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The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

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The perfect paperback original summertime read! A fun, contemporary, realistic teen novel that's sure to appeal to fans of Stephanie Perkins and Claire LaZebnik.

Lainey is gearing up for an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason. And then, in a heartbeat, her whole world comes crumbling down when Jason dumps her...in public.

Down, but not out, Lainey needs help, and that's where her best friend Bianca steps in with a solution. The girls have been assigned Sun Tzu's The Art of War to read over summer break-and with Bianca's help, Lainey uses the warlord's tips to craft a plan to win Jason back. She persuades her emo-alt coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. And her plan starts to work! But after a few "dates," Lainey begins to question why her relationship with Micah feels like something more than just a game.

More confused than ever, Lainey realizes she'll ultimately have to choose between the guy she wants and the guy she thinks she needs. But first, she'll have to look within herself and figure out who she's supposed to be.

(From Edelweiss)

My Thoughts:

I loved this book! It was a fast-paced read that had me up all night, eager to get to the end. I loved Lainey. I thought she was a well-balanced character who really grew from self-centered at the beginning into the type of person she could be proud of by the end. I hated how she allowed some people to shape her views in the beginning, but I appreciate how she learned to stand on her own two feet by the end. It didn't take me long to realize that the guy she was pining for, Jason, wasn't really worth her time or all the effort she put into getting him back when he publicly dumps her. I was often frustrated by the way she kept strategizing to win him back when the perfect guy for her was there for the taking. Ah, Micah - I just adored him. What a great character! He was sweet and pure and just wanted to do right by his mother and sister, so what's not to love about him? I just wish Lainey didn't waste so much time on Jason and spent more time discovering that Micah was the better choice for her. Bianca was another favorite - loved her! What a great friend she turned out to be, unlike Kendall, Jason's sister, who was so self-involved, I just wanted to strangle her. All in all, this was a wonderful book and I'm glad I read it.

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