Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday Reads: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes!!!

As the final entry for this week's Friday Reads I have a book that I featured earlier this week, and one that I was quite excited about reading that not only didn't disappoint but that also worked as therapy for my currently quite messed up emotional state!

It is also part of my list for my 2014 Book Blogger Summer Reading Program, and I'm quite glad to say that so far I'm doing pretty well on this one, even if I'm a bit behind on reading the books as they're releasing!

The Art of LaineyThe Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had been quite excited about this one after reading some fantastic reviews for it, so much that I preordered it and I started reading it that very same night while at work! (I promise I didn't ignore my patients or my work, you just have some time to kill from 4 to 6 am if everything goes well!).

This is the kind of contemporary book that even not huge fans of contemporaries like myself can enjoy and that leaves you with a wonderful feeling upon finishing the book (and also hoping for more!).

I'm guessing I might have connected with this book more given my own state of heartbreak, even if Lainey's and my situation are completely different and I'm way older than she is. Still, a broken heart is a broken heart, and all the lessons she's learning and how's trying to patch herself up just made me feel so much hope and smile through the tears while reading.

Lainey thought she had her summer and senior year of high school all figured out, until her "perfect" boyfriend dumps her in front of everyone, without very good reason, at her family's coffee shop. Lainey refuses to believe all her perfect plans are over, and wants to get Jason back more than anything else. Her best friend decides to support her through and through although she might not agree with her choice, and they decide to use The Art of War for advice on how to win the boy back.

This might sound bizarre, and it kind of is, but it works so well! Not only made me want to read The Art of War (that I can't believe I haven't read yet) but works great to show the interactions and the relationship between Lainey and Bianca, and it also helps reveal some sides of Lainey's character to us and to herself.

Lainey wasn't exactly the most sympathetic of characters in the beginning, she's a teenager and as such, she's a bit oblivious of anything outside her own perfect bubble until it is burst and by trying to put it back together she goes out of her comfort zone and realizes she wasn't even sure who she was, so she starts learning about herself. She seemed to have been going on an inertia of getting the perfect life and perfect imagine, but as soon as Jason left her she wasn't even sure who she was anymore. There's a lot of growth to Lainey, and although I felt like shaking her at some point, mostly when she dealt with Kendall, I felt extremely proud of her by the end of the book!

Bianca and Kendall are both Lainey's best friends. As I see it, only Bianca really deserves that title. She's amazing and supportive, even when she thinks Lainey is wrong! She helps her trying to win Jason back even she doesn't think it's the right choice. She's always loved Lainey as she was, and was there for her through thick and thin, the same that Lainey was for her when she needed her. Kendall I really couldn't feel much empathy towards her, no matter how hard her life was, she just acted like a bitch all the time, and I kept on hoping Lainey would be more assertive and put her in her place.

Jason was very oblivious and a very typical bratty popular guy. Inmature and going with the flow, and I was clearly never rooting for Lainey to get back to him, not after the way he was treating her. Then we went Micah, a bit more prickly, with plenty of layers and contradictions, a rocker chef! And I knew I was gonna be rooting for him like mad! I loved him and Trinity, his younger sister! I loved how he kept on challenging Lainey and showing her that out of her comfort zone was a good place to be!

I guess I could just go on and on about this book, rambling about how much I love it, but I'll just say this: GO READ IT, NOW!! Very well deserved 5 stars for this one!

View all my reviews


  1. So glad you loved it!! I've heard so many great things about this book. I cannot wait to read it. It really sounds fantastic!!

  2. YAY! Five stars! That is so great! I rather loved this one as well, though I gave it four stars (five stars are rare with me, it seems). I'm definitely going to follow Paula's contemporary novels! Which is coming from ME, the contemporary romance non-lover. Yay!

    Fantastic review, Pili!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I think it's mostly cause it managed to make me feel better on my current emotional state, and that is saying something, ya know?

  3. So glad you enjoyed this one, Pili! I really disliked the whole Art of War aspect in this one. We studied a bit about it in Chinese History, and I think it didn't really mix well with the story. Then again, it might be that I'm 14 and have not experienced any sort of heart break, so the book wasn't very relatable for me? :P

    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    1. Before reading the book I hadn't read The Art of War, but I will be reading it now... I found it quite an interesting idea, and yeah maybe not having a break experience could make the book less relatable. I'm glad you still managed to enjoy the book despite your qualms with it!
      Thank you, Aimee!

  4. Aw, awesome review sweetie :D So glad you loved this book. <3 I have seen so many people love it. Sigh. But I am not ready to read it yet :p Just.. I still don't really like this genre, lol :D I need some Fantasy. Or action. Or just about anything, lol. So it seems a bit too boring for me right now. But hopefully one day; as I do think it sounds like a good book :D It makes me happy that you loved it so much, though :)

    1. Thanks a lot, sweetie! You know I'm not usually a big fan of contemporaries, but this one just hit right!

  5. This makes me really happy and excited for this book. My co-blogger didn't love it as much, but I'm more hopeful because of all the lovely and positive reviews for this book. I want a complex love interest, someone who isn't a cardboard cutout and actually has a lot of depth. Micah sounds exactly like that. And come oooon, Rocker Chef! Woot!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    1. Right? I loved the aspects of Micah being not your perfect cookie cutter guy! He has tattoos, bakes, listens to different music, not exactly what's popular... he really is my kinda guy! A wee bit too young for me, though, LOL!
      I hope you'll give this one a chance, Faye!

  6. I completely agree with everything you said. This is a must read for the summer!

  7. YES! I just got this yesterday and am dying to read it! Great review!


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