"All's fair in love and war"
(not so spoiler filled! Read on)
Just the usual cycle for me: Spot an interesting title - do some research - decide to read or not to read. And that is exactly what happened to me with Paula Stokes's The Art of Lainey.
I became aware of this title as I browse through the new releases and after reading its synopsis, I thought I'd check it out. Unfortunately, one review I've read (which included lots of creepy GIFs) made me think twice. Nevertheless, after some deliberation, I still set my Goodreads' currently reading to this one :)
When your long time boyfriend breaks up with you without reason, what do you do? Get him back, of course! Or so Lainey Mitchell thought.
After the event that crushed her, Lainey is set on getting back Jason with the help of her friend, Bianca; a few fake lovers; and a book by the great Chinese Warlord, Sun Tzu: The Art of War. But in the war of love where everything is in the battlefield, should Lainey continue to fight on or should she just turn back and flee to the arms of another?
The plot was good, really really good but then again, I had a hard time warming up to the story. It's hard to get into a book when you don't even like the main character. Lainey Mitchell, soccer superstar and school's little miss popular, gets dumped by her boyfriend and what does she do? Comes up with a plan to get him back. Not judging but I don't really get why people do that? If someone doesn't like you anymore, why push yourself? Nobody owns your life except you. And to make matters worse, she acted like a creepy stalker who is pathetically hung up on her ex-boyfriend.
(I want to attach an Overly Attached Girlfriend meme here but I've always found that one creepy so just imagine one staring at you here)
It doesn't help that she keeps on a friendship with a selfish queen bee who only pretends to care about her when in fact, she only cares about herself. No wonder Kendall and Jason are sibs. On the lighter note, I do appreciate Lainey learning her lessons by the end, standing up for herself, and discovering how awesome she is with or without a guy :) She finally had her "fall like a thunderbolt" moment.
Moving on, aside from the ex-boyfriend, we have another love interest: the mohawk-haired, pierced and tatooed pastry chef in the making, Micah. I'm stuck halfway between liking him and not liking him. Okay, about 20% dislike and 80% like. Aside from his style (which I'm not a big fan of),he often makes inappropriate comments at times and it doesn't help that I have a friend, who is a girl, that we call Micah (Hi Micah! *waves*) and I have to remind myself several times during his first few appearances that the character is a GUY. Anyway, the thing that drew me in is the knowledge that behind his "rough" appearance, he's a sweetheart inside. I like Leo better though.
Everything was excellent except for the fact that I have issues with some characters. I did like a handful too like Bianca, Leo, Trinity, Steve, and Mrs. Mitchell though they are mostly secondary characters. The plot was great except for the part whereas Lainey was in a fake date and all of a sudden she wants to kiss Micah like "seriously, what? You're trying to get back with your ex and then this?". I'll admit that I liked the sweet scenes and the fun/cute moments :) I need to say that I seriously want to check out Mizz Creant's House of Torture (and pancakes) :D
"War is basically head games and fighting. So are relationships." -Leo
"Sometimes it's easier to fight for the wrong thing than to recognize it's time to let go (...) I think even you should be open to the possibility that what you want might not be what you need." -Bianca
"Trying to be someone else doesn't fool anyone for long." -Leo
"'Can I have a hug?' I cringe at how much I sound like a five-year-old, but you never realize how much you miss little things like hugs until you stop getting them." -Lainey
"Not everything is worthy of great risk and sacrifice. [He] is." -Lainey
"Standing up for yourself is more than flinging barbed-wire insults around. It's about picking your battles knowing when to fight, knowing exactly what and who is worth fighting for." -Lainey
"The true goal of strategy is victory without having to fight." -Lainey
"What do you do when you're knee deep in battle and don't want to fight anymore? (...) You stop fighting. You fix things...or try anyway." -Lainey
The plot moved generally about getting back with exes: Lainey with Jason, Micah with Amber, and Leo with Riley but I can't say that I didn't like it. The fluffy scenes were adorbs and the usual Lainey-Micah banter was cute. I wish Mrs. Mitchell could read tea leaves for me too haha :)
Overall, the excruciating wait for me to finally like the Main Character was worth it (In fact, I considered DNF-ing this one) The conclusion was very satisfying and I can say that I didn't regret reading this one. It actually made me want to read The Art of War :)
|3.5/5 rating :)|