Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes: Review

The Art of LaineyTitle: The Art of Lainey
Author: Paula Stokes
Publisher: HarperTeen
Buy This Book: Amazon

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 summary.)

I was beyond excited for The Art of Lainey, I'd been seeing amazing review after amazing review. It now seems strange to me that I am sitting here, trying to find a way to explain why I just realy didn't like this book. I am not sure what others loved in it so much that I then managed to miss, but I did. Me and this book did not get along, or more like me & Lainey did not get along.

This story was utterly predictable but I think everyone who picked it up knew that going in. It's a book about someone plotting to get back with her ex by fake dating someone else. If you can't tell what's going to happen there then you clearly haven't read enough books, watched enough TV or seen enough chick flicks. She's blatantly going to fall for the fake boyfriend and no longer want the other guy at all. I knew it would be predictable but I had assumed it would be a fun, cute story nonetheless. Unfortunately, for me, it just wasn't.

Sorry, not sorry!
My main issue was Lainey, she was such a hard character to like and in the end I just couldn't bring myself to like her. Her attempts to get back her ex were just making me cringe because the guy was, quite obviously, a humongous dick and she still wanted him. Even though it's clear to her that he dumped her so he could start sleeping with someone else. She literally seemed to have no self respect, I understood that they had been together a long time but I still didn't get why she wanted him back. All she kept saying was that she didn't know who she would be without him *gag*. I mean, honestly, if a guy treated me like that I would think I'd got off easy and walk away, not plot to get him back. She is also best friends with her boyfriends sister, who is a total bitch. So, again, I am just questioning Lainey's judgement and not understanding her at all. She's an idiot.

Micah was a brilliant character, I really liked him. He was utterly hilarious and took the absolute piss out of Lianey, which I applauded. I honestly did not see what attracted him to her, he could do way better than the crazy girl who is hung up on her douche ex. Micah was a character that made me laugh and he was probably my favourite character in the whole book.

This felt like I was reading 1,000 page book and even though I am sure it wasn't that long, it really felt like it was. I think part of the problem is the previous two books I read before getting to this. I read We Were Liars, which was beyond amazing in every way. And I had also just read To All The Boys I've Loved Before, which was also incredible. The problem was that To All The Boys had the fake boyfriend storyline too, but it just did it a million times better.

This has so many gushing reviews so I am clearly in the minority on this one. If it's something you have been dying to read then you'd need to give it a go for yourself and see what you think. But this followed two amazing reads for me and it was really clear that this wasn't up to that kind of standard in any way. To All The Boys did a similar storyline but just did it so much better. It wasn't fun to read for me and I just wanted to get it over and done with.

2/5 Butterflies

I am clearly in the minority when it comes to this book, I just really didn't like it. I didn't have fun whilst reading it and was glad when I finally finished. I thought Lainey was one of the dumbest characters I had met in a long time, she lacked self-esteem and respect for herself that I really just wanted to hit her. She wants to get back with an ex who's a complete wanker, is best friends with a girl who's a giant bitch and almost misses out on the nice guy! I had recently read To All The Boys I've Loved Before and it did the fake dating storyline better, if you're looking for a read like that then I'd suggest that book over The Art of Lainey any day. 



*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Edelweiss in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.

12 comments:

  1. I loved To All The Boys I've Loved Before so when I saw it had the fake boyfriend plot I was really excited about reading it. But part of the reason that book worked so well was because I loved Lara Jean. So if Lainey isn't a likable character…that usually means I won't like the book. Hmmm…torn about this one. Sorry you didn't enjoy it! ~Pam

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    1. I adored Lara Jean too, such a brilliant character. This one just didn't work for me, I didn't get Lainey at all as a character, and I just didn't liker her.

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  2. I'm interested to pick up a copy now and see where my thoughts lie. I don't have much patience for annoying characters, so I have a feeling my thoughts on Lainey may fall somewhere close to yours.

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    1. Well if you do, be sure to let me know because I'd love to see what you made of it! :)

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  3. That book sounds awful - and you're the first review I've read of it, so you get to be the majority opinion to me!

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    1. Haha, well I am glad! ;) Maybe it will save you from an awful read :)

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  6. I was just about to comment that this book reminds me a lot of TO ALL THE BOYS. I'm glad we both see that! People have been going on and on about this book for months and months. For whatever reason, it really never appealed to me. Looks like I'm going to have to go with my gut on this one. Some of the things you mentioned about Lainey would drive me insane.

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    1. It was a lot like it in a way, but To All The Boys was so much better. Well, I kind of wish I had never downloaded it myself, it was a huge waste of time for me.

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  7. Ugh. I hate it when female protagonists are idiots. There are so many books that have main characters like that! So I totally know how you feel.

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    1. Me too, we need more smart females in fiction!

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