Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: May 20th, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
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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?
This book is difficult to review because while it was fun and immensely adorable, it is also pretty forgettable. It didn’t blow my mind and it failed to have an impact on me, but at the same time it was so cute. It was the perfect read for me at the time and it put a smile on my face and even made me laugh (A LOT).
One of the things that really makes it hard for me to say that I loved this book was Lainey. Lainey is a very…bothersome character at times. When I first started the book I hated her. She was shallow, judgemental and it seemed like she wasn’t defined by much. When her boyfriend dumped her, she had no idea who she was anymore she wanted him back just so her life would make sense again and it bothered me. Especially since her boyfriend was clearly a douche-bag. He gave her no explanation and dumped her at the place she worked for all her co-workers to see. Yet that didn’t seem to click for her, instead of being enraged (like I would have been and I WAS for her) she had a breakdown. But after reading around 60 pages, I stopped letting this bother me. It was there at the back of my mind but once I stopped letting her annoyingness get to me, I started enjoying the book. I was laughing and smiling and having SO MUCH FUN! It was the right decision to make because in the end, Lainey grew as a character. She stepped outside of her box and saw that things were a lot different than she had always imagined them to be and she didn’t need to be defined by what her best friend and boyfriend had imagined her to be.
Micah takes (or in this case BAKES) the cake though. He is one of the cutest love interests ever and he has a Mohawk! A MOHAWK I TELL YOU! And while that was one of the reasons I was so freaking excited to meet him (no one ever said I cannot be shallow occasionally) there is so much more to him than just that. He has a great sense of humor, has a heart of gold… and wait for it… he wants to go to cooking school which I am going to take to mean that he wants to become a chef. A boy after my own heart.
I think one of the things that make this book incredibly special is the array of wonderful relationships and great secondary characters. Bianca, the other best friend, is wonderful. She always has Lainey’s back and helps her no matter what. I am a little disappointed by Kendall, who was the ‘bad’ best friend because I had kind of hoped that she would have played a bigger role and perhaps a more positive one instead of … well… being a bitch.
One of the things that really made me happy was the inclusion of positive relationships between parents and siblings. Lainey had a great brother, who although didn’t really play any huge role in the book, it was very obvious that the two were close and supportive of each other. The relationship Lainey had with her parents, and her mom specifically was so normal and healthy. They respected each other and her mother made it clear she was there for her and really isn’t that all any kid wants?
Micah also had a wonderful sister, Trinity, and it would be a pity if I didn’t mention her. She doesn’t play a large role in this book either but I really enjoyed seeing her relationship with Micah and she was just so ADORABLE.
The romance, as Giselle, puts it, gives the finger to insta-love. The romance is the kind you want from a high school romance book. It isn’t about falling head over heels and declaring your love. It’s about genuinely liking the other person. It’s about respecting the person. Micah and Lainey don’t like each other very much as the beginning of the book but as they get to know each other better, they start liking one another and it’s so fun to watch their relationship progress. My only qualm is that WHY WAS LAINEY SO DENSE? Seriously.
One of the things that really initially grabs your attention to this book is the inclusion of The Art of War. I was interested into seeing how that would be incorporated into the book and was slightly disappointed by that aspect. I was glad to see their techniques worked but I wanted something else which I cannot really say without mentioning minor spoilers. I have to say though, reading this book kind of made me want to read The Art of War.
Even with my minor issues with the book, it’s a quick read. I flew through it and I had a lot of fun and I would recommend this to anyone looking for a light summer read. It won’t fail to cheer you up.
Interested? Well, we’re giving our lovely readers a chance to win a copy of this book! Check out the giveaway here
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