Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by HarperTeen (5.20.2014)
eARC, 384 pages
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?
If it works for armies and athletes, maybe it can work for me. I’m a girl who believes in fighting for what she wants.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Venom, but something I mentioned in my review was that I was really impressed with Fiona’s (Paula’s) writing style. This book was no exception! There’s something about the way she puts her words together that makes you want to keep reading. Her prose is interesting and entertaining!
As far as the story, I’m not usually a big contemporary reader because I’m more into dark dystopians than fluffy romances. But, I really enjoyed this one! It was so cute! It really captured the feeling of falling for someone and gave me those warm fuzzies (and maybe even some butterflies) as if I was in the story.
To be honest, I hated Lainey in the beginning of the story. She was very clingy, annoying, and shallow, and was one of those girls. You know, the ones that define themselves by a boy. That drives me CRAZY. She felt like she was nothing without Jason, and based almost all of her decisions on him.
I imagine going back [to school] as someone other than Jason Chase’s girlfriend. My heart starts to race. Who would that girl even be?
I recently saw Paula at the Mighty Mississippi Book Blast, and in the panel she said that the one regret she has about this book is how she wrote Lainey in the beginning, because like me, so many people hated her. While I can kinda see how some people wouldn’t want to read anymore, I think they’re missing out on a great story. I disagree – I don’t think Paula should change a single thing, because the fact that Lainey was so awful in the beginning makes her character arc so much more profound. There’s character development in (almost) every book, sure, but Lainey’s development is one of the best I’ve read in a while!
Being Jason’s girlfriend was different. A guy who could date almost anyone picked me. With him, I felt part of something bigger. Just like with Kendall, he made me feel invincible, like things would work out for me no matter what. Once you’ve experienced that, it’s kind of hard to give it up.
Not to mention he’s hot, popular, and super athletic. We’re practically two halves of the same person. There is no one better, not for me.
Talk about being with someone for the wrong reasons! That was also what made it more meaningful between Lainey and Micah, was that they weren’t together for social status. They had something real.
What do you do when you’re knee deep in battle and don’t want to fight anymore?
The idea of using the Art of War as a strategy in love is adorable! While in the beginning it seemed kind of silly (and maybe a little desperate on Lainey’s part), it made sense as the story went along, and it was a very unique concept!
MICAH. Ahhh, so swoony! There aren’t many boys that I find swoony, but he fits my bill. He’s alternative and has the bad boy vibe…and did I mention he has a MOWHAWK?! Hell yeah! The chemistry between Micah and Lainey was amazing. I love that they were thrown together against their will and it slowly developed into more.
I also loved Bianca! She was such a awesome and supportive best friend for Lainey, and she cracked me up. She was always there to drag Lainey back to reality and slap some sense into her. She and I would be great friends in real life, methinks! On that note, I did not like Kendall. I found it disgusting that she called herself a friend to Lainey. When she asked Lainey if she’d been playing dress-up because she had a colored streak in her hair, I wanted to jump into the book and punch her teeth out! She was more of a frenemy than an actual friend, and she always had to focus the attention on herself.
P.S. I wish Mizz Creant’s was a real place!!!
Standing up for yourself is about 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.
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5