Cover image for The art of Lainey
The art of Lainey
Stokes, Paula.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2014]
Physical Description:
377 pages ; 21 cm
"When Lainey gets dumped, she employs an ancient Chinese warlord's tactics to get her ex-boyfriend back"--
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, and Susane Colasanti, The Art of Lainey tells the story of how, with the help of The Art of War, Lainey plots the perfect plan to get her boyfriend back. But is getting him back really what she wants?

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 warnings, 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 Lainey and Bianca stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, the girls are 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. Can fighting for what she wants help Lainey figure out what she really needs?

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Lainey is crushed when her longtime boyfriend, Jason, abruptly dumps her. However, her best friend, Bianca, steps in with a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War and tells her to level the playing field. Preppy, sunny, soccer-­playing, reality-TV-watching Lainey conspires with her coworker Micah, who is also pining for an ex-girlfriend, and they pose as a new couple. Micah, however, loves punk rock, wears a mohawk, carries a switchblade, and is into everything Lainey is not. The mismatched pair conspire to appear blissfully happy in public in order to win back their respective exes, using tips from Sun Tzu. Along the way, though, they struggle with new feelings that develop during their campaigns on the battlefield of love. Stokes' writing is as breezy as Lainey herself, and although readers will predict the ending relatively quickly, it won't stop them from enjoying Lainey and Micah's misadventures. Recommend this to fans of other lighthearted teen romances set against coffee shop backgrounds, such as The Espressologist, by Kristina Springer (2009), and Getting Over Garrett Delaney, by Abby McDonald (2012).--Howerton, Erin Downey Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

While working at her parents' coffee shop, Lainey Mitchell is publicly dumped by her gorgeous long-term boyfriend, Jason, and she's devastated. But her best friend Bianca has a plan: Lainey needs to let Sun Tzu's The Art of War guide her efforts to win Jason back. When Lainey learns Jason that has already moved on with another girl, in an effort to "exploit enemy weaknesses" (namely jealousy) and put herself "in a position of power," Lainey enlists the help of Micah, her mohawked, punk rocker, chocolate chip muffin-baking coworker. Micah has also been dumped recently, and getting his ex back is part of the plan, too. Stokes (who also writes YA as Fiona Paul) offers a summer romance between two people who couldn't be more different and who, therefore, have plenty that's new and exciting to offer each other. It's a familiar rom-com setup that follows an expected trajectory (Lainey and Micah naturally begin to fall for each other) but a satisfying and sweet story, too. Ages 14-up. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-In a plot that serves as a modern mashup of classic teen movies, soccer prodigy Lainey is dumped by her "perfect" boyfriend at her family's coffee shop. Lainey and her friend use their summer reading, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, to hatch a plan to win Lainey's boyfriend back. When the plan calls for misdirection, Lainey needs a fake boyfriend. She and Micah, a prickly bad boy co-worker at the coffee shop, make a pact to pretend to date in order to make their exes jealous, and every reader can guess what happens by the end of the summer. The characters are straight from central casting (the shallow jock, the supermodel mean girl, the hippie mother who reads tea leaves), which is unfortunate, given the book's message to look beyond the exterior. The protagonist also lacks depth, which makes it difficult for readers to root for her. Despite the dearth of complexity in the characters, Stokes does a good job with the sports subplots as well as the familial relationships. Lainey is a driven athlete who focuses on her passion, which is a refreshing change of pace from many other heroines in the romantic realistic fiction genre. Lainey's family is supportive and candid, and Micah's sister is a good reality check for both main characters.-Susannah Goldstein, Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York City (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.