Art of Lainey, by Paula Stokes (book review) – using war strategy to woo him back

book cover of The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes published by HarperTeenHow dare Jason break up with her in public?
Everyone knows he and Lainey belong together!
This means war… to get him back.

BFF Bianca suggests using expert advice from their assigned summer reading to make Jason so jealous that he’ll be back with Lainey to start their senior year – if Sun Tzu’s Art of War  won’t work, what will?

Read the first chapters here for free, then ask for this May 2014 original paperback at your local library or independent bookstore to find out whether Lainey’s war for Jason’s heart is worth the battles.


Book info: The Art of Lainey / Paula Stokes. HarperTeen, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Publicly dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Lainey uses strategies from The Art of War to get him back – with surprising results.

When Mom saw “big changes, separation” in the tea leaves, Lainey thought it meant best friend Kendall’s trip to New York, not losing Jason to his gorgeous ambulance partner! Bianca says Sun Tzu’s strategies work today, so Lainey begins her full-time war to get him back.

“Be deceptive.” Co-workers from her parents’ coffee shop help with Lainey’s campaign – preppy Leo trying to get his girlfriend back and pierced punk Micah with his mohawk, tattoos, and mysterious past.

“Be flexible.” A college play, a goth music club – Lainey and her fake dates stay busy and visible in their St. Louis suburb between shifts at Denali.

“If you know the enemy and yourself, your victory will not be in doubt.” Fretting over Jason isn’t helping her soccer scholarship chances, so she and Bianca talk while they run – five fake dates with Micah are eye-opening, especially when bumping into Jason and that Alex girl “accidentally.”

“If equally matched, we can offer battle.” Jason finally asks Lainey to sub on his summer co-ed soccer team? Bring it on!
“When you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” Fourth of July fair with more-fun-than-fake-date Micah or party at Jason’s house? Hmm…

Following an ancient Chinese warlord’s tactics will get Lainey what she really wants before summer ends, right? (One of 6,000 books recommended on

What do you think?

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