting back with the guy or girl who broke up with you', or better yet, 'asking a friend to be your pretend boyfriend or girlfriend'.

Right from the very beginning, I had a weird feeling about this one.

Here's the thing, I'm all up for using resources to get a guy to notice me and my fabulousness as long as it's within the limits of sanity. It's entertaining and makes for a good story.
But to use 'resources' to WIN back your boyfriend who broke up with you in public? REALLY?
No, sir.

My explanation for this involves two sub-explanations:

One, to grab a man's attention is perfectly normal. It could be the perfect serendipity moment where John Cusack continues to pine for me (in the back of his mind) for seven or eight whole years, OR, it could be a moment where the guy doesn't notice me and I look towards other options because I'm a badass, OR, I do something embarrassing. By the way, embarrassing moments are the memories that usually last, so I don't mind.
But I do mind if the guy I'm committed to breaks up with me out of the blue and in public so that I don't cause a scene and then I decide that I can't live without him and TRY to win him back.
Two words: MOVE ON. If he doesn't see it, he isn't worth it.

Second, I'll just let Micah (boy-candy) do the talking,

"I've been thinking that when people break up there's usually a reason, and whatever it is, it's still going to be there even if we do get back together."

This book wouldn't have been so bad if only this moment of clarity dawned upon the protagonist some 150 pages before the end. Alas, this was not meant to be.
The protagonist and her inner debate with herself was so frustrating, in vain and prolonged, that there was a point where I thought that even divine intervention wouldn't make a difference in that silly mind of hers. Character development is the backbone of a story, but it needs to be paced. Lainey did grow up but my feelings towards her had dug it's hole and buried itself six feet under way before she could change my mind.

That's not to say that the book was pathetic, because it wasn't. With some cute scenes here and there. It was good enough to pass my time with.

This entire situation reminded me so much of this ridiculously amazing Bollywood movie that I saw in March.

In the movie, Rani is about to get married to her boyfriend in two days when her boyfriend breaks up with her in a coffee shop.

Rani feels lost and wants him back because her entire world revolved around the guy.

But to get over her pain she goes to Paris on her honeymoon, alone.
In Paris, she's lost and scared and lonely. Over the years, she had become so dependent on him, that when the time came to cross the road, she couldn't.

Little promises and little memories surface up and remind her of her glorious relationship with him.

She even sends him a text with a picture of herself in new clothes.

THEN, she meets a friend who helps her grow out of her shell for one night. This is soon followed by days of awesomeness and a trip to Amsterdam where she meets three guys who become her bestfriends.

In the end, when the guy realises his mistake and begs her to come back to him, she sends him packing and runs back to her friends to catch a rock concert! THEN. You see transition. You see a girl who was so scared, lonely, lost, dependent become this independent and confident woman. Also, she finally learns to cross the road.

Maybe this is what Paula Stokes aimed for. To see the transition and realize the 'true you'. Maybe this is what she hoped her readers would feel and there are people who really have enjoyed this book, who knows? Maybe you would too. :)


  1. Oh no…:( I thought this book was going to be awesome. Paula's book seems so shallow. :( Great review btw


  2. Aww I'm sorry this didn't work for you more, Devyani! I really enjoyed it, but I do also wish that Lainey had opened her eyes sooner. I don't normally like the winning back the boyfriend/girlfriend premise, but it seems to have worked for me here for a change. You've made me curious about this Bollywood movie now though. It sounds brilliant! :)

  3. This is one of the reasons why I am absolutely hesitant to start this one. Yes, it's cute; Yes, it's probably pretty fluffy; but I'm not the kind who'd really enjoy a premise such as this one, especially if the character development is more frustrating than anything else. So many people loved it though that the peer pressure is overwhelming ^^;; I may still give it a chance... perhaps the execution will make me forget its flaws!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  4. Oh no!! This is such a bummer to hear. I've read countless good reviews for this one. It is refreshing to hear an honest review though. I do have some hesitation going into this read now. That might be a good thing.